A note on: closing the Worm Wood exhibition

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One final event marked the end of this culmination of two years of collaborating with the brilliant tereza stehlikova, and the end of the summer, one spent with many days and nights in the chapel and grounds of the east end of kensal green cemetery. There was a palpable sense of emotion during some of the performances, all of those many artists who have contributed to the programme seemed to connect their new works often to their experiences of grief and death, and again, some of the works were very intense in a beautiful way. Perhaps its because these events have been intimate, 20 to 30 people and in such an amazing space. tony white, thomas duggan, susie campbell, iris colomb and more, they were all very generous about the project and to share their time and works. tereza and i plan to continue to work together on Worm Wood, for the foreseeable future, especially now it is so tied into the coming old oak development and the disappearance of the parts of west london we set out to explore long before we know old oak existed.

checkk out stevenjfowler.com/wormwood

A note on: Poetry at Worm Wood - August 16th 2017

Set in the beautiful Dissenter's Chapel as part of the remarkable and historic Kensal Green Cemetery, over a dozen London poets will read mostly new works responding to Kensal Green Cemetery or something to that effect.  Readings from Eley Williams, Fabian Peake, Joe Turrent, Michael Zand, Ariadne Radi Cor, Clover Peake, Adriana Diaz-Enciso, Ahsan Akbar, Alex MacDonald, Lavinia Singer, Richard Scott, Giovanna Coppola and an audio installation performance by Pascal O'Loughlin.  http://www.theenemiesproject.com/dissenterschapel

A note on: new paintings 'Cemetery Portraits' for exhibition

As part of my upcoming collaborative exhibition Worm Wood at Kensal Green Cemetery I'm exhibited a series of new paintings. The series are ostensibly portraits made under the constraint that I can only paint them on site in the Dissenter's Chapel with materials found in the chapel, the catacombs, cemetery stores and in the cemetery grounds. So far they are also of those buried in the cemetery. My upcoming The Poem Brut project has led me to spend lots of time with the work of painter-poets like Asger Jorn, Francois Aubrun and others and they are clearly an influence in these works. 

A note on: Subcritical Tests, Cemetery poems & other recent happenings

Recent happenings from July 2017 : Two new publications, three great events in Kensal Green Cemetery, others at Ledbury Festival, National Poetry Library, Poetry Ireland & more.

Subcritical Tests: a new book from Gorse Editions
A pair of grand launches in a basement in Soho and a packed Poetry Ireland in Dublin for a book already making mushroom clouds on the Irish poetry scene. A beautiful thing Gorse have made, sharing Ailbhe Darcy and I's poems, three years in the writing. www.stevenjfowler.com/ireland

Landscape Learn : Growth & Decay
Part of my ongoing residency with award winning landscape architects J&L Gibbons, a day in Kensal Green Cemetery with speakers from Urban Mind, Museum of London and a debut screening for my collaborative film with Tereza Stehlikova. Follow Landscape Learn.www.stevenjfowler.com/gibbonsresidency

The Ecchoing Green
A reading with Chris McCabe and Tom Jeffreys in Kensal Green Cemetery Dissenter's Chapel, part of the Wood Wood residency, a discussion of changing London and its cemeteries www.stevenjfowler.com/wormwood

Worm Wood Old Oak
Short fiction published by Sampson Low, a publisher founded in 1793. A weird story about a property developer terraforming London, available here https://sampsonlow.co/2017/07/14/worm-wood-old-oak-sj-fowler/

Ledbury Poetry Festival
Performing and curating the 87th event of the 21st international poetry festival in Ledbury, presenting a new collaboration with Harry Man. More here

Poem Bruts : Hotel Magazine
New art poems published in the brilliant hotel. Taken from an upcoming artbook 'New Prim' with Hesterglock Press. http://partisanhotel.co.uk/S-J-Fowler-Poem-Brut-ii

Illuminations II: Erich Fried
A brilliant second instalment of the Illuminations series, surrounded by friends and family of Erich Fried, presenting new performative and literary responses to his life and works. www.theenemiesproject.com/illuminations

National Poetry Library Special Edition: celebrating Shearsman Books
A chance to read from my collection out this year 'The Guide to Being Bear Aware' alongside poets like Peter Riley, celebrating Shearsman who have been publishing for 35 years. www.stevenjfowler.com/bearaware

Interview with Jana Astanov A quick chat with the new york based Polish multidisciplinary artist about recent things. www.3ammagazine.com/3am/poetry-is-an-opportunity/

Some upcoming other stuff:
August 1st to 31st : An exhibition at Kensal Green Cemetery - Worm Wood, with Tereza Stehlikova
August 31st : Reverse Festival Copenhagen
September 3rd : Fiender - Swedish Enemies in Malmo
September 19th : WOW Festival South Korea
November 15th (to be confirmed) : Illuminations III - Peter Handke
November 22nd : The Poem Brut at Rich Mix - a new programme of events, exhibitions and talks begins, exploring art poems, pansemic writing, abstract portraiture - the intersections between brutalism, text, handwriting and abstract illustration.

