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
As part of three days of European poetry celebrations last week I had the pleasure of accompanying four Scandinavians poets to Norwich, to read at an event I organised, which also drew in local Europeans, in the camarade model, in pairs. The night was brilliant, full of energy and warmth. I met lots of poets new to me, and reconnected with many friends. We had a grand turnout thanks to the Nordlit seminar on translation which had been taking place that day, hosted by those who had kindly hosted us, Writers Centre Norwich and the International Litcase Showcase. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/norwich
I collaborated for the fourth time with Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir. We’ve only known each other for just over a year, but our collaborative magic feels many years deep. We put on a kind of Eurovision Poetry Contest, or hosted something to that effect. As ever, Asta’s rare energy and invention told, it was a weirdly beautiful piece of poetry theatre.
We were shown great hospitality too, with Dan, Endre, Martin, Asta and I taken to dinner, and then out on the town for many hours after the event. Always wonderful people to work with, Jonathan Morley, Sam Ruddock and everyone involved made sure the beginning of EPN was memorable.
The future is in good hands if this event is any indication. Though ostensibly about pairing students across the country, and allowing them to experiment / collaborate / create new friendships, what it is really about is giving a platform to younger poets who might be locked into the boundaries that come with being a 'creative writing' student or in a university. It's just a way to discover people, to see them shine, and they were really remarkable on this occasion, all 22 poets, from all over the UK. A really resonant evening, all the videos are here www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade worth watching.
The University Camarade II : February Saturday 25th 2017 - 7.30pm - Free Entrance
Venue 2 : Rich Mix Arts Centre (35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA)
The second University Camarade presents pairs of creative writing students from seven different Universities in the UK to collaborate on short new works of poetry or text, for performance. The only participants are students, and writing with poets they've never met before, who study within a different institution, this initiative allows them to expand their practise, knowledge and networks, and takes a stand against purported factionalism or department competition. The innovative collaborative methodology also allows them to include experimentation early in their writing careers, and perform to a large audience.
Students have been drawn from the Creative Writing departments of Kingston University, Oxford Brookes, York St John, Kent, Essex, York and Royal Holloway and the project has been curated by SJ Fowler with Kim Campanello, JT Welsch, Dorothy Lehane, Robert Hampson, Prudence Chamberlain, Philip Terry and Niall Munro.
So lovely to release a new collaborative book into the world, written alongside the brilliant Prue Chamberlain. We performed at The Poetry School Camarade, an event I curated at Rich Mix alongside 8 other pairs of poets, in what was a fine night all told, by alternatively reading, blindfolding, spinning and sticking noses on an olaf the snowman poster. The spinning was my favourite part of it, which perhaps goes some way to evidence my current feeling toward reading, but everything Prue and I have done in collaboration has been energising, such is her humour, intelligence and adventurousness. Buy our book please www.stevenjfowler.com/houseofmouse
Lovely to be invited to present a Camarade event, where poets write new collaborations in pairs, to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Rich Mix as part of the festival of events and general festivities put on for the occasion. I owe Rich Mix so much, and without it, there'd be no Camarade and Enemies project I think. The event was wonderful, with 10 new works, all of which complimented in their difference and compelled in different ways. Great to get such a nice audience too, on a rainy bank holiday Monday at 6pm. A grand birthday for us all. All the videos www.theenemiesproject.com/richmixcamarade
A wonderful, positive evening with new collaborations from student, and inherently young, poets, from six universities across the UK. I decided to curate this event for multiple reasons - to show that collaboration is immensely helpful for the development of young poets (into interesting directions anyway), to show that creative writing programs deserve more respect for the quality they can produce, to get past the supposed 'competition' between creative writing departments and to begin to inculcate communities between young writers, or at the very least, to make them feel there are communities out there for them, that people do want to hear and value their more innovative ideas.
The works on display were genuinely brilliant, across the board, the event had been taken so seriously by all 20 poets. Everyone felt it had a been a grand success and will likely happen again www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade
About as nice a way as one can spend a Sunday. I had the pleasure, thanks to the generosity of Philip Terry, Ros Green, Jo Nancarrow, those behind the Essex Book Festival and University of Essex, to curate a Camarade event for the festival. I had the chance to bring poets from London and Manchester to Colchester, but also draw on lots of local talent. In the end, the works were held in an amazing venue, a huge auditorium in the Firstsite Gallery, and the performances were really distinct and interesting, all very complimentary, a range of voices and styles.
