A note on: performing at the opening of How Like a Leaf

I had the pleasure to present a modest performance work at the opening event of a new ambitious interdisciplinary project "How Like a Leaf" which brings together thinkers, artists, academics from a group of uni's in London, including my own, Kingston. The event was chaired by Nick Foxton and I spoke alongside Patricia Phillippy and Tim Chamberlain. It was an intimate, considered, generous few hours, exploring encountering and thinking through human beings and nature, the Anthropocene,  aiming to create new ways to relate to the idea of the natural world. Nick's chairing was really grand, passionate, concise and accessiblem and both Tim and Patricia were engaging. https://www.howlikealeaf.com/

For my performance I first read a new poem, riffing on the phrase How Like a Leaf, switching out the final word of that four words, expressionistically, then I buried some leaves about the room, in my shoe, in the door, under a bottle, then I played a Ween song while blutacking leaves onto the wall into the shape of the word HELP. Then I finished reading another new poem, this time riffing on what might follow the words How Like a Leaf. I was trying to create metaphorical gestures around recitations, to show a concern for concentration, material, space, without at all being cynical or too self-referential. I likely failed but it was an uplifting, honest few hours and the most pleasure came after the presentations, chatting with everyone who came along. Do follow the project as it develops, more info on the site and below.

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🍃 "This TECHNE Conflux will bring together students from across different disciplines - including literary studies, philosophy, visual arts, music, history, classics, dance and theatre - to assess, adapt and develop interdisciplinary approaches to the relationships between art, nature and the world, with the assistance of world-renowned practitioners and theorists. The Conflux has three main aims: To examine the relationship between aesthetic theories of nature and twenty-first century artistic practice. / To consider the ways in which historical accounts of the relationships between art, nature and world might be re-purposed in order to address the contemporary world. / To provide a space, in the form of both events and a final exhibition, in which these conversations between artistic products and aesthetic theories, will reach a wider audience. 🍃 The Conflux will run across two years, from June 2018 - June 2020 and will consist of four themes: Encountering; Writing; Performing; and Thinking." 

Published: European Institute of Imaginary Authors by Robert Sheppard

Robert Sheppard's brilliantly inventive new book has just been released and I'm delighted to have been included Twitters for a Lark: The Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Author is published by Shearsman Books at £9.99 and in available here: http://www.shearsman.com/ws- shop/product/6460-robert-sheppard-ed---twitters-for-a- lark

This is from Chris McCabe - Working in collaboration with a team of real writers, Robert Sheppard has created a lively and entertaining anthology of fictional European poets. There is no resultant ‘Europoem’, but a variety of styles that reflects the collaborative nature of the poems’ production, the richness of a continent. The works range from the comedic to the political, from the imaginatively sincere to the faux-autobiographical, from traditional lyricism to the experimental. Accompanied by biographical notes, the poets grow in vividness until they seem to possess lives of their own. Although devised before the neologism ‘Brexit’ was spat across the bitter political divide, this sample of 28 poets of the EUOIA (European Union of Imaginary Authors) takes on new meanings in our contemporary world that is far from fictive, ‘fake news’ or not.

The collaborators are: Joanne Ashcroft, Alan Baker, James Byrne, Alys Conran, Kelvin Corcoran, Anamaría Crowe Serrano, Patricia Farrell,Allen Fisher, S. J. Fowler, Robert Hampson, Jeff Hilson, Tom Jenks, Frances Kruk, Rupert Loydell, Steve McCaffery, Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, Sandeep Parmar, Simon Perril, Jèssica Pujol i Duran, Zoë Skoulding, Damir Šodan, Philip Terry, Scott Thurston. 

Twitters for a Lark heralds a new movement: the European Poetry Revival. It is a book that arrives like a new channel forged by collaborative poets, with all past ideals of state rolled up in an old five pound note. This illuminated sect of future Rimbauds lightens the island’s burden, the lights on their vessels burning like the tips of duty free cigarettes. Chris McCabe

A note on : Tickets on Sale for Mayakovsky

Mayakovsky : a play - Tickets on Sale : Rich Mix Theatre - 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA

Tickets for Friday June 9th 7.30pm

Tickets for Saturday June 10th 7.30pm

Tickets for Sunday June 11th 7.30pm

Tickets now on sale for Mayakovsky, a play commissioned as part of the Revolution 17 season, marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Mayakovsky is part of a night entitled Land of Scoundrels, which features new works of innovative and post-dramatic theatre, intertwined and overlapping across one evening, from the likes of Viennese theatremaker / director /dramaturg Petra Freimund and Belarus Free Theatre member and dramaturg Larry Lynch, amidst a stunning original set designed by material engineer and artist Thomas Duggan.

