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: European Poetry Night! May 6th in London

European Poetry Night : London
Rich Mix : May Saturday 6th : 7.30pm

www.theenemiesproject.com/epn

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, celebrating the potential of collaboration to generate truly innovative poetry and work firmly against the divisive idea of a reduced closeness of spirit across our continent. Curated by SJ Fowler. 

European Poetry Night 2017 in London. May Saturday 6th: Rich Mix
7.30pm - Free Entry. 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA


Bas Kwakman & Jen Calleja  /  Kinga Toth & Simon Pomery  /  Endre Ruset & Harry Man  /  Alessandro Burbank & Max Hofler  /  Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir & SJ Fowler  /  Theodoros Chiotis & Vanni Bianconi  /  Tom Jenks & Weronika Lewandowska  /  Henriette Støren & Astra Papachristodoulou  /  Livia Franchini & Maarten van der Graaf  /  Frank Keizer & Dan Aleksander Ramberg Andersen  /  Damir Sodan & Tomica Bajsic  /  Iris Colomb & Serena Braida 

The European Poetry Night is supported by Arts Council England, NORLA, The Royal Norwegian Embassy, Dutch Foundation for Literature, Institut Francais London, Austrian Cultural Forum London and many generous others. www.theenemiesproject.com/epn


Presented by The Enemies Project, European Poetry Night is actually one of three events in three nights on the European theme, creating a mini-festival of sorts. This begins in Norwich Writers Centre on May Thursday 4th before going on to Libreria Bookshop on May Friday 5th. All events are free. Details below.

European Poetry Night : Norwich - Writers' Centre Norwich
May Thursday 4th : Doors 6pm for 6.30pm start. Entrance Free. 
Dragon Hall, 115-123 King St, Norwich NR1 1QE www.theenemiesproject.com/norwich

EPN Norwich features brand new collaborative works of poetry from pairs of poets drawn from different European nations visiting for the event and as well as many local to Norwich too. Supported by Writers Centre Norwich and the International Literature Showcase. Featuring:

Martin Glaz Serup & Jeremy Noel-Tod  /  Endre Ruset & Rebecca Tamas  /  Jonathan Morley & Dan Aleksander Ramberg Andersen  /  Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir & SJ Fowler  /  Alison Graham & Matthew Gregory  /  Chris Hamilton-Emery & Richard Lambert  /  Zein Sa'dedin & Sarra Said-Wardell  /  Doug Jones & Sam Jordison  /  Andrew Wells & Nathan Hamilton  / Emily Willis & Olivia Walwyn


May Friday 5th : European Poetry at Libreria
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm / Free Entry / 65 Hanbury St, London E1 5JP
http://www.theenemiesproject.com/libreria
Readings from some of Europe's most innovative and dynamic poets, visiting London from a half dozen European nations. This event will celebrate the shared literary tradition of our continent with truly contemporary readings and performances in one of London's most beautiful bookshops. 

A note on: North x North West Poetry Tour part 2 - Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool

All info and funbatch on this tour is here www.stevenjfowler.com/nxnw and allll videos www.theenemiesproject.com/northwest

Leeds was fire. I’d heard it was a quiet town for the avant garde or literary poetry but this proved untrue, or we got unlucky. In the wharf chambers we had over twenty poets and from many different scenes and backgrounds. From first time readers to folk like Ian McMillan and Robert Sheppard, it ran the gamut. I got there early, in the snow, to be met by Ian in fact, whom, ever the gentleman, helped me shift 100 chairs into the basement punk venue. So many poets I was excited to see and meet for this one, and there was a uniformly playful tone, with a noticeable investment by many. For my own work with Patricia Farrell we wrote a collaborative poem and then I played with some ideas around memory and recitation, recording her poems onto my phone, popping in earphones and reciting from that audio file at parts, and at others, just trying to copy what she had said. Nearly 100 crushed in all told and some of these collaborations will be long remembered, everyone was buzzing

Sheffield was interesting. Again there was talk of a quiet gig but our room at Bank Street Arts was chocked, even dangerously so with much of the gig standing room only with people blocking my camera or stepping on each other’s feet, literally. Some great works here, punctuating a range of stuff, from the high literary to the amusing. At times it leaned into the self-referential, the audience having its favourites / friends, which is really the opposite of the deliberately open Enemies mode, but this is inevitable with such an intense room and a single city scene.

