Forget, Neglect, or Black Out

Poems I Want to Forget is Jeff Nuttall's first substantial collection of poems. This chapbook was published by Turret Books in 1965. In thinking about English bookshops, I focus on Better Books, Indica and Unicorn Books, but Bernard Stone's Turret Books in London was a focal point for decades. Like Nuttall (who played Friar Tuck on British TV), Stone was a notorious drinker who served free wine to thirsty poets at his bookstore. The drinking took its toll and Stone collapsed at his 70th birthday party and Turret Books would follow suit soon after.
Stone also founded Steam Press with illustrator Ralph Steadman, comrade in arms of Hunter S. Thompson. Looking at the cover of Poems I Want To Forget, Nuttall's artwork reminds me of Steadman's much more popular and recognizable work. Similarly Nuttall's poetry would be often overlooked, and to this day, remains largely forgotten.


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