It was especially satisfying to see so many poets discover new poets, and to reconnect to those who live in Essex whose work I admire so much like Townley and Bradby, who I had the pleasure to work with in a performance in 2015, who did a brilliant performance with their family, and Isabella Martin, Vicki Weitz, Justin Hopper, Lucy Greeves and many others. All the performances are available here www.theenemiesproject.com/essex
StAnza is one of the UK’s principal poetry festivals, respected around the world, and drawing in a really admirable range of poets and events and audiences. I was very pleased then, having had many friends attend and perform, to be part of the festival in 2016, and could not have been better treated or had a better time sharing my work through readings, performances, discussions and workshops.
I have a page that explains my participation with a Festival Diary, pictures and videos:
A wonderful opportunity for me to work with the Poetry School again coming up this July (all the details on my other courses here) but this time in a unique format, one that suits how I like to share ideas, and specifically, in this case, what I've learnt about collaboration through the 100 or so collaborations I've done and over 200 collaborative events I've curated.
It's a weekend course, kindly hosted by Rich Mix near Brick Lane, which will finish with a Camarade reading featuring those on the course, in pairs, and other poets connected to the Poetry School (which is a grand list). It means not only do I get to contextualise the theory behind collaborations, and to explore its history in poetry, and the methodologies consequent from these two things, but I get to do so immersively, and with a definite, practical goal - the reading.
I think it'll produce some wonderful works and I hope, for those who participate, be a real locus for a whole new world of writing poetry across mediums and with other fellow poets.
More details www.theenemiesproject.com/poetryschool
Saturday’s July 16th 2016 workshop
1pm – Introduction to the possible methods of collaboration in poetry and text.
2.30pm – Facilitated group writing exercises and practise performances.
3.30pm – Facilitated breakout sessions for collaborations in pairs.
5pm – Group discussion on the process, final pairs confirmed and feedback.
Featuring a discussion of the philosophies behind collaborative writing, the diffusion of the poet’s identity in collaboration and the consequences of that for solo writing. Extended explorations of the notion of the reading versus the performance, group writing, conceptual writing, constraint writing, improvisation and more literary methods like line-to-line and stanza-to-stanza. Features both talks, discussions and exercises.
Sunday’s July 17th workshop
1pm – The history of collaboration in poetry featuring source materials provided to the participants, covering a selection of salient examples from 20th century poetry, including movements like the Surrealists, CoBrA, The Beats and assorted examples from the likes of Ian Hamilton Finlay and John Furnival, Ron King and Roy Fisher, Anne Waldman and Joe Brainard.
2.30pm – An analysis of a host of collaborative performances from The Enemies Project video archive with footage screening and discussion.
4pm – Facilitated rehearsal of group collaborations and final paired works, with feedback.
March 3rd: Praxis at Parasol Unit, London
Performing a new work responding to Julian Charriere's amazing exhibition, alongside Maja Jantar, Sharon Gal, Simon Pomery and others. http://parasol-unit.org/poetry-innovations-praxis
March 5th & 6th: Stanza Festival, St.Andrews, Scotland
On a panel exploring poetry and the body, responding to a film about bp nichol, and leading a workshop about collaboration, alongside two performances. http://stanzapoetry.org/festival/poets-artists/fowler
March 18th: Soundings IV with Tamarin Norwood
A performance work for video, situated in Wellcome Library itself, responding to materials given by the librarians for the artist Tamarin Norwood and I to respond to. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/soundings
March 20th: The Essex Book Festival, First site Gallery, Colchester
Curating a Camarade with 10 pairs of poets for the festival, and reading with David Berridge, to launch our book, 40 feet, from Knives forks and spoons press. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/essex
March 24th to 26th: The Iskele Kibatek International Poetry Festival in Cyprus
Part of the 7th Annual Iskele Municipality Culture and Art Days, this festival sees poets from around Europe present their work, including Nurduran Duman and Jennifer Williams.