To be honest for me, the whole time in Sheffield was clouded by hearing of the death of Tom Raworth, who was a great influence on me and a friend. I wrote a piece remembering him, feeling emptied and deeply sad, in a Travelodge in the city, having travelled from Leeds and so it was a melancholy day. It took me many attempts to write the piece, I was feeling quite out of sorts. We ended the event with Chris McCabe and I reading some of Tom’s poems and this I will never forget, to have the big audience to read Tom’s work to, a day or two after his passing.

Liverpool is a city I love and this sprawling reading in the beautiful Everyman playhouse, who could not have been more generous as a venue, brought together many friends and great poets from across the region, being the final gig. I had the grand pleasure of working with Nathan Walker, whom I respect immensely and our improvised sound poetry vocal piece was a joy, though it was maybe too intense for the audience. Some fine works here but it was a rare misfire over all in terms of the Camarade tradition. Not quite sure why, but there was an imbalance in the works overall, perhaps a lack of identity in the event, a lack of successful experiment, or engagement with liveness. Happens sometimes.

Certainly I left the event happy because it was the summation of the project, and the final moments of that were spent with my friends, Tom Jenks especially, a brilliant poet and a great person to work with. As ever it’s a privilege to do this work, to such large audiences and such enthusiastic and varied writers.

A note on: South West Poetry Tour - St Ives, Falmouth, Dartington

For latest blogs on the tour visit www.stevenjfowler.com/southwest 

A collaborative poetry tour of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset spread over a week in August 2016. A project I co-curated with Camilla Nelson, bringing over 70 poets together over 5 nights, the first Enemies project style tour I've done in England, writing new works every night with core poets JR CarpenterJohn HallMatti SpenceAnnabel Banks and Camilla herself.  It was a memorable week, a return to old places and friends, and the beginning of new ventures. For much more information and documentation visithttp://www.theenemiesproject.com/southwest

St Ives - August 1st 2016

I was born in Cornwall, in Truro, and I grew up as a small child in Newquay. This was the first reading I'd ever given in the county and the first time I had been back since I was a teenager. St Ives, famous for its artistic community, welcomed us with torrential rain. Annabel Banks drove me from London, picking up other poets on the way, for a rare and joyful road trip south. We arrived at night, nearly ten hours on the road, and accommodation famously being at a premium in one of the UK's summer tourism hotspots, I jumped out of the car in a dark lane to enter a property called the hobbit hole, which was a shed with a bed in a garden. Actually quite fun to live, briefly, like a hobbit.

The reading itself was held at the Barbara Hepworth museum, and supported by Tate St Ives. I was told afterwards that we were in the very room in which Barbara Hepworth died of smoke inhalation. Surrounded by her sculptures, it was an unforgettable space to read within. I met many poets for the first time, some after long correspondence, met the core touring poets as a group for the first time, and had the great pleasure to read with John Hall. His work has been influential on my own ever since I began to trace the line of my own interests back through British poetry to the 60s and before. He published his first book in 1968, and his rare poise, presence and judgement as a poet and a person was great to share, if briefly, as we read our piece in such a special room. I tried simply to follow his rhythm, his play with silence and pause and I felt very comfortable in that space, almost not like a reading for me, closer to a performance of reading.

St Ives provided a fascinating beginning to the tour, quite intense in a strange way - the weather, the tourists, sleeping in a shed, bombarded with new faces and hearing new poetry and being responsible for that. Already a sense that things are moving quickly, picking up steam, switching modes to performance and travel, and to start this near the very foot of the country, to work north, as feels natural to me.

Falmouth - August 2nd 2016

A journey across Cornwall, weather lightening, energy rising, travelling with Camilla, a remarkable poet and immensely organised and responsible as a co-curator. Luxurious accommodation too, with a landlady who even came to the reading and insisted on baking me vegan cookies. We were housed at The Poly for the event, with young, helpful, accommodating staff. And I got to work with Matti Spence, a fascinating and generous man, a fine poet. I first met him after he returned to London from some years away in Australia and after he had studied a UEA. Completely assured and singular, while being essentially warm hearted, Matti is a peer to learn from. We wrote a poem I was very happy with and decided then to turn it performatively, breaking the fourth wall, and using the assumed context of the reading against the audience, in a light-hearted way. A lovely touch for me was that my old friend and collaborator Thomas Duggan attended, his studio being deep in the Cornish countryside, and I hugged him mid reading. Everyone seemed lifted by the event, the format of collaboration once again creating ties and bonding people from different scenes and styles. 

