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Photography-Embedded Fiction & Poetry 2018

Here is my bibliography of works of fiction and poetry published in 2018 containing embedded photographs.  You can see bibliographies for other years underneath the pull-down menu “Photo-Embedded Literature” at the top of Vertigo.  I also maintain bibliography that spans 1892 to the present at Library Thing  (  If you know of a book that I have not mentioned, please let me know in a comment. My thanks to the many Vertigo readers who have already pointed out books that I had not known about!



Forrest Gander. Be With. NY: New Directions, 2018. Contains a poem sequence called “Littoral Zone,” which consists of six photographs by Michael Flomen, each facing a section of the poem that, at least in part, includes verbal equivalents and/or references to the image. See my review of this book here.

decarava sweet flypaper

Langston Hughes and Roy DeCarava. The Sweet Flypaper of Life. NY: First Print Press, 2018. First published in 1955, this classic collaboration about life in Harlem began when Langston Hughes saw Roy DeCarava’s photographs and decided to base a new story around them. A beautifully-produced new edition that pays special attention to the printing of stunning DeCarava’s photographs. With a new Afterword by the photographer’s widow Sherry Turner DeCarava.

bosun new juche

New Juche [pseudonym]. Bosun. Paris: Kiddiepunk, 2018. A book that reads at times like a 21st century version of Jean Genet, with photographs by the author of the aging, deteriorating architecture in Rangoon.


kluge temple

Alexander Kluge. Temple of the Scapegoat: Opera Stories. NY: New Directions, 2018. Contains more than a dozen uncredited photographs (many of which are film stills) and reproductions of several old prints – all opera themed.

kopf brother

Alicia Kopf. Brother in Ice. Sheffield: And Other Stories, 2018. English translation from the Catalan original Germà de gel of 2015 by Mara Feye Lethem. A hybrid novel blending research into polar explorations with a coming-of-age story of becoming an artist and having an autistic brother. Contains drawings and uncredited photographs.

nguyen ghost of

Diana Khoi Nguyen. Ghost of. Oakland: Omnidawn, 2018. Poems with ten altered family photographs, several of which are used more than once.

robertson take

Robin Robertson. The Long Take. London: Picador, 2018. A book-length “noir narrative” poem that takes place in the US between 1946 and 1953, focusing on a D-Day veteran with PTSD. With nine historic photographs.

tillman men

Lynne Tillman. Men and Apparitions. NY: Soft Skull, 2018. Tillman’s narrator is an ethnographer of family photographs who embarks on a study of the “new man,” born under the sign of feminism. With numerous family snapshots reproduced.


9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mario Aranda Marqués #

    I have meant to do this for a long while but I’m a procrastinator. Now, I’ve finally made up my mind about sending you the titles and authors of three photo-embedded books. Please excuse I don’t offer you the whole data of them for I have them at home and presently I’m just taking a time off from work. I don’t know if any of these books has been translated into English.

    The first one, Días extraños (Strange Days), by Ray Loriga, a Spanish writer, goes back to 1994. It’s a mixture of a supposedly cruel diary, aphorism-like thoughts, poems, and passages which may be fictional or not. It is intersped with some very beautiful artistic photographic, which I guess are the work of Alberto García Alix, a very talented and famous Spanish photographer. I would say here that this is one of my favourite books from all time.

    Tle second one, Clavícula (Clavicle), is by Marta Sanz, also an Spanish writer. This one is a novel about a woman who discovers she has some kind of worrying ailment. I leave it at that in order not to be a spoiler. In this, the handful of photos might very well be selfies but they somehow add up to the story anyway.

    Finally, Ordesa, by Manuel Vilas, a third Spanish author. This is a very recent book which is having a huge success. I believe it was published by the beginning of last year and it has had already more than eight reprints. I had only a quick glimpse at it because my wife just handed it to me but I did notice the embedded photos. Vilas is also a poet, something I could tell even from my quick look.

    I’m from Mexico and I have only included Spanish authors. It’s just a coincidence: they were the ones that came to my mind. I hope that next time I can offer some titles by Mexican authors.

    Thank you very much for keeping your website.

    January 15, 2019
    • Mario, Many thanks for your reply and suggestions! I know the work of Alberto García Alix. Many years ago I traveled all over Spain while curating an exhibition of Spanish photographers. He didn’t make the final cut, I’m sorry to say, but I saw a lot of his work then. I will look for these titles. Where do you live in Mexico?

      January 15, 2019
  2. Rupert #

    A Stranger’s Pose, Emmanuel Idama

    January 27, 2019
    • Thanks, Rupert. I just ordered this. Looks great.

      January 27, 2019
  3. Hope you enjoy it. I am halfway through. I bought it on the back of a review on another blog I read: [I’m not affiliated]. I’m sure there have been some poetry chapbooks through my hands that use images/photos too, but at the moment I can’t find them.

    January 31, 2019
  4. Rupert #

    And for the 2019 list, the final part of Agustín Fernández Mallo’s Nocilla trilogy, Nocilla Lab (Fitzcarraldo), has photos within the text.

    February 4, 2019
    • Rupert, Thanks again. I read Nocilla Dream and decided not to go further. Did you like Experience and Lab?

      February 4, 2019
      • Rupert #

        I love the trilogy, yes. One of my favourite recent reads. Lab is quite different, and kind of wraps things up too. How’s A Stranger’s Pose?

        February 8, 2019
  5. Rupert, I have not even opened A Stranger’s Pose yet. Will report back in time.

    February 9, 2019

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