A note on: The first Respites - a claimant's day off: February 29th 2016

Respites is a carefully curated series of day-long gatherings, exploring ideas and activities about rest, pleasure, contentedness, critical thinking and creativity. It is aimed at being a generative and respectful series of engagements with people who need and deserve more respite than they receive.  Each Respite sees a group of specially selected people share their expertise in workshops and breakout sessions, covering everything from meditation to martial arts, from poetry to music, aiming to create a cohesive and generous experience for those who attend. Respites was curated by Ayesha Nathoo, Lynne Friedli and myself, and was supported by, and part of, the Hubbub group, in residence at Wellcome Collection. www.theenemiesproject.com/respites

The first Respites brought together people claiming benefits for a day of exploration, creativity and solidarity at the Hub at Wellcome Collection, where myself, Ayesha Nathoo and Lynne Friedli met, all being residents and where Respites, as a concept, was conceived. We spent many months developing the project, really trying to maintain the open, pragmatic and inviting aesthetic we had agreed upon from the first, and the extraordinary expertise and intelligence of both Lynne and Ayesha made me absolutely confident that the day itself would be a success. 

The day itself was structured with a series of workshops which those attending could drop into at their leisure. A careful balance was given to the contents of each, and how they sat around each other, taking the group from relaxation techniques to martial arts, which I had the pleasure to lead, into poetry, theatre and finishing with meditation. There was a sure sense of community from everyone involved, most having never met each other before, and a firm sense that the indirect aims of the project, to support without generalising everyone with their circumstance, to provoke and engage, without ever being heavy handed, created an environment of kindness and generosity. 

In due time attendees expressed their insights and frustrations at the situation they experienced but this was part of the day and it's achievements. Rather this was expressed when it was good for them and everyone else to do so, and otherwise, we were just all people, getting to know each other, sharing a beautiful lunch, talking a whole day through with physical and intellectual ideas and pursuits. It was really a lovely, intimate, careful experience for me, one I savoured and felt very pleased to be a part of, to have begun new connections with people and to learnt much in a short space of time.

Published: Poem in which a knife bursts a bubble in Poems in Which: Issue 9

Very pleased to have a poem in the brilliant Poems in Which journal, headed up by a committee of really fine poets, a collective edited magazine. This is a great issue too, has work by friends whose work I admire very much, Harry Man, Joe Dunthorne, Ella Frears and many other fine poets. Issue 9 in it's entirety here https://poemsinwhich.com/issue-9/

& my poem, Poem in which a knife bursts a bubble https://poemsinwhich.com/2016/02/22/poem-in-which-a-knife-bursts-a-bubble/

A note on: a World without Words V - January 9th

The last event of the first (and I hope not last) year of a World without Words, which has been curated by Lotje Sodderland, Thomas Duggan and myself. We returned to Apiary Studios, where we began, and hosted artists Sarah Kelly, Christian Patracchini, who both offered powerful, intimate performances, alongside neuroscientist Daniel Margulies, curator and art historian Elena Agudio, and resilience therapist Gillian Bridge. Once again we were fortunate to have a great turnout and feel gratified that our open, eclectic, immersive curatorial approach, to let discussion and performance sit by side by side, to allow technical information blend with avant garde art, seemed to effect people in the best possible way. www.aworldwithoutwords.com

A note on: upcoming in 2016

Thanks to everyone who has made 2015 so special, a few highlights, upcoming, for 2016

The final a World without Words event takes place January 9th at Apiary Studios featuring a host of neuroscientists and artists.

I'll be on BBC Radio 3's The Verb with a new commission responding to the Hearing the Voice project in January. 

Ovinir - The Enemies Project: Iceland, includes a big Camarade reading in Reykjavik where I'll be collaborating with Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir, supported by Reykjavik UNESCO city of literature. Then a reading in London, on January 30th, with over 30 poets, where I'll be presenting a new work with Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir

February sees a reading in Buenos Aires, hosted by El tercer lugar, curated by flavia pitella, thanks to the British Council.