Dartington - August 3rd 2016

Back into Devon, driving up with Camilla and Matti, skirting Dartmoor, crossing the Tamar, heading to Schumacher College, near where I grew up as a teenager in Exeter. Another strange return, but realising on the tour that it isn't a return when the company and purpose is utterly new. And in Dartington it felt the most fresh, like I had not been to this part of England before. This is perhaps because Schumacher College is so unique, set apart in the countryside, an ecosystem unto itself. Staying in dorms too, cells, made the experience feel really embedded and somehow enclosed. This was a remarkable evening of poetry too, a full house again, with some brilliant collaborations highlighting an evening that felt complete, energised, memorable. It was inevitable the lineage of Dartington College of Arts would cast a spell on the reading, and so many in the room had ties to that institution (more here on that), and multi-disciplinary practise and performance art was a key feature of the collaborations. 

Collaborating with JR Carpenter was a blast. We took a text she had generated with her computer, basically three simple phrases and then, introducing ourselves with a little bit of water pouring, on theme, used repetition to build an improvisational structure. I love this kind of work, completely open, free and high pressured. It requires time and expertise to do well, and can be a dud on the wrong night. This wasn't, it flowed, as we leaned into each other, swaying slightly, the clear purpose of the work was well expressed, well received and seemed all the more satisfying to me because in a way, it was a small work, miniature and light. It represented the moment, it was of the space, and very much a product of the tour.

We finished the evening in the White Hart, where Dartington College of Art, before it's merger with Falmouth University in 2010, held many events, many long nights. I sat with John Hall, who taught at the institution for 34 years, and he told me of the poets who had read in the room and the history of the place. It felt a very special privilege to hear that from him and to imagine our event as a small, brief, resurgence of that tradition in the area.

Published: my introduction to Enemies: selected collaborations on Jacket2

Very generously Jerome Rothenberg, whose life's work has been a continual and immense influence on me, and no small inspiration for my mode of collaborating prolifically, has posted my introduction to my selected collaborations, written in 2013, on his www.poemsandpoetics.blogspot.com & at the Jacket2 site https://jacket2.org/commentary/%E2%80%9C-miniaturized-bulwark-against-being-solitary%E2%80%9D-sj-fowler-introduces-enemies-selected-coll

 

A note on: Launching House of Mouse with Prue Chamberlain at Poetry School Camarade

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

A note on: Praxis at Parasol Unit - collaborating with Maja Jantar: July 15th

One of the most generous and definitive collaborative relationships that I have, working with Maja Jantar. She's so brilliant, and such a pleasure to work with, this collaboration, so full of play, of song, of physicality and intensity, really is the kind of work I want to do. Really great to do it with such a lovely audience at Parasol Unit and with the curatorial support of Simon Pomery and Lala Thorpe. A memorable experience.

A note on: Gorse publishing Subcritical Tests by Ailbhe Darcy & I in 2017

Wonderful that the hugely respected literary journal, Gorse, has announced it will begin publishing outside of its magazine format in the near future, beginning a press, and even more wonderful, that one of its first few titles, and its first poetry book, will be my collaborative collection, Subcritical tests, written with Ailbhe Darcy. The announcement was made here with an interview by Tristan Foster http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/interview-with-gorse/

Gorse is a perfect place for our book, the situation could not be more fitting and pleasing, can't help but give Ailbhe and I, wading through the poetry sandpit, renewed energy and optimism. Susan Tomaselli, who founded Gorse, is someone who has helped me from within months of my starting writing, and with Gorse, the respect her erudition and activity has always commanded has been quite properly expanded, which is so gratifying to witness.

