Vivienne Plumb with illustrations by Glenn Otto
One endless summer when I was fourteen
I began to speak with a great arrogance
as wide as a river mouth, imagining I was
witty and charming and full of my own cream.
Plumb creates through the written word, Otto through line; this book combines their two narratives. The image/text conflation moves between form over meaning, and meaning over form. Otto’s exuberant gestures interact with Plumb’s luminous humour, as if two performers are present on the page together. As Much Gold as an Ass Could Carry showcases Plumb’s poetry, fiction and drama, from a twenty-year literary career. Within these large, funny, barbed, affecting themes, the power of the social construct – of what it means to be female – is laid bare. Otto’s graphic wit ornaments and underwrites Plumb’s written traceries.
This collaboration between artist and writer was initiated by split/fountain, as part of their ongoing engagement with publishing as a performative act.
split/fountain publishing, 2017
Publication design by Narrow Gauge
Produced with funding support from Creative New Zealand
232 pages, softcover