So happy to be co-curating another Enemies tour in the UK, this time with Tom Jenks, visiting cities in the North and North West of England. It is no exaggeration to say that the presses and poets at the centre of the current modern / avant garde scene in this region have supported and inspired my work as much as anyone else.
So many of the poets, publishers and organisers who have been based there during my time in poetry - people like Tom, Scott Thurston, Alec Newman, James Davies, Sandeep Parmar, James Byrne, Richard Barrett, Tim Allen, Mark Cobley, Nathan Jones, Robert Sheppard, Patricia Farrell, Nikolai Duffy, Philip Davenport, Ben Morris, Chris McCabe, Daniele Pantano - have been key in my development, both as a poet and as someone trying to understand the best way to organise events. The Other Room series was an early and pivotal inspiration for the Enemies project, and it reflects what I'd happily generalise for poets and readings in the region, that its defined by strong, complex, challenging work underpinned by a very dry sense of humour, and surrounded by unpretentious, friendly people, who believe in a community of writers without talking too much about that.
So it's important to me to keep going back to cities like Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester, where I've been treated so well so often, as well reading for the first time in cities like York and Leeds. We've got over 60 poets involved, and we'll create over 50 new collaborative works. It's such a pleasure to do, and with the arts council supporting us, it's grand we can do it properly. Visit http://www.theenemiesproject.com/northwest for the full lineups