Gorse’s poetry editor, Christodoulos Makris, is one of the finest poets, innovators and organisers in Europe. His work has been an influence on my own, and to have the chance to work with him directly as an editor is exciting. These relationships should never be underestimated. And Ailbhe, such a remarkable poet. We met on the Yes But Are We Enemies? tour of 2014, beginning writing then about what we felt was pressing, for various reasons - a potential nuclear holocaust, and for well over a year beyond that brilliant few weeks we had been bonded by writing more and more poems on the same theme together, always in correspondence. We discovered how ubiquitous nuclear testing has become since WWII, how truly close the world has come to nuclear destruction, often from snaffus and clumsiness as much as aggression, and how poetic is the process of naming each one of these bombs. The perfect source material to mulch through. And Ailbhe's mulching, so different than mine, maybe not even a word eater as I am, she's an actual poet - so persuasive in her always exacting, intricate graceful work, that she's pulled me, in this book at least, into being more careful, more fixated, and perhaps, by osmosis, I have done the opposite to her, dragging her into the radioactive mud.

More on this soon, an exciting announcement and in the meantime visit, and buy, Gorse http://gorse.ie/.

A note on: a Georgian travelogue & the 2nd Tbilisi Literature Festival

Visit www.stevenjfowler.com/georgia for all images & videos, and www.theenemiesproject.com/georgia for more details on that project

An extraordinary week in Georgia - I had the chance to read at the second international literature festival in Tbilisi alongside some brilliant poets from around the world, organise an Enemies project in Georgia, collaborating with Georgian poets, explore the city of Tbilisi, visit the Caucasian countryside, enjoy the remarkable hospitality of the Writer’s House and the Georgian people in general. An unforgettable trip, an immense privilege. Gratitude to the International Literature Showcase Fund, the British Council and the Georgian Writer’s House for their support. http://writershouse.ge/eng/new/573

A GEORGIAN DIARY

Day One – May 16th

A trip I have long looked forward to, ever since meeting the Georgian playwright and organiser Davit Gabunia at the International Literature Showcase in early 2015 in the UK, and we began plotting. To Georgia, for the sake of poetry, absurd from the off - somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, having avidly read about the place, following history, from early christianity, to the mongols, to timur, to the soviet occupation, to the present, looking west while further east than most British people travel. I had the pleasure too to travel with fellow poets Eley Williams and Luke Kennard, both friends, and as apt a representation of the Enemies project unofficial dictum for those who participate as there could be – good people / good poets, the sweet middle of that Venn diagram for those I love to write and travel alongside.

We travelled into Tbilisi via Istanbul and were met by Sandro Jandrieri, as dry as a desert, as hospitable as can be. We had a hilarious potted history of Tbilisi, and at midnight, the city feeling very much alive, the equivalent energy of early evening in London – friendly, familiar – Sandro took us for food and drink, skirting the tourist places in the old town, where we were staying.

Day Two – May 17th

A strange insomnia is affecting most of the writers visiting, we’re in the same hotel. Maybe it is the hotel itself, or the travel. We meet up, meet the others invited to the festival, some friends, some new friends – DBC Pierre, Yuri Andrukovych, Tadeusz Dabrowski, Sergio Badillo Castillo, and have a chance to explore Freedom Sq before we’re on our first bus trip, led by unfailingly bright and brilliant student volunteers. They take us to a few of the dozens of near ancient churches, a waterfall in the middle of the city then up in the famous funicular where we have our first experience of being stuffed by Georgian food. The view is extraordinary, over the whole city – it is strikingly beautiful, the golden domed cathedral, the hills ringing the city, the iron woman looking down upon the terraces, the cable cars, the modernist architecture recently shocked into place alongside crumbling flats. It’s a powerfully romantic vision, Tbilisi. Eley and I, and the Swedish poet Kristian Carlsson clamber into an art installation on the hill – a massive steel storage container, with a tiny hole, so when you are closed inside, in the dark, a camera obscura shows the city vista within. They lock us in the darkness and we wait. The image never arrives but the utter darkness makes the light of the city all the more palpable when we emerge, sweating.

Our first meeting as a group too, for the Enemies project I’ll be curating. We meet the Georgian poets and Davit, co-curating, is there too as we exchange ideas. My assumption had been that with the Georgian tradition only 25 years out of Soviet rule, that the mode of poetry would be classical, and so maintain the trace of the cult of personality which has dominated poetry for so long, with such ill effect, and so collaboration would feel unnatural to our new friends. Not so, Davit has chosen some radical writers, Lia Liqokeli, Zaza Koshkadze … All of them are making a new tradition for Georgia, looking west, but not being western, like the city itself, daring, idiosyncratic but ever hospitable to collaboration or conversation. We eat with new friends at the Writer’s House, which is the host of the festival and us for our whole time. We have nothing like this in the UK – a locus for writers, epic like a country home in the heart of the city, with amazing food (a theme) and many rooms for the readings and conversations which are scheduled every night for the next week.

