Dear friends, happy new year. The happenings of 2014, a bit of an epic email. It’s been another immense year, and more than ever before I have to express my debt of thanks to collaborators & friends, one + the same, who have helped me so.
In April I had the chance to visit Iraq through the Highlight Arts project in Erbil, collaborating with Iraqi and Kurdish poets and reading at the Niniti Literature Festival. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/reel-iraq/
In October I visited Hay Xalapa and the Cervantino festival in Mexico thanks to the British Council. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/hay-xalapa-cervantino-mexico
In June I launched my sixth poetry collection, the Rottweiler’s guide to the Dog Owner with Eyewear publishing http://www.stevenjfowler.com/the-rottweilers-guide-to-the-dog-owner/ The book had a commendation from the Forward prizes.
Thanks to Creative Scotland, in July I toured Scotland with the Auld Enemies project, with over 40 poets involved over 7 readings from Edinburgh to Lerwick. There’s a documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Pz-z8z8_w & all the videos, blogs and information http://www.stevenjfowler.com/auld-enemies/
In September I toured Ireland with the Yes But Are We Enemies? project and with Auld Enemies, it was one of the most extraordinarily warm and creative experiences of my life. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/yes-but-are-we-enemies/
In June I toured through the Baltic countries, reading in Vilnius and Talinn and performing a new conceptual piece for the Free Riga festival http://www.stevenjfowler.com/free-riga-festival/ Thanks to the British Council.
In May I had the chance to participate in the Crossing Voices project in Venice, curated by Alessandro Mistrorigo and James Wilkes http://www.stevenjfowler.com/venice/
In August, in Liverpool, I was commissioned by Nathan Jones’ amazing Syndrome project to create a performance piece based on the use of Choros body movement mapping technology, and did so using Kyokushin Karate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxeGbdAAHlM
In September I was the guest of Croatian PEN and read in Zagreb, thanks to Tomica Bajsic & Damir Sodan http://www.stevenjfowler.com/croatia/
In May I visited the Prague Microfest, thanks to the Czech Centre London, to perform with the TRYIE collective http://www.stevenjfowler.com/tryiecollective/
In March I performed at the Festina Lente sound poetry festival in Paris, curated by Martin Bakero, and held in a circus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xjIb3yalRM
In late August I read at the 9th international Novi Sad Literature festival in Serbia http://www.stevenjfowler.com/novi-sad-literature-festival/
I was shortlisted for the White Review prize in early 2014, for my story MueuM http://www.stevenjfowler.com/white-review-prize-mueum/ I performed the text at the Whitechapel gallery in August, in an evening curated by Holly Pester.
Across July, the Poetry in Collaboration exhibition, co-curated with Chris McCabe, was the Saison Poetry Library’s summer exhibition, drawing from contemporary and historical sources http://www.stevenjfowler.com/saisonexhibition/
In 2014, the Enemies project was behind over 50 events, with over 200 poets and artists, in multiple nations, in many new forms and spaces, and was supported by Arts Council England http://weareenemies.com/
I curated Camaradefest II in October, with 100 poets reading in 50 pairs, with brand new collaborative works being premiered.
In November the Kakania project began thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum, with an amazing event at the Rich Mix. www.kakania.co.uk
During 2014 I was poet in residence at the extraordinary landscape architects J&L Gibbons, writing new sequences on soil & trees, the former published in a unique book of essays and reflections on the city of London & its earth http://thegreenerinfrastructure.tumblr.com/
Thanks to the Danish Cultural Agency and the Danish Embassy in London, the Fjender project, a Danish Enemies project took place in March & April. I read & exhibited in Copenhagen, the Fjender event at the Rich Mix in London was a great success, and Morten Sondergaard’s extraordinary Wordpharmacy exhibition at the Hardy Tree, running throughout March, also featuring a reading, was brilliant.
