'Wild about London' by Will Hatchett and Tim Sanders.

Lewis Carroll meets Ted Hughes, with a dash of Spike Milligan. Wild about London is a new book of illustrated poems about some of the animals that inhabit our capital city. Here, you will learn about the (too) friendly pigeon, a famous squirrel thief, a magpie who joined the police, bats who objected to being on reality TV and a tragic blackbird whose beautiful singing voice led to success on a TV talent show.

Tim is an illustrator and cartoonist, Will is a journalist and author, They are both from the west Midlands. They are approximately the same age – whisper it, the age of free bus travel! They first met on Facebook. Will thought, ‘this chap’s paintings are not merely illustrations. They are full of life. They don’t merely depict a thing; they contain the essence of the thing. I like that.’ Tim thought, ‘poetry, oh God.’

They met physically in July 2018 on the day that England played Colombia in the World Cup. England won the game 4-3 on penalties and a creative collaboration was born. Their mission, in Wild about London, is to fuse words that startle with pictures that zing and to show that poetry is not boring.

Designed by Jez Tucker, the book’s first edition was successfully funded through the Kickstarter website.

Tim says: ‘The thing about this project was its spontaneity. Will sent a poem and I usually painted the creature that day, or pulled it from my portfolio. I have always loved painting animals, whether it’s someone’s precious pet, a thuggish looking starling or the blur of a kingfisher moving so fast that you can barely see it.

Will says: ‘These creatures live in our peripheral vision, linking us to stories, mythologies and places. They are great subjects. The idea is of the book is for each poem to be different, whether it’s a story, a scenario or simply a description, but within a complementary whole, so it’s a bit like a music album.’

More information or press copies

Contact Will for a copy: w.hatchett@virgin.net

About the creators

Will Hatchett has written for The Guardian, the Observer magazine, New Statesman and many more publications. Author of several novels, including The Fourth Way, New Pulp press, two non-fiction books and a play. Plays guitar and ukelele. See www.willhatchettonline.co.uk

Tim Sanders provided daily cartoons for The Independent. He has illustrated two books, Snr Soul (a history of jazz and blues) and 1917: Russia’s red year. Has two daughters. Spends as much time in possible in Barcelona. Plays the saxophone. See www.timonline.info


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