Publisher hits £1,050 target in plea to fund 'dictionary' by young poet

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A poetry publisher has reached its funding appeal target to help pay for the publication of a 998-page manuscript in memory of a young poet. In 2013, the innovative poet, artist, and animal rights activist Leanne Bridgewater (1989-2019) undertook the mammoth task of compiling a personal dictionary (of 12,000 words) to find a new way of sharing her view of the world, culture and history.

The adDictionary, as it became known, was not simply about creating new definitions for existing words but also to create new words, often by colliding familiar ones together to form surprising and inventive coinages, for instance, abacsoma – a counted body; paralist – to make a mental list; ubi tubi – to be lost on the underground.

Fascinated by dictionaries from a very early age, Leanne was driven by an impulse that, if things could somehow be named in the right way, injustice, inequality and oppression could be made to vanish as they become suddenly and irrevocably unthinkable, and unsayable.

As Leanne writes in her Introduction to the adDictionary (subtitled ‘of experimental language’): “In today’s world, we have achieved interaction with words so much that we believe we are superior to animals who do not speak. Language was around before the word; in the spirit of sounds, visuals, gestures and movement. With this dictionary I aim to encourage people to create new paths, new insights, to discover unknown places inside of themselves.”

During her time as a Masters student at the University of Salford, Leanne undertook an internship at the then nascent small press publisher, the Knives Forks and Spoons Press (KFS), who later became publisher of her first full-length collection Confessions of a Cyclist (2016). Leanne later submitted adDictionary to the press, but, at nearly 1,000 pages, it was not a workable proposition for the press at that point. In accordance with Leanne’s original wish, and with the support of her family, KFS sought support to fund the publication of this “joyful, irreverent and liberatory work”.

It aimed to raise £1,050 towards the costs of preparing Leanne’s manuscript for publication - and has now succeeded! This money will cover typesetting, book design, and the cost of uploading the files for printing.



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