In July I curated a night of new artworks and literature responding to the life and legacy of Bohumil Hrabal for Czech Centre London, called Cabaret Hrabal, at the Horse Hospital. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6HysePkAY0
I co-curated an exhibition with Tom Jenks celebrating the avant object press Zimzalla in October at the Hardy Tree gallery in London, which featured two readings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UauBZpo9vY
I was pleased to teach two new courses for the Poetry School, Maintenant & Vanguard, both of which explored avant garde poetry post WWII, in Europe and Britain respectively. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/poetryschool/ Both courses were full & extraordinary experiences for me. An interview here with Sarah Dawson with the Poetry School http://campus.poetryschool.com/maintenant-interview-s-j-fowler/
In February I launched a pamphlet called Whale Hunt with Annexe press, thanks to Nick Murray, launching it thus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saUebKuHKao
In June I performed at the Museum of Water, at Somerset House, thanks to Penned in the Margins, protesting water cannon policy by trying to drown myself in a shallow bowl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqpJDPBp7gw
The first Mopha collective performance took place at the Rich Mix Theatre in late September http://www.stevenjfowler.com/mopha
I collaborated with the videoartist Joshua Alexander to produce the first of a series of videopoem collaborations, Animal Drum http://vimeo.com/105849417 with footage taken from a performance at the Science Museum.
The Hubbub residency at the Wellcome Trust began in October, and I contributed to the Being Human festival in November http://www.stevenjfowler.com/the-hub-residency-at-the-wellcome-trust/
I had the chance to read in Sheffield for the first time, at Banks Street Arts, for the Midsummer poetry festival, thanks to Agnes Lehoczky, in June https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IFrkTk6s5E
I had the chance to speak at the Poet as a Boxer event at the Saison Poetry Library in February
As poet in residence of the Translation Games project, I was live writing during the Saison Poetry Library special event in March
In March I curated a special Camarade event in Edinburgh for the Hidden Door festival, in the cities abandoned arches.
An event celebrating the work of Tim Atkins, and his marvellous collected Petrarch poems from Crater press was one of the year’s highlights http://blutkitt.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/petrarch-celebration-of-tim-atkins_29.html
A Slovakian Enemies project took place at the Freeword centre in November
Wrogowie: a Polish Enemies project, took place at the Rich Mix in London in February https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us2sNV3kDDE
An event was held in February to celebrate the work of Bill Griffiths, coinciding with the launch of a second volume of his collected poems from Reality St. press.
I was happy to read the work of Jiang Tao and Ming Di at an event celebrating contemporary Chinese experimental poetry at the Poetry Café in June.
A special Camarade event was held for the Interrobang bookfair in November
I published a special feature on collaboration for Cordite magazine with new works and an essay
3 poets were published as part of the Anglaise Actuelle project with Recours au Poeme magazine, new translations of contemporary British poets into French
Visiting Hannah Silva in research residence at the British Library we had an interview / discussion, excerpted here http://hannahsilva.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/the-prolific-myth-interview-with-sj-fowler/
I was part of the first Penned in the Margins podcast with Hannah Silva, Siddhartha Bose and Tom Chivers, recorded here https://soundcloud.com/pennedinthemargins/sets/penned-podcast-1-poetry-and
I was on BBC radio 3’s Free thinking talking about boxing and poetry http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03t0d9
I was happy to read for the BAMS Modernism Now conference thanks to JT Welsch in June https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXuC4AdG7m8
& to read for Akerman Daly at the London Artbook fair at the Whitechapel gallery, celebrating Fabian Peake, in September.
& to read to celebrate Antonio Claudio Carvalho’s POW series at the Juggler in Hoxton, London, in June https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKmnFmUI0B0
I was privileged to read at the launch of the wonderful Coin Opera 2 anthology in November https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8XAoLotL1g
Thanks to the editors of Gorse magazine, Colony, the Bohemyth, the Honest Ulsterman, the Morning Star, Huellkurven, the Wolf, the Quietus, Test Centre & others.
& heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the year such a memorable one, I’m grateful for all the generosity and hospitality that’s been visited upon me. 2015 will be better yet, plans to follow. Best wishes to you all, Steven