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Fan-peckled ~ Jean Atkin & Katy Alston


216 x 216mm square paperback

ISBN 978-1-911048-49-7


Full colour throughout

Publication Date 2nd April 2021

12 poems and 12 illustrations

Categories: ,


Jean Atkin is a wise guide to a rich Shropshire legacy:
in FAN-PECKLED a cornucopia of verbal ‘oddlings’ come vividly to life through a kaleidoscopic cast of characters – bird, beast and human – all lit by Katy Alston’s colourful illustrations.
Every word lover will relish this beautiful book.

I loved this book!
It spells Shropshire for me.
And Katy Alston’s illustrations bear comparison with Ravilious and Ardizzione.

This glorious book of poems and pictures by ⁦Jean Atkin and Katy Alston.
Forgotten words given new life, which is one of the great functions of artistic endeavour

This is not a romanticised collection.
Readers encounter flooding, an abused work horse and a labourer needing to transfer skills in a time of changing economics.
It is a collection of acute, tender observations and a reminder that although the years pass, what matters remains and people’s sensibilities continue as before, regardless.
MARGARET ADKINS  Full review is here

Katy Alston’s gorgeous illustrations combine with Jean Atkin’s well-tuned ear to recreate a bygone age I can’t help but yearn for as I read the poems and linger with the illustrations.
For me, the poems recall John Clare and Edward Thomas.
To read them out loud, and to hear these lost words speak again, is pure pleasure.
SPHINX   Full Review is here

This significant collection explores in poetry and pictures the 19th century idiom of Shropshire.
INK, SWEAT & TEARS  Full Review is here

A collaboration of poet and artist, this is a lovely collection that is a timely diversion from modern problems and will apply a balm to the mind, through language, image and texture.

This is a book to return to again and again to lift the spirits.
THE HIGH WINDOW Full Review is here

Twelve poems and twelve art-illustrations based on old Shropshire Words

These poems were inspired by: The Shropshire Word-Book, A Glossary of Archaic and Provincial Words, Etc., Used in the County By Georgina F. Jackson. First Published 1879 by Adnitt & Naunton, Shrewsbury


Jean Atkin has published two full collections: Not Lost Since Last Time (Oversteps, 2013) How Time is in Fields (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2019). Her widely published and prize-winning poetry has featured on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Ramblings’ with Claire Balding, and been commissioned for ‘Something Understood’. In 2019 she was Troubadour of the Hills for Ledbury Poetry Festival, and BBC National Poetry Day Poet for Shropshire. She works as a poet in education and community. You can find out more, and buy books, at and follow her on Twitter: @wordsparks


Following a degree in Fine Art, Katy spent some years painting and studied at West Surrey College of Art, now UCA. She now works mainly in illustration, making artist’s books, illustrated maps and natural history illustrations. As she’s often to be found trawling through documents of old Shropshire and field names maps, it felt very natural and logical to be making pictures for the ‘Fan-peckled’ poems and it has provided her with inspiration for her latest work. You can see more of Katy’s work at and follow her on Instagram: @katy_alston


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