The Soundings project will continue with 7 new collaborative performances including works with Tamarin Norwood (February), Sharon Gal (March), Patrick Coyle (April), Phil Minton (June), all responding to prompts from Wellcome Librarians.

I'll be attending the StAnza festival on the weekend of March 5th, speaking at an event on the body and poetry, responding to a film about bp nichol and leading a workshop / curating a Camarade collaborative event.

I'll be curating the English PEN Modern Literature Festival over one day on April 2nd, featuring 50 writers writing new works responding to some of PEN's writers at risk cases. Free to attend, but signing up for membership encouraged!

Very happy to be attending the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature in May 2016, thanks to the British Council, Writers Centre Norwich and the International Literature Fund, beginning a Georgian Enemies project: Mtrebi, which will return to the UK in July, where it'll visit the Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Rich Mix in London.

I'll be curating a Camarade for the Essex Book Festival on March Sunday 20th and I'll be curating further innovative Camarade events, including the University Camarade, on April 23rd, where students from five different creative writing departments (including my own at Kingston) create new collaborations across institutions.

Alongside both Croatian & British collaborators I'll be attending Vicenza's ArtBox reading series in May, curated by Marco Fazzini.

I'll be attending the Milosz Festival in Krakow in June, writing new collaborations with Polish poets / artists, thanks to UNESCO Krakow City of Literature, The British Council & co.

The Kakania project will return with readings in Berlin and London, from February to September 2016, all featuring new commissions of poets and artists responding to figures from Habsburg Vienna.

I'm happy to be part of the ambitious CROWD project, which crosses Europe next summer, travelling from Finland to Cyprus, over many months, with lots of interchanging poets on a bus. I'm doing Graz to Belgrade in June 2016.

Lots more publications, events and projects to be announced next year.

A note on: A Language Art - teaching at Tate Modern

An amazing experience, to continue my work with Tate Modern after a Talking Performance, to teach a six week course, each lesson in a different gallery, surrounded by the works being referred to. I had the privilege to share ideas, concepts, history and methodologies that cross both avant-garde writing and modern art, from Concrete poetry to Asemic writing, from Sound poetry to Collectives, from the Painted word to Poster art, to show how interlinked they are, how fundamental to both arts (even if one has embraced the theoretical, emotional, social and political developments of the latter 20th and early 21st century, and the other hasn't). The course was global and allowed me to explore further than ever before the profound reasons behind most of the innovation so definitional to the work I am most excited by. We even had a session in the Tate stores and I was able to bring out original artworks / poems by Henri Michaux, Christian Dotremont, Karel Appel, Cy Twombly, RB Kitaj, Jenny Holzer, Tom Phillips, Ian Hamilton Finlay and others who have influenced me so much. The course was attended by particularly generous and sophisticated artists, poets, book makers and people in advanced study, so it was a engaged, full of new works and ideas and really generously supported by an brilliant curatorial staff at Tate Modern, led by Joseph Kendra. Really a pleasure to do, I gained much from the weeks and a privilege to share those hours in Tate Modern with fellow artists. www.stevenjfowler.com/alanguageart

A note on: The Frontline Club, a World without Words IV - November 13th 2015

A really resonant and powerful evening at the Frontline Club. The highlight of what has been a wonderful journey so far, curating www.aworldwithoutwords.com with Lotje Sodderland and Thomas Duggan. During this night It became clear to me what this project was really about, there was a sense of clarity and the brilliant Professor Barry Smith and I both came across it in our discussions before the event. It is about will. A will to life, an affirmation of the continency of language, on life, and how Lotje represents to me, in the most deferent, humble, inciteful and beautiful manner, a pure engagement with being alive. And so through her presence, the lynchpin of the project, so my work, the films of Vincent Moon and insightful thoughts Barry himself shared, to a sold out room of over 100 people, became about that - a celebration or affirmation of life and language. An amazing chance for me to be associated with an institution I have been going for many many years too. Such a privilege, a very special and dear evening to me.

 

From Sufi rituals in Chechnya, to ancient folk songs in Columbian’s pacific rainforest, we experienced how the brain ascribes meaning to music and sound - even when words are obsolete through a selection of Vincent Moon’s short observational documentaries — shot around the world and capturing local folklore and diverse musical rituals. They were screened in alternation with an informal discussion by the director of London’s Institute of Philosophy Dr Barry Smith, who explored the neural correlates of meaning, music, and language in the context of each film, to offer the audience an explanation of the role of language in subjective mental life.

