The Charnel House

The Charnel House is a poetic graphic novel by Tom de Freston in collaboration with 37 leading contemporary poets. (Bridgedoor Press)

Abegail Morley. Agnes Davis. Alan Buckley. Alicia Stubbersfield. Andrea Porter. Andrew McMillan. Ben Wilkinson. Claire Trévien. Daisy Johnson. Dan Holloway. Dan O’Brien. Declan Ryan. Fady Joudah. George Szirtes. Helen Ivory. Helen Mort. Jacob Polley. Jenny Lewis. Jo Hemmant. John Glenday. John Mole. John-Paul Pryor. Kaddy Benyon. Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Luke Wright. Lydia Macpherson. Malene Engelund. Martin Figura. Mary Jean Chan. Max Barton. Pascale Petit. Samir Guglani. Sarah Gridley. Sarvat Hasin. Tamar Yoseloff. Toby Parker Rees. Ghassan Zaqtan.

The Charnel House’ is extraordinary.  It teems with life, composed in all kinds of fractal, doubling structures and through the looking glass possibilities. Every node and fold in de Freston’s visions is potentially apocalyptic, but also a personal suffering, or a barely communicable erotic paroxysm; every figure might be released into their own tale – which is precisely what the book achieves, whilst also implying countless other narratives, waiting to be released.

Professor Simon Palfrey, Oxford University

Tom de Freston has produced something quite unlike any book I have seen before. The pictures are disturbing, the poems challenging. There is a prodigal richness of talent allied to a tumultuously anarchic vision that demands – and finds – a quite new way of expressing itself.

Professor John Carey – Literary critic for the Sunday Times