HEART of WINTER
148 x 210mm
Date of publication: February 2016
Three years in the making, Heart of Winter is a beautiful and poignant series of found poems by Autumn Richardson, assembled from the notes written by ethnologist Knud Rasmussen and botanist Dr. Thorild Wulff during the Second Thule Expedition - a journey charting a little-known area of the far north-western coast of Greenland, from April to September, 1917. Some of Rasmussen's journals were afterwards edited by himself, and published as 'Greenland by the Polar Sea' in 1921. During this expedition they traversed a vast landscape, by foot and by sledge, travelling more than a 1000 kilometres. A large portion of their journey was spent crossing the perilous and desolate 'inland-ice', an earlier term for the Greenland Ice Sheet. Dr. Wulff sadly lost his life on the return journey, as did one other member of the expedition, Hendrik Olsen. Every dog they brought with them also perished.
These poems are accompanied by a selection of Inuit songs, originally documented by Knud Rasmussen and published as Snehyttens Sange in 1930. Rasmussen's Danish versions are republished here alongside new English translations by Autumn Richardson.
"The writings of Rasmussen, the Inuit songs, and the final notes of Dr. Wulff, share moments of life at its slimmest,
its most immediate. Each recount life-threatening and life-sustaining experiences, and the endurance of incredible hardship -
yet in their words there is at times a euphoria; an awareness of the immense beauty surrounding them, and a recognition of
the preciousness of each small life that they encounter."
(from the author's preface)
Heart of Winter was originally published in 2013, in a small pamphlet edition. It has now been reworked and extended to include new poems, an author's preface and botanical index. The work is further augmented by eight monochrome botanical plates featuring Arctic flora and eight monochrome photographs from the Second Thule Expedition.
In addition to the standard edition, a special edition of fifty was produced, comprising:
Two A6 colour reproduction botanical illustrations of Arctic flora
Eight A5 colour reproduction prints of botanical illustrations of Arctic flora
Eight A5 monochrome reproduction prints of photographs from the Second Thule Expedition
A signed and numbered colophon card including a unique poem fragment
A numbered copy of the Heart of Winter book