The Alice Oswald collection ‘Falling Awake’, published by Cape Poetry in the UK in July 2016 and by W. W. Norton in the US in August, includes re-settings of work first published by The Letter Press and for The Battle of Winds (see those projects), as well as a revision of the version of Tithonus made in 2014 for the London Literature Festival. ‘Falling Awake’ won the poetry category in the 2016 Costa Book Awards, has been shortlisted for the 2016 T. S. Eliot poetry award and was also shortlisted for the 2016 Forward Prize for Best Collection.
The original edition of Tithonus was set in Gulliver, justified on a very narrow measure and trapped inside a continuous tinted column. It was meant to suggest a ‘magazine’ prose setting. To meet Cape and Norton’s requirements, the mass market edition had to be black type only and set in Bembo. We set the Cape version ourselves. The addition of the vertical rule in the left margin was intended to do what the column was designed to do in the first edition – to corset the text and suggest a time signature.
The Cape Poetry edition has as its cover motif, a falling man from Aaron Siskind’s ‘Pleasures and Terrors of Levitation’ series – number 474 from the year 1954. There was a hope early on that Norton might be interested in using another image from the same extended photographic meditation.