A note on : performing at Phonica in Dublin

Dublin has become one of my favourite cities in which to perform. I’ve had three brilliant experiences, in 2015, 2017 and now, for Phonica, in 2018. Every time the audience has been alive to what I’m doing, always generous and inquisitive. Phonica itself is a grand achievement by curators Christodoulos Makris and Olesya Zdorovetska, who have brought together cutting edge contemporary musicians with poets and literary performance.

I went on last for Phonica 8, spending all night up on the very highest flooring of a spiral staircase within the gorgeous Smock Alley Theatre, lying down, peeking down to the performance stage, listening, waiting. There were some great discoveries for me, Alyce Lyons and Justyn Hunia presented a wonderful filmpoetry collaboration, many years in the making, subtle in that connection between those arts. Alex Bonney presented a sound piece that was immersive and made me want to collaborate with him. And Diamanda Dramm, a remarkable performer, a violinist singing poetry amidst her playing.

I had the chance to follow them and did so with a mostly improvised piece, one of my recent Powerpoint performances, where I have nothing planned really apart from some aberrant slides that respond to the specific event / place. It went better than I could’ve hoped, I think, I don’t know, I discerned from the feedback. The performance was about self-awareness I suppose, about the conflation of self-knowledge where things can become so true they are false. It was also about performance itself, and poetry’s place in that. We all decamped after the event to an underground speakeasy bar by the river before I skulked back to my Airbnb happy.

A note on: New poets published on 3am magazine this summer

The submissions for 3am magazine have opened once again, from September 1st until January 1st, and the work coming has been the best I've ever seen in my five plus years in the magazine. Completely anecdotal, probably representative of nothing in the wider scope of literary trends, but finally a huge portion of the work, maybe 25% is innovative, interesting, original and a pleasure to read. I've decided to go with this and take more poets on than before, really try and build the magazine's poetry into something dynamic and energetic over the summer and in the coming months too. http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/index/poetry/

Some exciting work published recently:

Maren Nygard http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/marennygard/
Jerome Rothenberg http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/jeromerothenberg/
Paul Leyden http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/paulleyden/
Sarah James http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/sarahjames/
Freya Harwood Bond http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/freyaharwoodbond/
Charlie Baylis http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/charliebaylis/
Pam Brown http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/pambrown/
Kathryn Maris http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/kathrynmaris/
Erik Kennedy http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/erikkennedy/
Alex Houen http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/letter-to-a-neighbour-other-poems/
Mischa Foster Poole http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/unboxing-teardown-other-poems/

Plenty more to come and here's every poet I’ve published as poetry editor http://www.stevenjfowler.com/3ammagazine

Less Than Three poetry reading- March 18th

Very pleased to be introducing this event, to be involved at all, on March 18th. It's an admirable beginning for a new reading series which has it's roots in a collaborative venture between many worthy endeavours / poets. 3AM press is the really admirable publishing foray that has shot out of the magazine whose poetry I am happy to wrangle, pioneered by Christiana Spens, a great novelist in her own right, and Susan Tomaselli, who is responsible for Gorse amongst other things. The Quietus, hugely established in terms of musicology, has shot out into contemporary poetry under Karl Thomas Smith, with a gentle crush, kindly publishing some of my work recently. And Alex MacDonald and Francine Elena are both poets peers whose work I actively follow and have had the pleasure of hosting at events and in 3am magazine past and present. Both extraordinary nice people too. Which does make a difference in the world. Come along, it's 2 quid.

Under the Volcanoes - an inside architecture of a new publication by Alex Latter of Grapsas press

One of the many beautiful things I brought back with me from Mexico city at the end of 2013 was a brand new collaboration with Holly pester, someone whose work Ive respected for years, and whom Id become associated with through my events but never actually written / performed with. We rectified that in Mexico, sharing stage for over an hour, and writing Under the Volcanoes, a work of pure, warped homage to Malcolm Lowry, who hung over my every perception of Mexico having read Under the Volcano, Lunar Caustic and his others works stuck on a bus in Croatia many years before. Holly read the book in Mexico and we fused our responses into a dialogue text that takes found lines and new lines and disjunctions and exchanges and soups them. When we returned, with a text over around 200 exchanges, Alex Latter was kind enough to support us in developing a boutique 2014 publication of the work, using the Bodleian press of all things, through his Grapsas imprint. The collaboration is to be published as a unique pocketed, jacketed, filleted objet d'art, and recently Alex was kind enough to send out some notes on the process, which are of real interest I believe, so Ive posted some below:

