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From: Vol.04 N.01 – Where to feel now

Typography of terra infirma …

by Frances Presley

These are all from a sequence of poems about Ada Lovelace, the mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage on the Analytic Engine, which led directly to the modern computer.  Part of her life was spent on the Somerset coast near Porlock, an area subject to landslips, which are increasing due to global warming. 

The poems combine elements of Ada’s life and the landscape, visual poetics and geological studies.  The landslip poems use a simple algorithm in which one line of verse is divided or undercut by another.  “Typography of terra infirma” is based on a geological study and plan of the landslipped coast which morphs into the female body.


Typography of terra infirma






Study of landslipped coastal slopes and woodland, Culbone woods

land   ÷  slip  I


land  ÷  slip   II





Published: January 2017
Frances Presley

lives in London. Publications include An Alphabet for Alina, with artist Peterjon Skelt (Five Seasons, 2012), Halse for Hazel (Shearsman, 2014) with images by Irma Irsara, and Sallow (Leafe, 2016). Her work is in the anthologies Infinite Difference (2010), Ground Aslant: radical landscape poetry (2011) and Out of Everywhere2 (2015).   

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.