Paper Trail

Our first book Paper Trail grew out of a silent conversation in poems between the two of us. We swapped 14 miscellaneous objects by post, along with the poems they inspired, and we didn’t speak about this exchange till it was complete, eighteen months later. It was a discrete, non-verbal trade that took place underneath all our other day-to-day discussions.

We widened the conversation to include the artist Roy Willingham, who created images inspired by each poem. Thanks to designer Liam Relph, we made a beautiful, limited edition artists’ book which contains the poems, photos and museological descriptions of each swapped object, and Roy’s images. All these elements allow the reader to share the play and intrigue of the Paper Trail experience.

“To open Paper Trail is to embark on a joyous journey through the debris of many decades. No artefact is too surreal or too small to be overlooked on this adventure – fragments of a meteor, an Aeroflot wet wipe, an artist’s business card, an empty cassette box that once held a mixtape. But not every page holds a souvenir of the past. These items are just the beginning of the book’s trajectory, prompts for a new conversation between two poets and a visual artist. The result is an exuberant tangle of words and images that celebrates the way we live now surrounded by ephemera, eavesdropping and aesthetic echoes.” – Nancy Campbell, artist, poet and author of The Library of Ice

Objects & Enquiry a podcast from the Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival 2020, featuring Julia, Mike, and poets Olivia Dawson and Richard Skinner.

Paper Trail
Poems and text by Julia Bird & Mike Sims, images by Roy Willingham
Published by Blown Rose, 2019
Size: 242 x 173 x 20 mm
First edition limited
ISBN 978-1-9162132-0-3


Paper Trail + UK shipping (£20 + £4)

Paper Trail + Rest of World shipping (£20 + £8)