First Known When Lost traces the footprints of nature writer and poet Edward Thomas. A resident of England for all his life, but with Welsh heritage, Edward Thomas believed he belonged nowhere. His texts: little time capsules, admixtures of social commentary, environmental action, and personal musings, are archaeological exercises, presenting a complicated picture of loss, demonstrating the value of artistic imagination.
The book is presented as a series of engagements with landscape, writing, and poetry; chasing memory-prompts and the shock of the poetic. It loops his home in the South Downs on foot and recycles one of his long journeys out of London westward. What comes to the fore is the griminess and decay that is often unwritten when following in the footprints of poets.
‘It’s elegant, scrupulous, and unusual’
‘This is a political treatise for being artistic in an age of targets and outcomes’