A note on : An Invisible Poetry : exhibition at Poetry Society

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….so this is pretty great. For the month of July I’ll be presenting a mix of new works made specifically for the Poetry Society Cafe space, including window poems and sculptural pieces, alongside a selection from my five poem brut books. I will also be curating a group show alongside my solo show, as the exhibition space has two floors. Both shows, but especially the group show, will firmly be a part of what I’ve tried to do with Poem Brut as a project - that is to make available ideas and methods of poetry is a way that is liberating and not judgemental to those who perhaps don’t find mess and play so appealing as I.

The Poetry Society, especially Michael Sims, have been hugely generous and supportive, and accommodating, and it bodes well that this summer month can be spent in the space, which is open six days a week, nearly 12 hours a day.

AN INVISIBLE POETRY : JULY 1ST TO JULY 27TH
a new solo show of paint and sculpture poems at The Poetry Society Cafe in Covent Garden 
https://poetrysociety.org.uk/poetry-cafe/exhibitions/future-exhibition/

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The Poetry Society Cafe : July 1st to 27th / 22 Betterton St, London WC2H 9BX
Opening Hours 11am to 10pm everyday bar sunday. www.stevenjfowler.com/invisible

"A visual poem should be visible, yet it seems it’s often not so. In this solo exhibition of new painterly poems, SJ Fowler asks questions so manifest they are almost indiscernible. What is in the shape of a letter and what images do words recall? What is the meaning of colour in poetry, and where went the handwritten word? Where is mess, notation, scrawling and material? Why is composition strange to an art-form that is as visual as it is sonic? An Invisible Poetry presents new sculptural poems and original visual literature alongside a selection from Fowler's Poem Brut project and its accompanying series of publications from Hesterglock Press, Stranger Press, ZimZalla and Penteract Press. These are poems exploring handwriting, abstraction, illustration, pansemia, scribbling and scrawling." 

Special View Performance Event - July 8th 2019 : 7pm doors for 7.30pm start. Free entry. & // This is a split exhibition, as in the basement gallery of the Poetry Society I am curating a group show - The Poet's Brut www.poembrut.com/poetrysociety

The Poet’s Brut : A group show with Chris McCabe, Paul Hawkins, Astra Papachristodoulos, Karen Sandhu, Simon Tyrrell, Imogen Reid, Vilde Torset and Patrick Cosgrove www.poembrut.com/poetrysociety

Brand new works exhibited by seven of the UK's most exciting contemporary poets. Poem Brut project has generated over a dozen events since 2017, alongside multiple exhibitions, workshops, conferences, publications and over 1000 submissions to it’s 3am magazine series. It advocates for an artistic creative writing, a visual literature, a concrete poetry - poetry that embraces colour, the handwritten, the composed, the abstract, the scribbled, the noted, the illustrated. Poem Brut affirms the possibilities of the page, the pen, and the pencil (and the crayon) for the poet in a computer age, and celebrates these ideas in the live realm alongside the two dimensional. This group show evidences a new generation of poets working in old traditions often forgotten or nudged into the realm of modern art. http://www.poembrut.com/exhibitions

A note on: being in a Feral Concord

By far the least experienced vocalist in the circle, I was so happy to be so. To be asked by Phil Minton, one of the world’s foremost improvised vocalists and a kindly golden ghidora of the avant garde music world, to be one of a dozen artists involved in a Feral Concord, that is an entirely improvised choral performance at Cafe Oto, meant a great deal to me. I have a toe in many pools, so naturally I’m ankle deep in none. I am therefore often at a remove, which is a grand thing most of the time, but also cautious, in this case, to not be the chimp whistling when others are singing or singing when others are whistling. In the group were friends like Dylan Nyoukis but also many others I had not met but whose work I knew and very much admired.

The actual experience was profound. It’s hard to describe. I was struck this time, during our 30 minute performance, just how remarkable it is to communicate with others so directly, following as the piece varies and alters and shifts like fish in the ocean, without any language or movement being the thing that makes the moves. A friend in attendance described it as a solemn seance that made everyone else not move.

