Maybe the biggest event I’ve put on in London. Over 170 people came to watch 16 brand new collaborative poetry commissions from 32 poets visiting from over 20 countries. More than that it was a remarkable atmosphere of experimentation and humour, welcoming, engaging while maintaining the literary / avant-garde aesthetic that interest me personally as an reader / watcher and I think are increasingly necessary.
So many of the pairings seemed cohesive, the hours I’d spent pairing people very carefully, on an instinctually blend of their work and personalities bearing fruit and I think (and was told) beginning some proper friendships. This is the invisible and satisfying consequence of such a massive endeavour, so full of energy – it is a literal invocation of community against the solitary insistence of poetry culture which lags, still in 2018, behind other arts. This was a giant proof of concept for collaborative events.. To have people from so many cultural and linguistic backgrounds, like London itself, and such a range of ages and styles too, and to have these differences, like the works on show, be complimentary and uplifting for the performances that came before and followed after, this is my goal in all this.
See videos of every performance on the night and pictures too at www.europeanpoetryfestival.com/camarade