NOTES FROM A POLISH ALLOTMENT by Alex Rossiter
120 x 170, 136 pages, Colour printing, Perfect bound, Softcover, Ed. of 500, 2023
“Crossing the allotment patio to wash my brushes at the outdoor sink one morning, I saw to the southeast a plane descending towards Warsaw’s Chopin airport, and remembered how I’d originally made my own way, via tarmac and boulevard, to the neighborhood where we were to live. Surrounded as I was by the enormous idea of Poland, and the slabbed expanses of its capital, I found myself unpacking a need for gardens.”
Which Alex Rossiter, in Notes from a Polish Allotment, proceeds to do across a haibun weave of prose, haiku, and pencil drawings divided between the book’s two parts: the first covering the transplanted artist’s arrival in Warsaw, the second, his discovery of the allotment gardens, a quirky Arcadian wedge of greenery in the heart of the city’s Mokotów district.
Attuned to the moods of mud, lancing of light, and shivers of vine across the seasons, and with a healthy interest in the idiosyncrasies of his fellow allotmenteers, Rossiter adopts a typological approach softened by empathic curiosity. Throughout, he seeks to locate himself while reflecting on what it means to be a foreigner sinking hands into local soil.