EPF2018 #6: Lithuanian focus at European Poetry Festival

To have people queueing down the stairs of the poetry café, the poetry society’s home in London, was gratifying, and a packed house was the right vibe within which to celebrate three brilliant Lithuanian poets who had come to London as part of the London Bookfair Baltic celebration. The Lithuanian Cultural Institute were so supportive of the fest in general and this was a really memorable night, pleasing for me to deliver an event that really gave the poets a proper platform to show their works. We had some solo readings from a mix of visiting poets and European poets living in the UK (this blend integral to the festival’s remit) including Muanis Sinanovic from Ljubljana and Theodoros Chiotis from Athens, before new collaborations were presented by poets I had met teaching for the Poetry School on courses, both in person and online, about contemporary European poetry. They did me proud, and produced some remarkable live works. The night was finished with three new collaborations involving the Lithuanian poets and then everyone decamped to a covent garden pub. It was a really atmospheric night, the best I’ve ever put on in that venue.

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

A note on: The Night Time Economy: an exhibition at Rich Mix Gallery - July 18th to 29th

The Night-Time Economy: an exhibition
by Kate Mercer and SJ Fowler in London at Rich Mix Gallery
www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

July 18th to 29th 2016 (Monday - Sunday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
Address: Rich Mix Cinema & Arts Centre, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Special View - July Tuesday 19th 2016. Readings & performances from SJ Fowler, Nia Davies, Marcus Slease, Vanni Bianconi, Ghazal Mosadeq & others.

A collaborative exhibition of photography and poetry exploring the often fractious energy and environment of Newport, Wales' nightclubs and pubs. Conceived and created in close collaboration between photographer Kate Mercer and poet & artist SJ Fowler, this exhibition will play off the complimentary possibilities for expressive abstraction in both visual and linguistic mediums, all centred around the complexity, energy and intensity of Newport on Friday and Saturday nights.

On July Tuesday 19th there will be a special view and reading from 7pm in the Gallery, which is adjacent to Rich Mix Cafe. For the evening multiple poets will present brand new work responding to the exhibition and its themes. https://www.richmix.org.uk/events/exhibitions/night-time-economy

A detailed description of how the project came to be, by Kate Mercer, can be found here http://katemercer.co.uk/funding-support-by-arts-council-of-wales-the-night-time-economy-with-s-j-fowler/ and an interview with Ben Glover of the Wales Arts Review, which explains further the exhibition and its process can be found here http://www.walesartsreview.org/24536/

The exhibition comes to London after a successful run at The Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport this past April. The poetry in the exhibition will be presented in English and Welsh, the latter translated by Eurig Salisbury. The project is possible thanks to the generous support of Arts Council Wales.

Performing at Cafe Oto: July 20th for Daniela Cascella's FMRL

Really pleased and privileged to be part of this grand lineup of artists responding to Daniela Cascella's amazing book https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/day/2015/07/20/

DANIELA CASCELLA – ‘F.M.R.L. FOOTNOTES, MIRAGES, REFRAINS AND LEFTOVERS OF WRITING SOUND’ BOOK LAUNCH - £4 £3.30 (WEGOTTICKETS)
Book launch event for ‘F.M.R.L. Footnotes, Mirages, Refrains and Leftovers of Writing Sound’ by Daniela Cascella (Zer0 Books). With Christian Patracchini, Colin Potter, David Toop, Elaine Mitchener, Georgia Rodger, James Wilkes, Patrick Farmer + Trevor Simmons , Richard Skinner, Rie Nakajima, Salomé Voegelin, Steven J Fowler.

For her book launch Daniela Cascella has asked artists, writers, performers, musicians to remix, rewrite, re-read the book: to use the book as raw material and to present a series of short responses in any form or medium. This event is the fourth and last in the reFMRL series, that challenges the conventional format of the book launch to work instead with the book as material presence, and to enhance the polyphonies that inhabit and form F.M.R.L. https://enabime.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/refmrl-curating-conversing-drifting/

Listening into writing, reading into writing take shape in F.M.R.L. through a collection of short texts, fragments and deranged essays, with attention to pacing and linguistic derives. An archive of books, notebooks, events and records prompts the texts in these pages, responding to encounters with Michel Leiris’s autobiographical fictions; concerts and events at Café Oto and the Swedenborg House in London; visits to museums such as the Pitt Rivers in Oxford and exhibitions such as Ice Age Art at the British Museum, among the others.