Upcoming: November 2015 - Events, Performances & Projects

My 'A Language Art' course runs on Monday nights throughout November with sesssions exploring the intersections of avant-garde poetry and modern art in the galleries of Tate Modern and in the Tate stores.

November Wednesday 4th - Pugilistica at Apiary Studios
A chance for me to launch my book Fights, in it's 2nd edition from Veer Books, alongside some amazing journalists, novelists, poets and art historians, all exploring the literature of boxing. www.theenemiesproject.com/pugilistica

November Thursday 5th - Mondo: global avant-garde poetry at Poetry School
A new course at the Poetry School, this time exploring avant-garde movements from Japan, Nigeria, Canada, Brazil and Syria / Iraq. Still a place or two left! Book here

November Friday 6th - Symposium: Pulling Together/Pulling Apart: Forces in Creative Collaboration, OVADA, Oxford
Thanks to artists Brook and Black, I'll have the chance to discuss collaboration at OVADA, alongside Tamarin Norwood and others http://www.ovada.org.uk/arkitektoniske-kramper/

November Saturday 7th - Nemici: an Italian Enemies project at the Rich Mix
A really ambitious Enemies project I'm curating with ten Italian artists and poets visiting London, each writing new collaborations with British poets. I'll be presenting a new work with Alessandro Burbank. Should be special www.theenemiesproject.com/nemici

November Friday 13th - A World without Words IV at the Frontline Club
The fourth event in the series curated by Lotje Sodderland, Thomas Duggan and myself, exploring neuroscience, aphasia, the brain and art, this time at the incredible Frontline Club. With a talk by Barry Smith and anthropological short films from Vincent Moon. http://www.frontlineclub.com/screening-and-discussion-a-world-without-words/

November Saturday 14th - EVP Sessions at Shoreditch Town Hall
Electronic Voice Phenomena hits London once again, I'll be presenting a new commission in full skeleton embodiment, exploring disembodied voice http://shoreditchtownhall.com/theatre-performance/whats-on/event/theEVPsessions

November Sunday 15th - Globe Road walking tour for the Globe Road Festival
Happy to be leading a Sunday morning stroll up Globe Road in the company of Gareth Evans, Elaine Mitchener and the Bohman brothers www.theenemiesproject.com/globeroad

November Wednesday 18th - Soundings III with Maja Jantar at St Johns on Bethnal Green
So excited to collaborate with the incredible Maja Jantar for a new performance as part of the Soundings project with Hubbub at Wellcome Collection responding to prompts from the Wellcome Library. St Johns on Bethnal Green is an amazing venue too. www.stevenjfowler.com/soundings

November Friday 20th - The European Camarade at Freeword Centre
A mini festival of European poetry in collaboration, so pleased to have the chance to curate this night and present a new collaboration with Endre Ruset. Some of these poets are doing the most exciting work in their nations, not to be missed www.theenemiesproject.com/europeancamarade

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Upcoming: a World without Words III at Somerset House - September 30th

A WORLD WITHOUT WORDS III
September 30th | 7pm-9pm

Somerset House
Screening Room
South Wing
Strand
WC2 R1LA

For A World Without Words 3, a short segment from multiple-award winning documentary My Beautiful Broken Brain will be followed by talks from a highly accomplished selection of speakers. 

The first speaker will be philosopher Jamie Brassett who will discuss the emergent properties of consciousness, elaborating on philosophical and physiological interactions.

Next up, computer scientist Conrad Wolfram will speak about computer human-machine interaction in the age of mass data, and the need for linguistic evolution to enable verbalization of technical ideas. 

Finally, biologist Rupert Sheldrake will close the evening’s talks with an exploration of his work on Morphic Resonance. He will speak about the dominance of scientific materialism, citing what he believes is the interconnected intelligence of all matter. 

The audience will have a chance to ask questions for 15 minutes following the final talk.

Drinks will be available from 9.00 until 9.30pm in the Drawing Room at Pennethorne.