Day Three – May 18th

Our ‘work’ day, we have to write and present 11 new works for the Enemies project performance the next night, two as a group and 9 as pairs, short bursts of poetry and performance. This means frantic emails between the six of us participating, ideas shifting, performances forming. We have time to walk further, our own time to explore. People are so friendly, everything is so easy and safe to navigate. It is impossible to imagine we are beyond Turkey. It feels so European. I find, by pure accident, following a giant painting of a Kiwi on a bicycle, Georgia’s only vegan restaurant, and am greeted in English, then fed with the refusal of my money (another theme – this even happened to me in a tourist shop, I was given a postcard), then taken to see the patrons (quite excellent) artwork. We end up talking for over an hour and I meet his family. Hard to not feel embarrassed by how warm everyone is. People hold their stares at me, being tall (er) and pale, but they finish this with a smile, even on the highstreet. I take the chance to have a run, not wanting to bloat out from all the Khachapuri and Khpali I’m shovelling. I have the hill with the funicular in my mind, steep as it is, I want to try it. I run some, walk some and crawl the last. I see the city in blue, my burning thighs and oxygen depleted brain showing Tbilisi in new light again.

Day Four – May 19th

The day of our performance. We need our further time to write, I have another hill run and seek out some exquisite coffee places. Eley, Luke and I have lunch together, they are beautiful company – erudite, kind, engaging. I have known them both for a number of years now, but such is the nature of readings, you often don’t get to cross paths without ‘business’ and for no longer than an hour or two. We are becoming friends, I am richer for that.

We head over to the Writer’s House early to begin rehearsing. Usually, at this stage, in the other 20 or so international Enemies project’s I’ve curated, most of the writing is done and we do a cue to cue, line up the reading order to be complimentary, get the works printed out in order and then practise things out, tweek words and gestures – I’m always emphasising context, to control one’s body and voice, to understand space. I stress this a lot. Tbilisi though, and it’s poets, are enviably laid back, and though Lia is there early and Davit too, there are some delays which make the process quite rushed and a bit hampered. We persevere, make adaptations and bring everything together. 

The performances themselves are really fun. There’s a good audience, a palpable enthusiasm from poets and watchers alike, and a playful spirit. I always seek a balance between intense, quality poetry collaboration between more conceptual, performative works. The balance here is tipped to the latter, and with humour perhaps overriding, as perhaps the nature of the collaborative mode doesn’t quite land for the Georgians, and they have a touch that ends up too light. But this is the energy of the night and we go with that. Some really great moments emerge. Luke and Eley are brilliant and we share some special exchanges, it all feels a great beginning, a fine showcase. All the videos are herewww.theenemiesproject.com/georgia

Day Five – May 20th

We get snatches of the city in the mornings, walking down the river, and I veer out into the suburbs. The city is undoubtedly growing, older buildings propped up with girders, some rotting away, but being developed. What a time to visit – everything is here, everyone wants to talk, yet it is indelibly unique, I’ve never been to a place like it – it feels powerfully authentic. We have a huge late afternoon meal at a restaurant none of us could ever have found without the brilliant people behind the festival – Natasha Lomouri guides the festival beautifully, Nana Jandrieri. the matriarch of our daily lives and Davit, always spinning 20 plates. There are rounds of Georgian toasts, more writers join us, Edgar Karet, Dato Turashvili, Susan Shillinglaw. We eat until we’re immobile. 

Back at the Writer’s House for the evening, every poet attending the festival will read one poem, everyone has had one poem translated into Georgian. The audience is large, but with the reading outside many are eating their dinner, still talking. I like this background noise, this diffused attention. I declare my allegiance to walnuts and drop to my knees as Davit reads my poem about a ‘newly deaf dolphin.’ I like to send this work to translators, proves a challenge, makes a new work in the new language. Great too to see Yasuhiro Yotsumoto, Sergio Badilla Castillo, Tadeusz Dabrowski, Kristian Carlsson, Yurii Andrukoych and others read. Eley, Luke and I have our farewell dinner, again in the Writer’s House. We talk intensely, as we have all week, hard to believe how quickly it has passed, but as always with these strange, bracketed, intense travelling weeks at festivals – the bonds are made strong.

Day Six – May 21st

With many poets departed, I have booked a few more nights in Tbilisi, staying on. This day I get to join an excursion out of Tbilisi and out into eastern Georgia, to Karkheti, through hills, to the brink of mountains, looking south and north as we go. It’s a bus of us, with Nana and more amazing volunteers. I am seated next to an irrepressible and charming woman called Salome, just 19, speaking perfect English, amongst many languages, and she talks to me all day. She is full of life, so enthusiastic and humble. So wonderful to meet Georgians of this generation. We visit a new Chateau made to look old, an ancient church, then the most ancient church. It is interesting, but not deeply absorbing for me, I’m more taken with the general history, the people on the bus and the stray dogs in the countryside, melancholy, friendly creatures, and the views, which are stunning. I’ve always wanted to visit the Caucasus, from reading Hadji Murat on, from wrestling with Caucasians in London. It is everything I hoped. The women on the bus burst into song, three generations. They have beautiful voices and all know the same songs, and frequently halt into laughter between numbers.

We visit Tsinandali, where Alexander Chavchavadze lived, a famous Georgian aristocratic poet, and Lermontov visited, amongst others, and walk the grounds. Free wine tasting leaves me and driver the only sober ones. The songs go up in volume. I am only a little scared. Then onto another huge dinner. They always accommodate my not drinking alcohol and my being vegan, with curiosity. The food is amazing. The 19 year old women and the 60 year old women all smoke around the table, in the restaurant. More toasts. The drive back to Tbilisi is sleepy but doesn’t make a dent in Salome’s energy. She is practising her English with great verve. It’s dark when we rejoin the city.

Day Seven – May 22nd

My last day in Tbilisi. I’ve acclimatised, have my favourite spots and can finally sleep a bit. I know what I want to do, the only day I’ve been alone, and that’s to walk for hours on end. I head down to the famous art market, beneath a bridge, next to the river and spend all morning talking to young artists, who exhibit each Sunday, and antique sellers. I walk up to join Rustiveli street and walk its length for over an hour. Thousands of faces pass by, a mass of human movement, catching eyes with many, music in my ears. I walk to the zoo, made infamous last year as animals escaped after a flood, most famously, the hippo. I formed this story into my collaboration with Luke a few days before, much to students delight. The zoo is half empty of animals, but those there have space and it seems for children more than adults, as it should be. Again people talk to me randomly, freely, with a real kindness. I come closer to a rhino than I should be allowed to me, and pet its horn. Beautiful to be alone here.

I walk back into the city, trying to get partially lost. I discover a disused water park and then climb back to Rustiveli street before visiting the Modern Art Museum, with a retrospective of Tsereveli. I cross Freedom Sq and begin to climb the hills east of the city, wanting to be high above, at the feet of the giant statue of an iron woman. wine and a sword in her hands. I sweat to reach her but the views are stunning. I sit and watch the city for a long time. 

My last hours in Tbilisi are spent over dinner with the Swedish poet Kristian Carlsson. A Swedish project looms. He tells me about his publishing house, his work with refugee writers in Malmo as we try and decipher some abstract translations on the menu. The last page of the menu is for cigarettes. Both of us are marked by the city, by Georgia itself, by its people. Kristian orders a ‘sweet barbecue’ and gets roasted sunflower seeds and eats them while smoking. We say farewell and I have to jog back to the apartment I’ve rented in a torrential downpour. In between sprints I hide in doorways, and under bus stops, and under the lip of a soviet era train station. In more than half, someone asks me where I’m from and says how much they love London when I answer. Me too, but Tbilisi is something London will never be.