F.M.R.L. is a book constructed across sonic patterns, assonance, repetitions, comprising texts that intermittently drift from sense to sound and to nonsense and back. A flip from the immateriality of sound to the sounds of letters and words as material, a call from reading to voicing. www.zero-books.net/books/f-m-r-l

This event is produced in collaboration with SARU, Sonic Art Research Unit, Oxford Brookes University. http://www.sonicartresearch.co.uk

Blog #5: Gelynion in Bangor: May 26th 2015

An incredible drive through Snowdonia, a scenic route for our privilege, Joe, Nia and Eurig accompanied me in from the west coast and up into the mountains. We stopped a few times to hear Eurig’s description of the places, his climbs, and to pose for catalogue model, or boyband-like (I won’t reveal our hypothetical band name), photoshoots. Such beautiful weather, perfect blue skies and though busy, what seemed to me completely pristine country.

Into Bangor, and it struck me as a very charming place, Zoe’s homeland, a University town, but also with its intense population (I saw teen scraps in the highstreet within minutes, sustained) the countryside surrounding encroached and struck me as an oasis of a place in someways. Our reading was the same night as our travelling so we soon visited the Blue Sky Café and Nia and I met Elan Mererid Rhys, the wonderful auto-harp player and folk musician, whom I had come across in Cecil Sharp House in London, by pure chance, a few weeks before, just like Patrick Rimes. Elan could not have been more warm hearted and wonderful to work with, and Nia and I decided to read the 6 way collaborative poem written by the group and published by Hazard press over the playing of Elan, to set everything gently, and it worked out so nicely.

 In the end, I think Bangor was my favourite event. The quality of some of the work was so remarkable, the café was packed, 50 or 60 people, or more, and such a memorable assortment of works. Ghazal Mosadeq, who had travelled all the way from London, presented amazing work with Ifor Ap Glyn. Robert Sheppard, who travelled from Manchester, worked with Alys Conran to generate another mysterious European poet. Sophie McKeand, Fiona Cameron, Karen Owen, Sian Northey, really I could list the whole evening. It was a special one.

Sophie McKeand & Fiona Cameron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJirFOPHuK0 - Karen Owen & Sian Northey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-08J_iqWZZY - Ifor Ap Glyn & Ghazal Mosadeq https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMFTBB6k-hc - Robert Sheppard & Alys Conran https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVOfQEMoss4 - Nia Davies, SJ Fowler & Elan Mererid Rhys https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u827pCCzBiQ - Zoë Skoulding & Eurig Salisbury https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2_G9SukXvE - Joe Dunthorne & Rhys Trimble https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC0luz3pIUM - Elan Mererid Rhys https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Paq3P9ElV68

European Literature Night: Edinburgh – May 14th: the full whack

European Literature Night 2015 will be a unique evening of live contemporary literature in Edinburgh, with over 30 poets performing at five events, from a dozen European nations, all on one night. www.theenemiesproject.com/el

Part of the continent-wide European Literature Night program, held in 75 cities during mid-May, and supported by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature trust, our program brings together some of the most forceful European avant-garde, literary and sound poets, to share their work, to read alongside and to collaborate with a swathe of Edinburgh’s equally brilliant poetry scene.

Four simultaneous events take place in the early evening of Thursday May 14th, around 6pm, with solo readings, before all poets and audiences will congregate at Summerhall for the epic finale of the night, with 11 pairs of poets presenting brand new Camarade collaborations, starting around 8pm

Every event is free of charge, so join us at The Fruitmarket Gallery, The Saltire Society, The Sutton Gallery and The Forest before seeing the night in at Summerhall, with poets from France, Spain, Iceland, Austria, Germany, Sweden and of course, Scotland. 


European Literature Camarade! Summerhall - 8pm doors for an 8.30pm start - Free entry. In the Demonstration room http://www.summerhall.co.uk/2015/unesco-european-literature-night-edinburgh/ 

Following the amazing success of the Auld Enemies project in Summerhall in 2014, we return to the Demonstration room for the grand finale of this ambitious evening. Brand new collaborative work will be presented by pairs of poets from across the continent. Featuring:

Colin Herd & Iain Morrison
Ryan Van Winkle & Calum Rodger
Graeme Smith & Andres Anwandter
nick-e melville & Anne Laure Coxam
Valgerður Þórodds & Katy Hastie
Esther Strauss & Ann Cotten
SJ Fowler & Jorg Piringer
Max Hofler & Robert Herbert McClean
Eduard Escoffet & Martin Bakero

JL Williams & Jessica Johannesson Gaitán 

The Saltire Society Caesura on Sound poetry: supported by the Scottish Poetry Library
6pm - Free Entry https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/connect/events/caesura-31-spl-saltire-society Enjoy some of Europe's most dynamic and pioneering sound poets, coming together for one night to present their innovative musique concrete, from Paris, Barcelona and Vienna. Featuring Eduard Escoffet (Barcelona), Martin Bakero (Paris) Jorg Piringer (Vienna) & curated by Graeme Smith (Edinburgh) as part of the Caesura series. 

