House of Weeds by Amy Kean and Jack Wallington
Step into a world of deliciously wild characters: a group of outcasts who have only their rebellion in common. Weeds and humans overlap in this prickly-sweet fusion of poetry and illustration, painting tales of society's outsiders.
“One is tempted to say that the most human plants, after all, are the weeds.” (John Burroughs, 1881)
Between 1879 and 1941 two unlisted buildings in Peckham served as refuge to forty-seven individuals. It was a site of urban legend; asylum for the disgraced rebels and mentally unorthodox of the time. Those who did not fit an aesthetic template; who refused to respect society’s imposed sexual restrictions; the atypical men who had failed and been failed by the system; outspoken women who only a few centuries prior would have been burned as witches.
Little is known about what went on in those houses, as its lodgers were heard but rarely seen. Neighbours spoke of wild all night parties, raucous laughter, mirrors thrown from the bedroom windows with such force they dented the pavement below, and sounds of babies crying bloody murder within the damp foundations.
House of Weeds is the story of these rebel humans. An illustrated poetry collection from Amy Charlotte Kean and Jack Wallington that gives a megaphone to the weird, restless and unruly. The battles they faced and the love they crafted for themselves.
“Coming on like a south London Rimbaud, Amy Charlotte Kean gives us a ground level view of what makes us and breaks us. These weeds tell tales, biographies of the fragile yet indestructible; and are a reminder that life, however transient it might be in the dirt, is worth it. There is poison here, but much sweetness too.”
- Rishi Dastidar, Poet
(Nine Arches Press)