A note on: Hosting Landscape Learn : Growth and Decay

A dynamic public facing project from J&L Gibbons, Landscape Learn is an exciting venture that Ive been able to be involved with through my residency and tie into my time at Kensal Green Cemetery, with Tereza Stehlikova, with this event. A one day mix of cemetery tour via geology and lost rivers, to talks on the bones of the city, the urban mind, neuroscience, landscape architecture and finishing with a screening of a film I have small part in, made by Tereza. Tickets were sold to a group of nearly fifty and the day felt really communal and engaged, I met so many really interesting people, all of whom shared a complex and intensive interest in their city and its changing environment - often changing for the worst, as the discussion of the nearby Old Oak Common development seemed never too far from the discussions. It's inspiring for me to work with people such as Jo Gibbons and Neil Davidson, this is the kind of day that feeds into my work, takes it into new places, where it needs to be, always growing.

A note on: The Ecchoing Green, part of Worm Wood at Kensal Green Cemetery

The second event as part of my residence at Kensal Green Cemetery, Worm Wood, a really resonant and communal night with Tom Jeffreys and Chris McCabe, all three of us sharing somewhat deeply intertwined reflections on London, cemeteries, psychological interactions with space and history. I took folk down into the catacombs during my reading of my new limited edition short story publication from Sampson Low - Worm Wood Old Oak. I am really happy with the little chapbook, its beautifully done and this was the right place to share it with the world. https://sampsonlow.co/2017/07/14/worm-wood-old-oak-sj-fowler/

A note on: Celebrating Erich Fried - Illuminations II

The second of the Illuminations series took place at Kensal Green Cemetery Dissenter’s Chapel this past Thursday. It was unique for a number of reasons. The first, is that it celebrated Erich Fried. His poetry has been special to me since I began reading poetry because it is indelibly tied to where I have lived for a decade, West London. He was recommended to me by Sheila Ramage of the legendary Notting Hill bookshop, one of the very many writers Sheila gifted me and so many others over many decades, and then, by chance, exploring Kensal Green Cemetery, just over the canal from where I live, I came across his grave, by accident. Pure chance led me to find his burial site and then go deeper, beyond the Calder books of his love and political poems, into exploring his life. For years his presence has been there with me, writing poetry as I have done, in the cemetery and being concerned with the middle European post war aesthetic more than any other. Then this past year the very generous Austrian Cultural Forum allowed me to develop the Illumination series, and I choose Fried immediately.

What followed deepened the aforementioned connection even further. I was able to secure the Dissenter’s Chapel through my collaborative exhibition with Tereza Stehlikova, so host the event in the place of Erich’s burial, which he choose over Austria, as London was his home in exile. I ran the entire event alone, getting in early to set up projections, seats, switching off alarms and locking catacombs. It was well worth it, the audience was able to take in the most beautiful view of the cemetery after hours, sneaking in through a small gate on Ladbroke grove. And vitally, the connection Stephen Watts gave me to John Parham and then David Fried and Kathy Fried, Erich’s children, allowed me to bring the Fried family to the event. Generations of the family were there, with even Maeve Fried contributing, two generations removed from Erich.

A personal affair for me, one tied intimately to the west London literary history I am value so much and feel myself to be in the lineage of. And the performances were really great, full of different, not too reverential to Erich, but not completely oblique either. All the videos can be seen here www.theenemiesproject.com/illuminations and some pictures too by Madeleine Elliott who was kind enough to attend and document.

a Cemetery Romance w/ Erich Fried

Thanks to the Czech Centre London and the friends of Kensal Green cemetery, I led a tour around that location with readings next to the famed dead. You can read about it here - www.theenemiesproject.com/cemeteryromance

I read next to the grave of Erich Fried. A very special thing for me, as I had been so warmly helped by Sheila Ramage of the Notting Hill bookshop when I first began writing and she had told me stories of Erich and all the Austrians who came to London in the postwar period.


the Enemies Project: Spring Programme 2015

I’m happy to present the new Enemies project website in time to announce our full Spring program. The website explains our previous programs and future plans in some depth, and stands as a resource of documentation for all the work the 400 poets and artists have put into the project so far. Please have a look and share the word.

www.theenemiesproject.com

You can also follow the project on Twitter @enemiesproject 

As well as the previously mentioned Wrogowie: a Polish Enemies project  & a Cemetery Romance, both free to attend and taking place on March Saturday 28th, here are our events up to the summer.

Enemigos: a Mexican Enemies project www.theenemiesproject.com/enemigo

April Tues 14th : 7.30pm : Rich Mix Arts Centre: Main Space : Free Entry

in partnership with the British Council, the London Book Fair & Conaculta

New collaborations from Rocio Ceron & Holly Pester, Nell Leyshon & Carmen Buellosa, Adriana Diaz Enciso & Fabian Peake, and Amanda de la Garza & I. Also the launch of the long awaited Enemigos anthology.

Co-curated by Rocio Ceron.