The Sutton gallery on 20th century art:
6pm - Free entry http://www.thesuttongallery.com Join us for performance art from Esther Strauss (Vienna), readings from Tomasz Mielcarek (Poland), Robert Herbert McClean (Belfast), and the launch of Colin Herd & SJ Fowler's collaborative book Oberwildling: on the life of Oskar Kokoscka, published by the Austrian Cultural Forum all in the environs of one of Edinburgh's most beautiful galleries.

The Fruitmarket Gallery on Possibilities of the Object:
6pm - Free entry http://www.cityofliterature.com/event/european-literature-night-fruitmarket-gallery/ 
At one of Edinburgh's cultural hubs, The Fruitmarket Gallery, hear readings from Valgerður Þórodds (Reykjavik), Max Hofler (Graz), nick-e melville (Edinburgh), Jean-François Krebs (Paris/Edinburgh) and Iain Morrison (Edinburgh), all responding to the exhibition on display. 

The Forest Café on Activism / Craftivism
6pm - Free entry http://www.cityofliterature.com/event/european-literature-night-the-forest-on-activism-craftivism/ At an Edinburgh staple, join Ryan Van Winkle and other Scottish poets, alongside Austrian Ann Cotten, for readings on the theme of activism. Featuring Thomas MacColl, Ed Smith, Rachel McCrum & Ryan Van Winkle (Edinburgh), Katy Hastie & Calum Rodger (Glasgow) & Ann Cotten (Berlin) 

European Literature Night is supported by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Scottish Poetry Library & many others.


Poetry at Little Sparta - May 15th 2015 

"Set in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, Little Sparta is Ian Hamilton Finlay’s greatest work of art. Imbued with a high idea content, the garden is created from the artistic fusion of poetic and sculptural elements with those of the natural landscape which is shaped and changed to become an inherent part of the concepts realised at Little Sparta.” http://www.littlesparta.org.uk 

The day following European Literature Night, we will be presenting this unique poetry event at Little Sparta. The performances will begin at 2.30pm and finish 4.30pm, taking the form of a series of short readings given as a tour of the gardens. This will be a unique mini-festival poetry celebration of one of the most extraordinary landscapes in Britain with an amazing array of contemporary European poets.

Readings & acoustic sound performances from Andres Andwandtner, Martin Bakero, Eduard Escoffet, Graeme Smith, Calum Rodger, Ryan Van Winkle, SJ Fowler, Colin Herd, Iain Morrison, Esther Strauss, Katy Hastie, Robert Herbert McClean, nick-e melville, Valgerður Þórodds & more.

Please note entrance to the garden is £10 and if you can't make your own way, you can join the poets on a pre-booked coach to the location by emailing me at steven@sjfowlerpoetry.com. The coach will meet at 1pm in Edinburgh city centre, at Waterloo place, and depart Little Sparta at 5pm. All are welcome. Thanks to the Little Sparta Trust, Calum Gardner & Graeme Smith.

reading at Clare Saponia's launch - April 10th at the Poetry Cafe

I was very pleased to be asked to be one of many reading works from Clare Saponia's new book The Oranges of Revolution (Smokestack Books) 

It's launched Friday 10th April at The Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, London, WC2H 9BX. Doors open 7.30pm/ Kick-off 8pm. £3 on the door. 

http://smokestack-books.co.uk/book.php?book=106

Chinese avant garde poetry at the Poetry Cafe - June 18th

Really honoured that Ill be reading the English translations of Jiang Tao's work at the Poetry Cafe. Come along to this free event, and get a small insight into contemporary experimental Chinese poetry. http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/events/event/2696/

Jiang

One Hundred Years of New Poetry in China

Visiting poets from China will read their poems and discuss their work. Featuring Jiang Tao and Ming Di.
Organised in association with Oxford Brookes University, it will be introduced by Jennifer Wong, a first year PhD student at Oxford Brookes University, studying contemporary Asian diaspora poetry and the power of ethnicity. S J Fowler will read from Jiang Tao's work and Jennifer Wong will also read some of her poetry.