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Thomas A. Clark was born in Greenock, Scotland, in 1944. His earliest contacts, in the mid 60s, were with the international Concrete Poetry movement. In 1973, with the artist Laurie Clark, he started Moschatel Press. At first publishing small books and cards by Ian Hamilton Finlay, Jonathan Williams, Cid Corman and others, it soon became a means of formal investigation within his own poetry.
From 1986-2002, Laurie and Thomas Clark ran Cairn Gallery, in a small country town in the Cotswold hills. One of the earliest and most influential of British "artist-run spaces", it specialised in Land Art, Minimalism, and a lyrical or poetic Conceptualism. In 2002 they moved back to Scotland to settle in Fife, in the small fishing village of Pittenweem, where Cairn Gallery re-opened in 2004.
Thomas A Clark's first collections were published by The Jargon Society, from North Carolina; Some Particulars (1971), A Still Life (1977), Ways Through Bracken(1980). Other publications include Madder Lake (Coach House Press, Toronto 1981),
The Tempers Of Hazard (Palladin, London 1993), Tormentil & Bleached Bones (Polygon, Edinburgh 1993), One Hundred Scottish Places (October, Eindhoven, Holland 1999), Distance & Proximity (Pocketbooks, Edinburgh 2001). A new collection, A Path To The Sea, is due from Arc Press, Yorkshire, later this year.
Since the late 1960s, numerous small publications have appeared from Moschatel Press and from other poetry and art presses internationally. Recently there have been two publications from Longhouse Press, Vermont; Green (2004) and Yellow (2005). Two recent commissions relating to architecture were Fold, for Edinburgh Technopole, with architects Reiach & Hall, 2003 and A Place Apart, for Maggie's Cancer Care Centre, Dundee, architecture by Frank Gehry, 2004.
Thomas A. Clark
it is afternoon
while the little tune
of the ripples
plays about your ankles
that essential hour
when things exert
their legitimate power
and candour drops
like a ripe fruit
into your desultory heart