Feinde: an Austrian Enemies project www.theenemiesproject.com/feinde

in partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum

May Friday 8th : 7.30pm : Rich Mix Arts Centre: Main Space : Free Entry

New collaborations from Jörg Piringer & I, Max Höfler & Robert Herbert McClean, James Wilkes & Esther Strauss. Also featuring Ann Cotton, Tim Atkins & Jeff Hilson Philip Terry & James Davies, Purdey Lord Kreiden & more. 

May Tuesday 12th : 7.30pm: Austrian Cultural Forum

Solo readings from Ann Cotton, Rebecca Perry, Jen Calleja & more. 

The Feinde exhibition – May 1st to 14th at the Hardy Tree Gallery

An exhibition of contemporary European concrete &  visual poetry, celebrating the contribution of Austria to this tradition, among others. New works from Anatol Knotek, Victoria Bean & others. There will be a special view and reading held on May Sunday 10th at the Hardy Tree Gallery, free entry, from 7.30pm.

European Literature Night: Edinburgh www.theenemiesproject.com/eln

in partnership with UNESCO, Edinburgh City of Literature, Caesura & others.

May Thursday 14th: multiple venues, 6pm then 8.30pm : Free Entry for all 

4 simultaneous events with solo performances from poets travelling across Europe culminate in a massive 24 poet collaborative camarade event in the city of Edinburgh. Featuring Mariusz Pisarski, Valgerður Þórodds, Eduard Escoffet, Martin Bakero, J.Johanneson Gaitan & many others.

Co-curated by Ryan Van Winkle, Graeme Smith, Iain Morrison & Colin Herd.

Gelynion: a Welsh Enemies project www.theenemiesproject.com/gelynion

in partnership with Arts Council Wales, Poetry Wales and the Hay-on-Wye festival

Enemies Cymru: Six poets – Nia Davies, Joe Dunthorne, Zoë Skoulding, Eurig Salisbury, Rhys Trimble & I - touring new collaborations across Wales drawing in poets for Camarade events in each location. Beginning in Newport on May 19th, Gelynion visits Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth, Bangor before a culminating premiere performance at the Hay-on-Wye festival on May 29th. Then the project will close for 2015 with a reading at the Rich Mix in London on June 5th. 

Co-curated by Nia Davies.

Mahu: an exhibition www.theenemiesproject.com/mahu

June 6th to 27th at the Hardy Tree Gallery, Kings Cross, London.

An exhibition exploring asemic live writing where an entire novel will be inscribed onto the walls of the gallery only to be erased when the exhibition finishes. Ten events over three weeks features events celebrating presses (Test Centre, Influx, Blart, If p then q), poets (Tom Raworth, Tomaz Salamun) and collaborative practise.

a Berlin Camarade www.theenemiesproject.com/berlin

June Tuesday 23rd: at Lettretage in Kreuzberg 7.30pm : Free Entry

in partnership with Lettretage & Kookbooks.

Drawing on vast and brilliant vanguard poetry community of Berlin, this Camarade event, taking place during the Berlin poetry festival, will feature new collaborative work in multiple languages from some of the most exciting poets in Europe.

Featuring Max Czollek, Ernesto Estrella, Tom Breseman, Alexander Filyuta, Daniella Seer, Cia Rinne, Uljana Wolf, Monika Rinck, Alexander Gumz, Christoph Szalay, Eugene Ostashevsky, Georg Leß & more.

More information forthcoming about each project as it arrives and our equally exciting summer and winter program for the year. www.theenemiesproject.com

 

a Cemetery Romance - March 28th at Kensal Green Cemetery

A Cemetery Romance   http://www.theenemiesproject.com/cemeteryromance

March Sat 28th : 2pm : at the Gates of Kensal Rise Cemetery : Free Entry
in partnership with the Czech Centre London http://london.czechcentres.cz/

To celebrate the visit of avant-garde Czech artist, and professional gravedigger, Miloslav Vojtíšek (otherwise known as S.d.Ch.) this special one off literary tour of the magnificent Kensal Green Cemetery, facilitated by a guide, will feature Miloslav explaining the art of exhumation while being joined by a host of British poets, who will also present their work on death and dying, including Emily Berry, Tom Jenks, Alex MacDonald, Scott Thurston & many more. We will visit the graves of JG Ballard, Harold Pinter and others, before exploring the Dissenters Chapel Catacombs.

The event is completely free to attend but please RSVP at info@czechcentre.org.uk

http://london.czechcentres.cz/programme/travel-events/miloslav-vojtisek-cemetery-poetry-reading/

The group will meeting at 2pm in front of the Kensal Green Cemetery main gate, near the intersection of Harrow Road and Kilburn Lane http://www.kensalgreencemetery.com/ With thanks to the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery

http://london.czechcentres.cz/programme/travel-events/miloslav-vojtisek-cemetery-poetry-reading/

The group will meeting at 2pm in front of the Kensal Green Cemetery main gate, near the intersection of Harrow Road and Kilburn Lane http://www.kensalgreencemetery.com/ With thanks to the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery