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Released 30th November, 2023 // 50 pages // 978-1-915760-58-6 // RRP £9.50


Sun Step Black Lake is a remarkable book which showcases the art of collaboration, and artistic dialogue. The beautiful, abstract images, from John Welson, provide a platform for Allan Graubard’s sublime words to wander through the terrain laid by Welson. But, then, in the true spirit of artistic friendship, Welson’s images return the favour and work their way through Graubard’s words. This is not only a delightful book of art and words, but also a testament to the brilliance of Allan Graubard & John Welson.


PRAISE for Sun Step Black Lake:

Allan Graubard’s prose vignettes evoke subtle emotional states that starkly bubble to the surface amongst keen observations of the natural world. He is spurred by John Welson’s deliriously intricate paintings and titles, and vice versa. Both are equally accomplished and compelling, and their virtuosity stands individually, whilst their collaboration achieves a ricocheting intimacy greater than either art by itself. Their spark of mutual inspiration delivers to us this satisfying, entwining, intermedia gift that enacts the mystery of friendship.

   — John Solt, author of Poems for the Unborn


As if dealt from a Tarot deck of the natural world, Sun Step Black Lake is a beautiful call and response, initiated by Welson’s luminous paintings, at one and the same time deep contemplations of enchanted landscapes. From these landscapes, Graubard composes his tales – these strange and mysterious encounters, these dreams that may or may not have been dreamed during sleep. In turn, the tale influences the artist’s choice of the next “card” to deal. And so the game continues. Reminiscent of the wandering poet-artists of the Tang Dynasty, these works reveal that a circle of stones, a sprig of heather, the shimmering spring dawn are an embarkation point to a timely yet timeless world, effortlessly revived by the artist and poet for the reader. The ludic quality of this book reminds us, to quote Johan Huizinga, that “we must be more than merely rational beings, for play is irrational.”

   — David Coulter, translator of The Novel of the Tupinamba Indian


ABOUT Allan Graubard & John Welson:

John Welson (Born 1953, Llanfair-Llythynwg, Wales) is a painter, poet, and writer. He began painting at the age of 12 having been inspired by a chance encounter with a book on Surrealism, and has since had over 350 exhibitions around the world since 1974. John has exhibited with artists as diverse as Picasso, Dali, Man Ray, Matta, Max Ernst, Grayson Perry, and Damien Hirst. His paintings are inspired by the desolate, magnetic and pulsating landscapes/inscapes of Mid Wales.


Allan Graubard is a poet, playwright, literary critic, and curator of art. His works are translated in numerous languages and his plays have premiered in the U.S. and EU. Recent poetry and fiction include: Western Terrace (Exstasis Editions, Victoria, BC, 2020), Language of Birds (Anon Editions, NYC/LA, 2020), A Crescent by Any Other Name (Anon Editions, NYC/LA, 2017), Targets (Anon Editions, NYC/LA, 2015), And tell tulip the summer (Quattro Books, Toronto, 2011), Roma Amor (Spuyten Duyvil Press, NYC, 2009), and others.

Allan Graubard & John Welson - Sun Step Black Lake


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