In John Digby's third book, as in "Sailing Away from Night", his poems are complemented with his very distinctive collages - in this book, all based on birds and animals. John Digby's work in collage began as an extension of his surreal poetry; in both forms he hopes to perpetuate 'a voyage of discovery and amazement'. In his preface, he gives a personal account of the links between his poetry and collage-making, and of their common imaginative source in his early life and in dreams. Both his collages and poems, he writes, hope to suggest the essence and reality of this unconscious world.
John Digby was born in 1938. He left school at fifteen and spent five years as a keeper at London Zoo. 'The Structure of Bifocal Distance', his first collection of poems - described as "a triumph of vision" by Nathaniel Tarn - appeared in 1974. He began to make collages in the early 1970s. 'Sailing Away from Night' (Anvil in England, Kayak Books in the USA) was published in 1978. In collaboration with Joan Digby he has written 'The Collage Manual', an illustrated guide to the work of contemporary collage artists, published in 1985 by Thames & Hudson.