Admission is free. Booking is essential. 

a World without Words explores the nature of human language, bringing together contemporary practitioners & pioneers in neuroscience and sensory aesthetics, to offer a fascinating and playful exploration of how words form our world. www.aworldwithoutwords.com The project is curated by writer & filmmaker Lotje Sodderland, artist & material engineer Thomas Duggan, and myself. 

a World without Words IV will take place in October and the program will come to end for now, for our fifth and final event in November 2015.

Mahu: a World without Words - June 17th 2015

Always a beautiful thing to be around people like Lotje Sodderland, Harry Man and Malinda McPherson, such is their intelligence and generosity of spirit. We presented our second www.aworldwithoutwordsevent.com in the Hardy Tree Gallery, during my exhibition, Mahu. Everyone followed on from the themes of the premiere event, and I had the chance to speak about my experiences in martial arts and my research on CTE and brain damage. Lotje and I has a structured chat too. A fine time was had by all.

a lovely report on the 1st a World without Words event on Bold ideas

Thanks to Dan Davies & Catalina Bolozan

"A World Without Words, an ambitious new project by three, London-based experimenters: writer and filmmakerLotje Sodderland, in collaboration with poet and curator SJ Fowler, and Thomas Duggan, an artist and material engineer, invites us to explore human language in staggering and intimate depth. Language theory walks hand-in-hand with neuroscience and sensory aesthetics to investigate how our brains map meaning. With such an incredibly broad scope you might be forgiven for wondering how anyone would go about tackling such a vast and complex subject matter, and perhaps question their motivation. In this case, the answer is disarmingly personal. With the World Without Words programme unfurling over the coming months, certainly into November 2015, there will be plenty of time to engage with and enjoy this truly multifaceted project."

a World without Words at Apiary Studios was wonderful

The premiere event of a World without Words was an extraordinary night, well over one hundred people crammed into Apiary Studios in Hackney to watch six presentations from neuroscientists and artists from around the world. What really emerged from a night of big ideas and great personal passion, was how much the unique format we had aimed to provide appealed to both the speakers and the audience. The presentations were not centred about the sharing of knowledge, but of personal passion, and experience, and how the former came through the latter. The event was not one of provocation but curiosity. Lotje Sodderland, Noah Hutton, Ben Ehrlich, Harry Man, Malinda McPherson and Nick Ryan all found their journey into the human brain and our ability to wield language in different ways - through pain and illness, through study and discipline, through travel and creativity, yet they all shared an open, inviting, discursive evening where everyone left with more than they had a few hours before. It was also, what I had already known, a real joy to share the curating with Thomas Duggan and Lotje, we all seem to compliment each other and the process couldn't have been more gratifying. Four more events to come this year... www.aworldwithoutwords.com

a World without Words begins May 6th at Apiary studios

I'm delighted to announce a new project: a World without Words, exploring the nature of human language, bringing together contemporary practitioners & pioneers in neuroscience and sensory aesthetics, to offer a fascinating and playful exploration of how words form our world. www.aworldwithoutwords.com

Co-curated by writer & filmmaker Lotje Sodderland and artist & material engineer Thomas Duggan, a World without Words will present artworks, installations, performances, talks, discussions and readings that call into question how meaning maps into the brain over a series of events throughout 2015 & beyond, taking place in bespoke venues across London.

Across artform & discipline each event will explore that notion that while language is considered perhaps the most characteristic ability of the human species, very little is known about it. When curator Lotje Sodderland had an unprovoked brain haemorrhage, she woke to find a familiar stranger inhabiting her body, where her 'self' used to be. Unable to read, write, speak, or think coherently, she used this unique opportunity as a lens through which to explore the everyday assumptions of how we wield words to express ourselves, bringing a profoundly personal perspective to the contemporary Copernican revolution of neuroscience. A World Without Words is the latest in Lotje's body of work around visual perception and neurolinguistics, and you can read / see more about her previous work in the Guardian & in the film, My Beautiful Broken Brain.

The first event takes place at Apiary Studios May 6th 7pm - 10.00pm
458 Hackney Rd, London E2 9EG. Entrance is free. http://www.apiarystudios.org/

The event will feature:

Noah Hutton & Ben Ehrlich: founders of The Beautiful Brain, a website that explores the juncture between neuroscience and art, based in New York. They will present on the theme of discontinuity in neurobiological, cultural, and linguistic systems. As well as discussing The Beautiful Brain, Noah will show a brief clip from his most recent documentary film Deep Time (SXSW 2015) and Ben will share from his research about the life and work of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, "the father of modern neuroscience."

