A note on: Mondo for Poetry School - Autumn Term 2018

Mondo Monda Mondu Monde Mondi https://poetryschool.com/courses/mondo-the-global-avant-garde/ Saturday 3 November and Sunday 4 November. Two-day workshop, 10.30am – 4.30pm.

I am pumped to do another weekend course for the Poetry School, I had such a positive experience earlier this year, sharing European work (you can about that here http://www.stevenjfowler.com/poetryschool) and this November, I hope to repeat the trick. Mondo draws on a personal interest of mine, attempting a global vision of what poetry has gone through on the last 70 years or so - how individual cultures, languages, seismic political changes have shaped fundamental modes of writing. Not just content that is, which translates and then sits across nations through that translation, but actually context too. How poetry itself has shifted, and what we can glean from that. I've followed quite a few hundred rabbit holes thanks to friends across the world and the fact this isn't the most popular area of research. I will make this weekend quite open, explorative, using examples from many nations - Nigeria, Japan, Russia, Peru, China, Syria, Canada, etc... - so it won't be built around geography so much as ideas. Come and join me if you please

Mondo: The Global Avant-Garde Face-To-Face Course
Journey through a world of avant-garde poetry over this jam-packed weekend with SJ Fowler.
Explore a world of avant-garde poetry and discover how remarkable explorations in the written word often compliment, rather than antagonise, more formal writing practice. Using examples from Canada to Nigeria, from Syria to Japan, from Latvia to Brazil, the course will focus on methods of original poetry practise that have emanated from some of the 20th centuries most exciting experimental poetry groups of the post-war period. Rooted in making, this course – with the energy, dynamism and invention of the writing it explores – will enrich anyone’s poetry horizons. Mondo is not intended as representative of anything but an idiosyncratic selection of international avant-garde movements, all presented as a gateway to new writing methodologies for contemporary poets. Examples include:

  • Japan: The ASA group to the VOU: Kitasono Katue & more – Logogrammatic poetry: The abstract illustration of language
  • Canada: The Four Horseman: bp Nichol, Paul Dutton & more – Sound poetry: Language as Sound, resonant, non-lingual, vocal.
  • Nigeria: The Mbari Club: Amos Tutuola, John Pepper Clark & more – Experimental mythology: Mythic tropes as paths to the new.
  • Brazil: Noigandres: Haroldo de Campos, Augusto de Campos & more – Concrete poetry: The visuality of the poem as its meaning
  • Syria & Iraq: The Tammūzī Poets: Badr Shākir al-Sayyāb, Adonis & more – The ancient as modern: Free verse as liberation.
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This workshop will be in our new offices at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. The venue is a 2-minute walk from Canada Water Station. Take the ‘Lower Road’ exit from the station onto Surrey Quays Road, then walk straight ahead, crossing over Deal Porters Way, and the Dock Offices come up on the left. The door for the school is at the far end of the building.

The Autumn Term is open for booking! Have a read through our fantastic quick guide, which you can find here and below, to see all of the courses - online and face-to-face - we're running this autumn! There really is something for everyone. 

EPF2018 #5: European Poetry Festival celebrates Sound & Performance at Iklectic Artlab

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An extraordinary venue and a grand night of innovative live poetry, from the sonic to the electronic to the vocal to the conceptual. Eduard and the team (including Tony the Cat) at IKLECTIK are doing an amazing job and were so hospitable, we really felt like we were in someone’s beautiful living room. The place was nicely full, a good 70 people sat in to watch a real range of works. It was the first time I got to put on poets I’ve admired for years like Rike Scheffler from Berlin, Sergej Timofejev from Riga, and it was great to have back on in London poets like Robert Prosser from Vienna and Kinga Toth from Budapest. Range was the key element here, again, and the works complimented each other. It was a little nubache for me to run all the tech from my laptop while also filming but worth it, this movement of poets across Europe worrying about liveness and sound and time needed to be acknowledged in its own space and place.

