English student publishes work of creative non-fiction and poetry
Part art history, part road trip, part detective story.Album Rock
began when English student and award-winning author Matthew Hollett stumbled across an intriguing photograph from the 1850s on the Corner Brook Museum and Archives
Paul-Émile Miot was one of the first photographers to visit Newfoundland. His photo, Rocher peint par les marins français
(Rock painted by French sailors
), shows the word “album” painted on a prominent rock in Sacred Bay, on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula.
More than 160 years later, the landmark is still known as Album Rock. But what’s the story behind this curious scene? And who are the sailors posing on the rock?
Perceptions of place
A lively and insightful work of creative non-fiction and poetry, Album Rock
touches on the history of photography in Newfoundland, Miot’s travels around the French Shore and the power of naming in shaping our perceptions of a place.
It’s also a celebration of curiosity and the joy of delving into the mystery of a peculiar photograph.Album Rock
is published by Boulder Publications
About Matthew:The Malahat Review
, "Portrait of the Forgotten Memory: L’Amour Lisik in Conversation with Matthew Hollett"
As a visual artist and poet, do you find that your art and poetry intersect with your creative nonfiction work? If so, in what ways do they influence each other? What current and future works are happening for you?
I used to describe myself as a visual artist who writes a lot, but I think I’m becoming more of a writer who takes a lot of photos. I’m a very visual person, so my nonfiction and poetry often rely on observation and description, and I especially enjoy writing in response to images.
Over the past few years I’ve been making artist’s books such as Field Notes
(a book of poems and photos about writing outdoors) and Small Landmarks
(an ebook of photos and handwritten notes about walking). So my writing and visual art are basically one practice.
I’m finishing up a collection of poems about photography, and am also working on Album Rock
, a book of nonfiction, poetry and photos about a strange photograph taken in Newfoundland in 1857.