Harry Man: will lead an artistic examination into dyslexia and its potential advantages including identifying black holes and visualized data based on research by Dr Matthew H. Schneps at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics. Using gravitational wave detection data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) collaboration, Harry hopes to illustrate how dyslexia might be an advantage to those studying the origin of the universe.

Malinda J. McPherson: a neuroscientist and musician who studies the link between emotion and musical creativity. Malinda will be discussing the human ability to ascribe meaning to sound, as well as the connections between abnormal brain states and creative musical expression.

Nick Ryan: a multi award winning composer, sound designer, artist and audio specialist, widely recognised as a leading thinker on the application of emerging and future technologies to the creation and performance of sound and music.

Lotje Sodderland: artist, writer & filmmaker, who present framed artworks created after she lost the ability to communicate with words, exhibited in Apiary Studios. An excerpt from her documentary My Beautiful Broken Brain will also be screened as part of the evening's program.

a World without Words will present further events in June, August, October & December, with more details to come.
The project is generously supported by Arts Council England

www.aworldwithoutwords.com
www.theenemiesproject.com/aworldwithoutwords
www.stevenjfowler.com

a World without Words

I am so so happy to announce a new project, co-curated with Lotje Sodderland and Thomas Duggan, called a World without Words. www.theenemiesproject.com/aworldwithoutwords

A World Without Words is an exploration of how aphasia effects our fundamental understanding of human language, how it interrogates our static notions of meaning in this language and how it calls into question the very character of self-knowledge. Through a program of exhibitions, newly commissioned artworks, poetry and sound performances, and talks that explore the nature of human language to illuminate this profound investigation of the human brain, a World without Words will bring together some of the most dynamic scientists and artists working in 21st century London.

A World Without Words marks a pivotal moment when breakthroughs in neuroscience mean there is greater understanding of those who possess atypical language function. Today, aphasia is more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, as over 250,000 people in the United Kingdom alone live with the condition. Yet in spite of its high incidence, aphasia remains a hidden disability. 

Language is considered perhaps the most characteristic ability of the human species, a World without Words aims to be on the frontline of our social, aesthetic, creative and experiental understanding of this ability, working back through aphasia and into the potential of the human mind.

A World Without Words invites audiences to explore the nature of human language, offering a fascinating and playful exploration of how words form our world. The project presents a unique opportunity to explore how loss of language impacts on losing internal definitions of "self" in relation to everything "other" in the external world, while breaking apart assumptions of how we wield language to express ourselves.

a World without Words has emanated from the experiences of Lotje Sodderland, ably documented in this article: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/22/it-felt-as-if-i-had-become-fear-itself-life-after-a-stroke-at-34

The first event will be held on May 6th at Apiary Studios http://www.apiarystudios.org/
with contributions from Lotje Sodderland = Malinda MacPherson - Noah Hutton - Ben Ehrlich - Harry Man & more.

2014<

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 an essay featured in the amazing Mount London anthology from Penned in the Margins. My collaboration with Sam Riviere was also featured in Penned’s ten year anniversary anthology, Marginalia

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 

As poetry editor of 3am magazine I published two dozen poets in 2014 http://www.stevenjfowler.com/3am-magazine & a few issues of Maintenant, most notably with Ukrainian avant gardist Volodymyr Bily

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       

I had sound recording profiles up at Tapin2 (France) and Phonodia (Italy)

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

Vanguard: a course for the Poetry School

I’m really pleased to announce a new course I’ll be teaching for the Poetry School during their upcoming Autumn term - Vanguard http://www.poetryschool.com/courses-workshops/face-to-face/vanguard.php The course will be held on Thursday evenings at the Poetry School, in Lambeth, London. Here’s the info:
 
“Explore the expansive modern tradition of British experimental poetry, as SJ Fowler presents a necessarily idiosyncratic insight into the vibrant innovative poetries which have sought originality in the UK over the last 50 years.
 