"i’ve worked out the setting i’ll be using—it’s about 14 lines per page, and they’ll be printed landscape. the lines, especially steven’s, are quite long, and i wanted to preserve their length rather than cramp them up over several line-breaks.

i took the first imprint of the first full page of type i’ve set. i thought originally that have the text on the verso page right-aligned and recto left-aligned would look quite good, as the lines would then look like they’re running into and out of the gutter respectively. i was also hoping it might achieve a visual effect equivalent to the craggy geology of central mexico—my memory of flying into mexico city was the mountains and volcanoes (and also my brother projectile vomiting over the three rows in front of him). 

however, i didn’t think this effect worked very well: this was what the first impression looked like:

i

i think the effect is lost in the length of the lines: it might have worked better if the lines were shorter, but the effect is too diffuse and not like the igneous crush i was hoping for.

also, as you can see from this, typesetting throws up all sorts of interesting language problems because of foul casing (i.e. the wrong letters in the wrong part of the font). my favourite here is ‘some horribble disasher’, closely followed by ‘founber and fail’. this sort of mis-reading/setting reminded me a bit of that poem you had in ‘here comes everyone’ anthology, holly. and also the fact that the line at the end of othello—‘like the base indian who grew away a pearl richer than all his tribe’—is given as ‘base judean’ in some texts, because of a foul-cased ’u’. it’s like the language keeps wanting to escape being set down, right until the very last moment.

sbut i reset it from the left anyway, and it now looks like this:


i’ve left an em-space at the beginning of each run-on line, which i think draws attention to the text’s reiterations, without it being catechistic.

so having worked out that setting, i’m expecting the full text to come in at around 23-24 pages. (13 for steven’s, 8 for holly’s)

this is a very large project for this kind of type-setting. i’m going to suggest that i print it into two volumes, as this will make the project quicker and also resolve the logistical problems of setting this number of pages."

new poets published on 3am - Goring / Van Winkle / Connolly / Niven

an exceptional group this, all of whom I admire, all of whom work their ways their way.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/and-you-know-how-they-can-let-you-down-these-people-other-poems/ Penny Goring lives in a block of flats in London. She wrote The Zoom Zoom (eight cuts gallery press, 2011). Her work has been published in HOUSEFIRE. The Guardian calls Penny ‘a lively and original new voice in poetry’.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/new-york-poems/ Alex Niven is originally from Northumberland and now lives in Leytonstone in East London. His poetry has been published in Ash, Etcetera, North-East Passage, and the Oxonian Review, and his poem ‘The Beehive’ recently provided the epigraph to Owen Hatherley’s architectural survey A New Kind of Bleak. He is currently working on a combined work of poetry and criticism for Zero Books, and a book about Oasis’s Definitely Maybe for the 33 1/3 series (Continuum).

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/stephen-connolly/ Stephen Connolly is 24 and from Belfast. Both a graduate and current student of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, he is in the second year of doctoral research looking at the innovation of traditional set forms in the work of Paul Muldoon. He runs The Lifeboatreading series and is an editorial assistant for The Yellow Nib.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/van-winkle-there-is-no-library-for-what-i-know-of-books/ Ryan Van Winkle is Poet in Residence at Edinburgh City Libraries following a successful run as the Scottish Poetry Library’s first-ever Reader in Residence. He remains the host of the SPL’s weekly poetry podcast as well as The Multi-Coloured Culture Laser Podcast (link). Ryan has been invited to read internationally at The Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Sofia Poetics, The Edinburgh International Book Festival, and Shakespeare & Co. in Paris. His first collection, Tomorrow, We Will Live Here, was published by Salt in 2010 and won the Crashaw Prize.