About this issue's cover

Spring 2015

The compelling portrait of George Woodcock gracing the cover of Anarchist Studies was taken sometime before his departure for Canada by Vernon Richards (1915-2001), husband of Woodcock’s close friend Marie-Louise Berneri (1918-1949). In his Part- time Photographer’s Portrait Gallery (1999).

George Woodcock came to the anarchists sometime in the war years. He was always a pacifist. A good writer who contributed to, and at one stage was one of the editors of Freedom. In 1949 he emigrated to Canada….For the rest his life he was unsympa- thetic to anarchists, having become in Canada a very important writer…obviously not on anarchism! Nevertheless there were years when George was my comrade.1

This brings to mind a poem Woodcock wrote in 1976 likening anarchism to a raven – powerful, wild, dying and regenerative, a part of the natural order of things, so much more than the life of a single human being. 

Black Flag2

When I die
let black rag fly raven falling from the sky.

Let black flag lie on bones and skin that long last night as I enter in.

For out of black
soul’s night have stirred dawn’s cold gleam, morning’s singing bird. Let black day die,
let black flag fall,
let black rag fly,
let raven call,
let new day dawn
of black reborn.


  1. Vernon Richards, A Part-Time Photographer’s Portrait Gallery (London: Freedom Press, 1999), 37.
  2. George Woodcock, ‘Black Flag’, Collected Poems (Victoria, BC: Sono Nis Press, 1983), 143. 


Anarchist Studies Vol 23 No 1