Five bi-weekly sessions will explore the distinctive qualities of the British avant garde and chart a course through an enormous field of writing. Not formed by generation, region or faction, Vanguard explores characteristics that are possessed by, but in no way encompass, the work of many great British poets. These are qualities, and poets, chosen through the acknowledged limits of Steven's knowledge and interests, & representative of that alone.
Week 1 : October 23rd : Rapidity
Exploring immediacy, alertness; quickness; celerity, concision. Scalpel cuts at smugness / pomposity, seeking the fragmentary whole.
Drawing from the work of Tom Raworth, Maggie O'Sullivan, Denise Riley, Barry MacSweeney, Andy Spragg, Frances Kruk & others
Week 2 : November 6th : Proximity
Nearness in place, time, order, occurrence, or relation. Imbued with situation / location / historicity.
Drawing from the work of Iain Sinclair, Bill Griffiths, Geraldine Monk, Lee Harwood, Carol Watts, Roy Fisher & others
Week 3 : November 20th : Sonority
Excavations in sound, the condition of being resonant, multi & non lingual / vocal. Performativities. Technologies.
Drawing from the work of Caroline Bergvall, Bob Cobbing, Phil Minton, Hannah Silva, James Wilkes, Zoe Skoulding & others.
Week 4 : December 4th : JocosityUmour. Disjunction, juxtaposition, reappropriation - deftness, humour as disturbance, sublimation. Humour as a liferaft.
Drawing from the work of Tim Atkins, Holly Pester, Jeff Hilson, Philip Terry, Robert Sheppard, Tom Jenks & others.
Week 5 : December 18th : Destability
Undermining the oppressive in language / politics, situating complicity, interrogation / rejection of subjectivity. Externality and the refraction of worlds of language as a mode.
Drawing from the work of Veronica Forrest-Thomson, JH Prynne, Allen Fisher, Sean Bonney, Emily Critchley, Keston Sutherland & others.
During the course the onus will be on how these qualities in modern British poetry can enrich writing practise, rather than dense historical analysis, and how experimentation emerges from necessary innovations that are required for a poet to be truly contemporary in a rapidly changing society. Vanguard is a chance for students to diversify from singular, retrograde modes of writing and provides an all too rare insight into a world of poetry that is a profound part of our literary culture and heritage.”
 
I will organise a post-course reading for students on this course, and they will have the opportunity to attend a series of experimental poetry events during its duration, including Camaradefest II, to be held at the Rich Mix Arts Centre on Saturday October 25th, which will feature 100 poets in 50 pairs presenting 50 brand new collaborative works in one day.
 
Vanguard follows on from my Maintenant course http://www.poetryschool.com/courses-workshops/face-to-face/maintenant.php which explored post-war European avant garde poetry, which I’m happy to say was a grand success, due almost entirely to extraordinary group of students, who can be seen reading original work they collaborated to write during the course here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07uFwjvBHNg
 
As part of next year’s Poetry School Spring term I’m delighted that Maintenant will happen again, in its entirety, but as an interactive program of teaching this time, so anyone can join in, even if they live outside of London. You can read more about that course by clicking the link above and reading this interview, with Sarah Dawson http://campus.poetryschool.com/maintenant-interview-s-j-fowler/ More news on that next year.
 

Petrarch: a celebration of Tim Atkins, the videos

A magical evening, one of the best Ive been a part of, ever. It could not have been more joyous, funny, brilliant. It felt like a family, let alone a real community. All because of the human being Tim is, the way he has taught a generation of poets and peers to cut through the misanthropy to the warmth that permeates through his poetry and his persona. So proud to have been part of this evening, all 19 poets read so wonderfully, all worth watching. 

Glitter is a Gender anthology

An anthology that is lean, powerful and full of brilliant poets and poetry, Sophie Mayer and Sarah Crewe have put together this lovely book from Contraband press with great care and skill. I thoroughly recommend it and Im really happy to be a part of it.
My poem in the book is called Muyock
 a poem for Tiphaine Mancaux

if you weep, I think that
others might cry
                Larry Eigner

i.             danslenorddelafrance

rejoice, y th’ living
 ababy
      on m knees
           theearth bere
 ft breaks
       intodryred      mud
        heavy w birds         & gherman picks
sorriy id mean a lovtap  bt the avantage tend
      to be blunt is u neverve to worriy i she’s concealing
   for you    for shed say    if she did
     at th momenthr was wonder
  bt she is muscld like litl rok                  ifever th ws retroactive resistant
                              so said the mdwif   ‘J'espère que je ne vous ai pas dérangé’
with the RIB DIG
  the haus o de maus  flexes i nous