See videos of every performance on the night and pictures too at www.europeanpoetryfestival.com/performance

A note on: The University Camarade III was brilliant

A very special evening at the rich mix, the third time ive put this event together, with students from all over the UK. As ever, collaboration absolutely engenders friendships while producing challenging, idiosyncratic poetry. The students involved were universally excellent, brave, bold and the evening left a real impression on the audience, and I think, I hope, on the rest of their poetry / writing / performing lives. I believe sincerely that opportunity is what shapes people's journey and growth, and this event gives people young in their experience a real urge to go into new spaces. 

I was especially content with the showing of my students, who we and are markedly their own, which is all I want from them, to expand and explore their own paths, with some erratic guidance www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade / www.writerscentrekingston.com/richmix

A note on: Duos & The Poem Brut - two new open calls on 3am magazine

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/submissions/

Poetry
Note: Poetry submissions are open only for the Duos and Poem Brut series. No other submissions will be read.

  • Duos: collaborative poems written / made by two poets. There is no criteria for the poems or process. Please send a single bio and single photo for both authors.
  • Poem Brut: poems exploring handwriting, abstraction, illustration, asemic and pansemic writing, visual poetry and material process, colour, scribbling, scrawlings, crossings out, ink, forgotten notes, found text, interaction between paper and pen, and pencil, geometric poems, inarticulate poems, minimalism, collage, toilet wall writing. No works produced on a computer.

A note on: the last soundings, performing with the great Phil Minton

An amazing privilege it was to perform an improvised vocal work with Phil Minton last October at Kings Place in London. The video of that work is now public, beautifully shot by Ed Prosser.

For over fifty years Phil Minton has been performing, singing, vocalising around the world. He absolutely has shaped, even defined, free vocalisation and improvised sound poetry since WWII. To get to work with him for the first time, with no prior preparation, no conversation about what we'd do before the performance even, was such an honour, and beautiful / terrifying in equal measure. So important for me to feel I'm crossing over with the greats of previous generations

A note on: Museum of Futures Visual Poetry exhibition

Very happy to be curating this exhibition in Surbiton next month. It brings together colleagues at Kingston University from multiple departments, students, alumnus and local professional poets and artists. 

Opening night, with a camarade reading, is February Thursday 23rd. All info here www.theenemiesproject.com/futures

I'm also still taking submission for the exhibition until February 5th www.theenemiesproject.com/opencallfutures

A note on: Kakania Berlin – May 9th at Österreichisches Kulturforum

A wonderful thing to be able to travel to curate something, to be able to leave my home and bring together artists who genuinely excite me, in Berlin. A chance to watch people who offer permission to push boundaries and to learn. Thanks to the generosity of the Österreichisches Kulturforum, I was able to put together a Kakania project in Berlin. I brought together 5 artists from across Europe and each presented a new work responding to a figure of the Habsburg Era, 100 years ago or so. We were in the grand performance space of the Österreichisches Kulturforum itself, just off Tiergarten, an imposing curved hall with giant curtains and high ceilings. The Österreichisches Kulturforum couldn’t have been easier to work with and the performances on the night had some real highlights, definitively making an impact on the audience with some of the best sound poets in the world interspersed with conceptual text performances. There was a really dynamic energy to the evening and a clear enthusiasm and intensity, as I’ve often felt in Berlin. Just great to spend time around so many artists I admire under such professional conditions, and to visit Berlin again, having time to bop down Kurfürstenstraße with old friends.