March 31st: Kakania returns at Austrian Cultural Forum, London
Kakania in London once again, with new commissions in the evening and a symposium of new presentations in the day. New work from Steve Beresford, Diane Silverthorne, Declan Ryan & more. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/kakania2016
April 2nd: The English PEN Modern Literature Festival - Rich Mix, London
30 English writers celebrate 30 writers at risk currently supported by English PEN with brand new works of literature. 2pm til late, all over one day. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen
April 6th: The Night-time Economy Exhibition opening - The Riverfront, Newport, Wales
A new exhibition between myself and the photographer Kate Mercer, poetry and photography exploring the fractious energy of Newport's nightlife. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy
April 23rd: The University Camarade
Curating a Camarade which pairs 20 students from creative writing departments of 5 different universities to create 10 new works in pairs. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade
The Enemies Project Spring Programme 2016 includes Icelandic, Argentinian and Georgian Enemies projects, Camarade events in Essex and St.Andrews, the return of Kakania in London and Berlin, a collaborative exhibition in Newport, a collaborative event involving five Universities and a one day festival celebrating English PEN and their writers-at-risk project. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/springprogram16/
January Sat 30th: Ovinir: an Icelandic Enemies project in London
Rich Mix Arts Centre : 7.30pm : Free entrance
Óvinir brings together two generations of Icelandic poets and writers to the UK to premiere brand new collaborations with British poets following events in Iceland. A unique chance to see some of the most interesting performers in Europe, feat. Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir & Jack Underwood, Eiríkur Örn Nörðdahl & Hannah Silva, Joanna Walsh & Andri Snær Magnason, Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, Inua Ellams, Vahni Capildeo & more. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/iceland
February 3rd to 10th: The Enemies Project: Argentina
The Enemies project in Buenos Aires; an embedded collaborative program between a host of poets from Argentina and the UK, writing brand new collaborations over nearly a week in the Argentinian capital. Featuring Julián López, Anahí Mallol, Camilo Sanchez, Patrick Coyle & more. Co-curated by Flavia Daniela Pittella. www.theenemiesproject.com/argentina
February 29th: Respites: Wellcome Collection - London
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. Respites is curated by Ayesha Nathoo, Lynne Friedli and Steven J. Fowler, and is supported by, and part of, the Hubbub group, in residence at Wellcome Collection. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/respites
March Saturday 5th: The StanZa Camarade – St.Andrews
Camarade Workshop - 13:00 - 16:00 (The Town Hall, Queens Gardens - Upstairs Foyer) followed by the performance 15:55 - 16:10 in the Supper Room
The StAnza Camarade will see new collaborations written by poets both attending and participating in the festival, and a collaborative workshop beforehand. The StAnza festival are pleased to offer the opportunity to take part in the workshop and performance for a small group of attendees. Anyone who would like to participate in the project should email a short biography to firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/stanza
March Sunday 20th: The Essex Camarade – Colchester
at the First Site Gallery - 1pm to 3.30pm - Free Entrance
Commissioned by the Essex Book Festival, this Camarade will see a series of brand new collaborations written by poets in pairs, from the Essex area or attending the festival especially. Feat. James Davies & Philip Terry, Vicki Weitz & Isabella Martin. Anna Townley & Lawrence Bradby, Jeff Hilson & Tim Atkins & more. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/essex
March Thursday 31st: Kakania at the Austrian Cultural Forum: London
Kakania returns to London after five extraordinary events in 2015, and two unique publications. Contemporary artists present new literary performance commissions, each responding to a figure of the Habsburg Era. www.kakania.co.uk (date to be confirmed)
April Saturday 2nd: The English PEN Modern Literature Festival
Over 30 contemporary English writers present works new works, each in tribute to a writer who is part of the English PEN Writer's at Risk programme, writers living under oppression around the world. The one day festival takes at Rich Mix, 2pm onwards, in 3 sessions throughout the day. All are free to attend but attendees are encouraged to join English PEN. Feat. Mark Ravenhill, Caroline Bergvall, Sam Winston, Emily Berry, Emily Critchley & many more. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen
April Thursday 7th: The Night-Time Economy: an exhibition, Newport
The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre: Newport. 7.30pm. A collaborative exhibition of photography and poetry from Kate Mercer and SJ Fowler exploring the often violent environment of Newport's nightclubs and pubs. This special view event will feature readings and is supported by Arts Council Wales and Poetry Wales. The exhibition runs for three weeks. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy
April Saturday 23rd: The University Camarade
Entrance is free. 7.30pm doors for 8pm start http://www.richmix.org.uk/
The University Camarade will present over 10 new collaborative works, premiered on the night, written by pairs of young poets, all of whom are undertaking study in Creative Writing departments at five different UK Universities including Kingston, Glasgow, Edge Hill, York St John. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade
May Monday 9th: Kakania in Berlin
8pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin
Kakania debuts in Berlin, with new literary performance commissions from contemporary artists, each of whom will present a work that celebrates / responds to a figure from the Habsburg era. Featuring Max Höfler on Ludwig Wittgenstein, Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas Salome, Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke, Tomomi Adachi on Paul Wittgenstein, Ernesto Estrella on Gustav Mahler and Ann Cotten on Otto Neurath. http://theenemiesproject.com/kakaniaberlin
May Saturday 14th: The Enemies Project: Switzerland for European Literature Night
A night of new collaborations celebrating contemporary European poetry at Rich Mix, with a cohort of Swiss poets collaborating with British counterparts, amongst others. The event is part of the wider European Literature Night celebrations.