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A note on: Soundings IV with Tamarin Norwood

The next instalment of the Soundings project, this time in Wellcome Library itself, with the brilliant Tamarin Norwood. The piece was fashioned just for the camera itself, a closed performance, intended to respond to and interrogate the notion of film editing or performance video, and how it relates to notions of authenticity and naturalness, while all the while following the process central to Soundings, that we respond to Wellcome Library resources provided to us by the librarians and 'sound them out' in conversing. Thanks to Ed Prosser for his brilliant camera work too. www.stevenjfowler.com/soundings

A note on: Rich Mix 10 Year Anniversary Camarade - May 2nd

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 note on: launching 40 feet, a new book, written with David Berridge

As part of an event at the Essex Book Festival, a Camarade I had the pleasure of putting together, I got to read with my friend and collaborator, David Berridge. We launched our book 40 feet, which has been published by Knives Forks and Spoons press. http://knivesforksandspoonspress.co.uk/ 

40 Feet is a poem in dialogue. 40 poems as 40 moments, 40 fragments, 40 conversation starters / enders. It is a poem deliberately broken, misheard, overheard and overlapping. It is a record of meeting, writing, witnessing; mulching and reflecting London in 2013, where both of us lived and frequently met. 40 Feet is the events of that time and the character of that place, fixed in the subjective, the miniature, the specific - through an open-ended poetics of expression and conversation. 

We wrote the book over a year ago and revisiting it in Essex was a beautiful thing, to feel the book as a record of a friendship in poetry but also a marker of a time in my life.

And you can read more about David's work here http://verysmallkitchen.com/ 

Published: Revolve:R edition 2

Such a wonderful project curated by Ricarda Vidal and Sam Treadaway, Revolve:R is a multidisciplinary collaborative prorgramme based on visual correspondence, which explores a transmission of ideas, through a host of artists and a few poets. It's an exploration of collaboration, translation and transition of ideas and inspirations.

I got to write 3 new poems for the 2nd edition of the project, each responding to a new revolution of artworks, which has been published in a really beautiful hardback book, and has recently been shared at multiple galleries including the Fruitmarket in Edinburgh. http://revolve-r.com/index.php/edition-two/ You can read my poems in the book and buy it online.

A note on: Poetry School Camarade - July 16th & 17th 2016

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.

Book here: http://www.poetryschool.com/courses-workshops/face-to-face/the-poetry-school-camarade.php

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.

A note on: Buenos Aires

One of the most amazing experiences I've had, travelling with poetry. I could not have experienced more hospitality and generosity, and the quality and enthusiasm of the Argentine poets was remarkable.

I've fashioned a whole page dedicated to the Enemies Project in Buenos Aires, which has pictures, videos of all the performances and in depth travelogue of what we did. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/argentina

A note on: Ovinir - Icelanders in London - January 30th

Hosting the Icelanders who had been so hospitable to me in Iceland, Ovinir visited Rich Mix on January 30th with four poets visiting, writing new collaborations with local poets, and three new collective performances, made up of younger poets, or those newer to the Enemies project, from courses I've run at Kingston Uni, Poetry School and Tate Modern, to round off a remarkable night. More than 120 people packed the venue to standing room only, and the works presented were of the highest quality. Wonderful to see the Icelanders get the audience and reception they deserved, and to see them, everyone involved so satisfied with what was an example of what the Enemies Project can do when all is aligned in our favour.

It was also the night of my favourite work of the project, from my own creative standpoint, my collaboration with Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir. A work full of raw energy, a desire to confront, to amuse, to inculcate awkwardness alongside humour. A product too, as often the best collaborations are, of a growing friendship, and an immediate kinship between Asta and I, one felt from the first moment we met, owed to the project. We create a kind of performance triptych, from the invasive performance, to the poem and song, to the metadialogue and humour valve. I've rarely been so satisfied with a live work, all owed to Asta's brilliance. www.stevenjfowler.com/iceland

A note on: The Enemies Project - Spring Programme 2016

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 30thOvinir: 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
http://stanzapoetry.org/festival/events/stanza-camarade-performance
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 stanza@stanzapoetry.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.

www.theenemiesproject.com

A note on: Camarade 61 at Apiary Studios - January 16th 2016

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

A note on: performance videos from Soundings I & III, with Emma Bennett and Maja Jantar

Two highlights of 2015, amazing performers and artists both Emma and Maja. So excited I get to do 7 more of these collaborations in 2016 with the help of the Hubbub group in residence at Wellcome Collection and Wellcome Library www.stevenfowler.com/soundings