A note on: The first ever European Poetry Night

May Saturday 14th : 7.30pm : Free entry / Rich Mix The Enemies Project presents London's first ever European Poetry Night as part of  in 2016. An opportunity to see some of the most exciting contemporary poets from all over Europe, as over 20 poets travel to London to share new collaborative poems, premiered on the night, in pairs, across languages, styles & nations. These are some of the most dynamic literary and avant-garde poets of the 21st century, from Iceland to Turkey, from Ireland to Russia, from France to Slovakia, all presenting brand new works and performances. Curated by SJ Fowler. www.theenemiesproject.com/epn

European Poetry Night 2016 in London. May Saturday 14th: Rich Mix / 7.30pm - Free Entry. 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
http://www.richmix.org.uk/events/spoken-word/european-poetry-night

Vanni Bianconi & Billy Ramsell  -  Alessandro Burbank & Alexander Filyuta
Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir & SJ Fowler - Ulrike Ulrich & Jen Calleja
Nurduran Duman & Jonathan Morley - Christodoulos Makris & Martin Bakero
Niillas Holmberg & Peter Sulej - Efe Duyan & Livia Franchini
Tomica Bajsic & Colin Herd - Ghareeb Iskander & Ahsan Akbar
Ariadne Radi Cor & Iris Colomb - Ana Seferovic & Agnieszka Studzinka
Rufo Quintavalle & Ian Monk

Featuring poets from Switzerland, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Germany, Iceland, England, Malta, Turkey, Cyprus, France, Lapland / Finland, Slovakia, Croatia, Scotland, Serbia and Poland. The inaugurual EPN is the last event of European Literature Festival in London and supported by EUNIC, led by Czech Centre London and curated by Jon Slack. 

The European Poetry Night is supported by Arts Council England, The Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom, Culture Ireland, Francis Boutle Publishers and Literárne informačné centrum Slovakia (LIC - The Centre for Information on Literature).


European Literature Night 2016 in Edinburgh. May Friday 13th 2016

For the second year running The Enemies Project curates European Literature Night 2016 on behalf of UNESCO Edinburgh City of Literature. ELN Edinburgh presents the best and brightest of a new generation of avant-garde and literary poets from over a dozen countries across Europe with two events in the city. Curated by Colin Herd, Theodora Danek and SJ Fowler. www.theenemiesproject.com/eln

Event One: 5pm - 6.30pm at North Edinburgh Arts Centre
Performances from selected poets Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir (Iceland), Nurduran Duman (Turkey), Billy Ramsell (Ireland), Alessandro Burbank (Italy), Alexander Filyuta (Russia / Germany), Christodoulos Makris (Ireland / Cyprus), Efe Duyan (Turkey).

Event Two: 8pm-10.30pm at Summerhall - Red Lecture Theatre
Performances from European poets and local to Edinburgh poets followed by a specially commissioned collective performance.

A note on: writing an introduction to Volodymyr Bilyk's Heartbeat, Footclick, Machine Gun Vocalises

A privilege to write the introduction to Volodymyr Bilyk's new work out with the brilliant M58 press edited by Jez Noond and Andrew Taylor, based in the UK. It's a hugely important work of avant-garde visual poetry emanating from real purpose and I've scanned (wonkily) my introduction in below. You can buy it here for £5 and I urge you to do so. http://www.m58.co.uk/post/141316776709/heartbeat-footclick-machine-gun-vocalises-by

A note on: teaching at Kingston University

As a lecturer in the Creative Writing department at Kingston University since late 2014 I've the chance to not only share more Avant-Garde, modernist and global writing philosophies, techniques and concepts at an institutional level, but also to help encourage young writers, poets and artists to engage in public events and experiment with their work early in their development. This is hugely important to me and a massive privilege. Moreover Kingston has the most diverse student body of any University in the UK and is a really supportive place to be. 

Long overdue I've created a webpage where videos from students reading at my Enemies project events can be seen with more info on what I teach. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/kingstonuniversity

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 European Camarade & collaborating with Endre Ruset

All but 2 pairs had never met each other before the night itself. From the 18 poets participating, travelling in from 12 nations across the continent, virtually none had established friendships. Yet, by the end of the night, a night that went on long after I went home, it was clear that a community had been made and relationships which would last years had begun. I can't emphasise enough how the collaborative creative act and the diffusion of energy away from the singular, representative, pre-written poetry, creates closeness and community and energy and openness. Quite amazing to witness on this night, almost the perfect evidence for what I spend quite a lot of my time talking about, theorising behind the Enemies project. The most gratifying thing was the poets themselves feeling they had had a generous and memorable experience, one where they were treated with hospitality and due respect. For me it was a great privilege to see so many friends,  Christodoulos Makris, Gabriele Labanauskaite, Christoph Szalay, Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir, Ville Hytonen and co, whom I had only known before in their countries, or during a festival. And to meet so many new poets. Every collaboration was distinct and dynamic in it's own way and many remarked it was the best Camarade they'd been to. All the videos are here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/europeancamarade

And working with Endre Ruset, a friend for many years now, was wonderful. We had written a poem with ascending lines corresponding to the Fibonacci sequence, and then planted lines with other poets in the audience, so as our collaboration grew in number, so the number of voices would multiply too, and become intermittently choral. 

It capped a great run for me with events and performances, each one has been a special experience and motivating to keep on, keep curating and creating together. And keep travelling, extending reach and asking poets from all over the world to visit us in London.

A note on: Globe Road Festival Walking Tour - November 15th 2015

A really open, generous, honest and fascinating morning, walking the length of Globe road in East London, from Mile End Road to Bethnal Green. I was so pleased to be leading the walking tour for the Globe Road Festival with Gareth Evans, Elaine Mitchener, Adam Bohman as the commissioned artists, each presenting extraordinary and varied works, from Adam's hand written scores of found language, to Gareth's lyrical poem, to Elaine's heartfelt conceptual poem, read just a stone's throw from her childhood home. The many people in tow, kindly sharing their morning with us, followed on into York Hall, for a small reading kindly arranged by Jonathan Mann, where Richard Scott and Stephen Watts also read. You can find out all the details and watch all the performances here http://www.theenemiesproject.com/globeroad 

"A unique live walking tour performance experience, as part of the Globe Road Festival, the Enemies project presents a stroll down Globe Road itself, in the company of poets, sound artists and vanguardists. Stopping four times, at designated places on Globe Road, the artists will present a talk or performance completely original to the walk, in response to Globe Road. With their own lives entwined to the history and culture of this stretch of East London, this will be an original outdoor insight into the most interesting and often underground avant garde artists of contemporary London."

Upcoming: Mondo - a world of avant-garde poetry, a course for the Poetry School

Thursdays : November 5th - December 3rd : 6.45pm to 8.45pm at the Poetry School in Lambeth, London. £90.00. Concs: £72.00

5 sessions 5 international avant-garde poetry movements / methodologies from Japan, Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, Syria & Iraq

Book online using this link: http://www.poetryschool.com/courses-workshops/face-to-face/mondo--the-global-avant-garde.php

I'm very happy to be presenting a new course for the Poetry School focusing on 5 global avant-garde poetic movements of the post-war period, in five different nations, aiming to elucidate traditions that might be occluded in the UK, and explore how their innovations in writing can compliment people's poetry in the now. The onus is on how these great moments in modern poetry can enrich writing practise, rather than dense historical analysis. It’s a rare chance to excavate avant-garde work in such a setting, please sign up above if interested. 

Participants will have a chance to share their work at a post-course reading and you can see further information about Mondo and my previous courses & activities with the Poetry School here: www.stevenjfowler.com/poetryschool

Week One: November 5th – Japan
The ASA group to the VOU: Kitasono Katue & more
Logogrammatic poetry: The abstract illustration of language

Week Two: November 12th – Canada
The Four Horseman: bp Nichol, Paul Dutton & more
Sound poetry: Language as Sound, resonant, non-lingual, vocal.

Week Three: November 19th - Nigeria
The Mbari Club: Amos Tutuola, John Pepper Clark & more
Experimental mythology: Mythic tropes as paths to the new.