May 16th to 21st: Mtrebi: a Georgian Enemies project in Tbilisi
An Enemies Project in Tbilisi, three British poets visit the Georgian capital to create new collaborations with local writers. Feat. Luke Kennard, Sarah Howe & more. Co-curated by Davit Gabunia.
Supported by UNESCO Reykjavik City of Literature, The British Council, Norwich Writer's Centre, International Literature Showcase Fund, El Tercer Lugar, The StanZa festival, The Essex Book Festival, English PEN, Arts Council Wales, Austrian Cultural Forum London, Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin, University of Kingston, Glasgow, Edge Hill and York St. Johns, Rich Mix & more.
The 61st time I have paired poets in a great grouping to share new collaborations. This time it was to continue to energy of last year’s teaching, with people I’d met from my courses at Kingston University, Tate Modern and the Poetry School, along with some other new faces who have crossed my path, participating. We were housed in the bar adjacent to Apiary Studios, a new space, and it proved a energetic, encouraging and memorable night. Lots of very young poets, either in age or in writing experience, and it’s inevitably gratifying to see the curatorial model working so well to help good people develop and experiment. Some wonderful works on the night and a pleasure for me to once again collaborate with Prudence Chamberlain.
All the videos are here, with some pair picture portraits too. www.theenemiesproject.com/camarade
I couldn't have had a better time visiting Writer's Centre Norwich to organise and curate a Camarade featuring poets living in the area. Jonathan Morley and Philip Langeskov of UEA helped put it all together and it was grand to discover lots of young new poets from the creative writing program there, alongside some very well known poets associated with the city, and those leaning towards the more experimental who often aren't. It was a perfect mix, to show that difference in mode compliments, and that we are all speaking the same language with different accents.
We ended up drawing in 130 people to watch, on a cold, raining thursday night in Norwich and everyone seem very happy. An utterly stressless and joyful evening for me, another very pleasing experience travelling with Camarade. All the ten performances from twenty poets available here www.theenemiesproject.com/norwichcamarade
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.
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.
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.
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
Really the hospitality Lettretage had shown me on our first meeting, in early 2015, and the interest I have in so many poets in the city of Berlin, how exciting I think their work is, drove me to put on an extremely ambitious Camarade event in June 2015. Thanks to the generosity of Daniela Seel, I was able to invite poets from different scenes in the city, as well as people I knew and followed, and some British poets visiting. The end result was really one of the better events in the history of the Enemies project, with 28 poets in 14 pairs each presenting really high quality work, with such a variance of style and approach, yet with a palpably shared sense of community and aesthetic. Amazing to have the likes of Cia Rinne, Uljana Wolf, Jeroen Nieuwland, Sam Langer, Alexander Filyuta, Tom Bresemann, Catherine Hales, Max Czollek, Ernesto Estrello, Rike Scheffler & many others involved. It was not one of the easier events to put together, the city not being without it’s literary politics, but the result was worth the labour and for the sheer pleasure of seeing such brilliant poets, some of whom were discoveries to me, in terms of live performance, I could not help but feel humbled by people’s enthusiasm and engagement. www.stevenjfowler.com/berlin
Held on Sunday June 14th, this was a really intimate and lovely evening. A hugely satisfying part of it was the presence of pairs of poets who had attended my courses for the Poetry School, including the International course, and poets came from as far as Peru, Lille & Didcot