Week Four: November 26th – Brazil
Noigandres: Haroldo de Campos, Augusto de Campos & more
Concrete poetry: The visuality of the poem as its meaning

Week Five: December 3rd – Syria & Iraq
The Tammūzī Poets: Badr Shākir al-Sayyāb, Adonis & more
The ancient as modern: Free verse as liberation.

Upcoming: a language art - a course at Tate Modern

A Language Art: a course at Tate Modern

Avant-garde Poetry & Modern Art, in the galleries

Mondays, 26 October – 30 November 2015, 18.45–20.45,
session on Monday 9th November at Tate Britain
£150, concessions available

Book online using this link: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/courses-and-workshops/language-art-avant-garde-poetry-and-modern-art

I'm delighted to be leading a course for Tate Modern this winter, where over six weeks, we will explore the intersections between the post-war traditions of modern art and avant-garde poetry.

Discovering poets and artists from the Tate collection who make use of language, sound, space, printing and writing, this course reveals how these practises are fundamental to both arts. A detailed course breakdown is available here: http://www.stevenjfowler.com/alanguageart/

Sessions are based within the galleries of Tate Modern in the presence of works by Gerhard Richter, Li Yuan-Chia and RB Kitaj amongst others, which bring to light some of the great moments in modern art and poetry that have enriched the traditions of both writing and art-making. Each week participants are also introduced to contemporary examples of work inspired by those held in the Tate Collection, as well as encouraged to create and share their own avant-garde poetry and text art in the extraordinary environment of the museum. One session is held at Tate Britain and includes the chance to explore Tate’s Prints and Drawings Rooms.

This course is for people interested in developing their own skills and understanding of experimental poetry and modern and contemporary art practises, and the onus of the course is on how these great moments in modern art and poetry can enrich writing and art-making practise, rather than dense historical analysis. It’s a rare chance to excavate avant- garde poetry in such a setting, and each week participants will have the chance to create new works in the extraordinary environment of the Tate Modern’s galleries.

Talking Performance at Tate Modern

www.stevenjfowler.com/talkingperformance 

A wonderful experience to be able to showcase a performance at Tate Modern, to be commissioned by them to explore the theme of public speaking, digression and derivation. Held in the East Room, on level 6 of Tate Modern, overlooking the Thames, it was a chance to present an original, extended piece of performance which explored speech, biography, truthfulness, sound and rhythm. 

Speaking rather relentlessly for half an hour, and swarming a supposed poetry reading with improvised speech, I attempted to explore the notion of biography, of audience and performer hierarchy, and the human relationships possible between them, the nature of poetry readings, their bracketing of attention and the limits of that, the nature of the introduction as a form, the experience of language in excess and speed, the notion of collectivity in performance and in intimate physical proximity, the 'poetic' and what people understand by poetic and therefore non-discursive language, and finally truthfulness, salesmanship, the rhythm of comedy, and, I suppose, at the very end, disappointment. 

The performance was followed by an extended discussion with curator Marianne Mulvey and Patrick Coyle, with whom I had the privilege of sharing the bill. Contextualising the choices I had made performatively so soon after performing was fascinating, when my piece had been about blurring the lines between genuine feeling and sentiment, verity and falsehood, I couldn't help but feel what was essentially a meta performance then became a meta discussion, where no one could really believe what I was saying. This perhaps solidified the purpose of what I was trying to do, constantly acknowledging context and the limits of communication. 

The piece was a product of a generous developmental process, and to have Joseph Kendra help me from the off, then to be joined by Marianne Mulvey as the performance neared, was really pivotal - to have the attention of professional curatorial expertise, it is akin to having a good editor for a manuscript. And to share the event with Patrick Coyle, a close friend and someone I've admired and collaborated with for a such a long time, made the experience all the more resonant. 

Mahu: an exhibition at the Hardy Tree Gallery - June 6th to 27th 2015

My first solo exhibition in London will run for three weeks in the Hardy Tree Gallery, in Kings Cross, just behind the British Library.

Mahu is an exhibition of writing - a novel written upon the gallery walls, growing as the exhibition passes. A living book in ink, veering between sense, story and abstraction. The gallery is covered in scrolls of paper, onto which I write, without preparation and entirely within the gallery. As the exhibition passes, so the walls become entirely covered. The text will never be typed, only read, ready to be unfurled.

Mahu remains a novel, in the true sense of that word, employing abstraction as a necessary part of the narrative, a narrative that will evolve as the exhibiting takes place. Ostensibly the story of a man living on a farm in Devizes with his distant mother, hagiographical manuscripts and loyal bulldog, Mahu must leave the only place he has ever known to follow the polluted river Kennet out of Devizes, tracing the clues left by the one human in town who'll tolerate him. A story of menace in small town England, Mahu can be read in cursive from the walls. 

As part of the exhibition, the gallery will host 11 events. Each & every event is free to attend, with doors at 7pm, unless otherwise stated below. The gallery’s address is 119 Pancras Road. London, UK. NW1 1UN www.hardytreegallery.com

Click on the event to visit its specific event page, with details of readers and happenings:

June Saturday 6th: Mahu in Sound - 6.30pm start
A sound poetry choir led by Sharon Gal, following a workshop - a celebration of Daniela Cascella's new book F-M-R-L, with Christian Patracchini, Eleanor Vonne Brown, Georgia Rodger, Helena Hunter, Mark Peter Wright & more. 

June Sunday 7th - Blart Books & Home baked Books
Curated by Stephen Emmerson & Lucy Harvest Clarke, readings from Blart Books authors, Richard Barrett, Cathy Weedon, Marcus Slease & more – Celebrating ten years of MJ Weller's Home Baked Books 

June Tuesday 9th - to Tom Raworth
A host of poets pay their debt to the greatest living British poet by reading selections from his work. Readings from Andrew Spragg, Tim Atkins, John Clegg, Fabian Peake, Philip Terry, Michael Zand & many more. 

June Wednesday 10th - Railtracks 
Curated by Gareth Evans. A complete reading of Anne Michaels & John Berger's collaborative book, read by actors. 11,000 words over an hour. Read by Anamaria Marinca and Tony Grisoni. RSVP required for this event. Please email steven@sjfowlerpoetry to reserve one of the last few places remaining.

June Friday 12th - Test Centre
Curated by Jess Chandler & Will Shutes, featuring Paul Buck's Pressed Curtains tape project. 

June Saturday 13th – Mahu Cinema
Co-curated by Dave Spittle. Screenings of over a dozen filmpoems, the emerging medium of poetry film or cinepoetry, crossing poetic principles with video art. A full program of screenings. 

June Sunday 14th - Mahu Camarade
Pairs of poets collaborate to produce original works of poetry especially for this night. Featuring Sarah Dawson & Lucy Furlong, Clover Peake & Giovanna Coppola, Doug Jones & Matt Martin & more.

June Wednesday 17th - a World without Words II
Co-curated by Lotje Sodderland & Thomas Duggan. A World Without Words is an exploration of language, neuroscience & art. Featuring talks by Harry Man, Malinda McPherson & more

June Thursday 25th - Kakania anthology launch
A celebration of Habsburg Vienna in 21st century London. www.kakania.co.uk Readings from Aki Schilz, David Kelly-Mancaux Emily Berry. Jeff Hilson, Pascal O'Loughlin, Rhys Trimble. Vicky Sparrow, Alison Gibb, Eley Williams & more 

June Friday 26th - Influx press
Curated by Gary Budden and Kit Caless. Influx press & their books explore, in some fashion, the idea of ‘place’. Readings from Paul Hawkins, Clare Sita Fisher & more. 

June Saturday 27th - If P then Q press & Mahu in Paint
If P then Q is a pioneering British press edited by James Davies, readings from Peter Jaeger, Nathan Walker, Chrissy Williams & more. Following the readings a live collective art & poetry collective collaboration.