A note on: Mondo for Poetry School - Autumn Term 2018

Mondo Monda Mondu Monde Mondi https://poetryschool.com/courses/mondo-the-global-avant-garde/ Saturday 3 November and Sunday 4 November. Two-day workshop, 10.30am – 4.30pm.

I am pumped to do another weekend course for the Poetry School, I had such a positive experience earlier this year, sharing European work (you can about that here http://www.stevenjfowler.com/poetryschool) and this November, I hope to repeat the trick. Mondo draws on a personal interest of mine, attempting a global vision of what poetry has gone through on the last 70 years or so - how individual cultures, languages, seismic political changes have shaped fundamental modes of writing. Not just content that is, which translates and then sits across nations through that translation, but actually context too. How poetry itself has shifted, and what we can glean from that. I've followed quite a few hundred rabbit holes thanks to friends across the world and the fact this isn't the most popular area of research. I will make this weekend quite open, explorative, using examples from many nations - Nigeria, Japan, Russia, Peru, China, Syria, Canada, etc... - so it won't be built around geography so much as ideas. Come and join me if you please

Mondo: The Global Avant-Garde Face-To-Face Course
Journey through a world of avant-garde poetry over this jam-packed weekend with SJ Fowler.
Explore a world of avant-garde poetry and discover how remarkable explorations in the written word often compliment, rather than antagonise, more formal writing practice. Using examples from Canada to Nigeria, from Syria to Japan, from Latvia to Brazil, the course will focus on methods of original poetry practise that have emanated from some of the 20th centuries most exciting experimental poetry groups of the post-war period. Rooted in making, this course – with the energy, dynamism and invention of the writing it explores – will enrich anyone’s poetry horizons. Mondo is not intended as representative of anything but an idiosyncratic selection of international avant-garde movements, all presented as a gateway to new writing methodologies for contemporary poets. Examples include:

  • Japan: The ASA group to the VOU: Kitasono Katue & more – Logogrammatic poetry: The abstract illustration of language
  • Canada: The Four Horseman: bp Nichol, Paul Dutton & more – Sound poetry: Language as Sound, resonant, non-lingual, vocal.
  • Nigeria: The Mbari Club: Amos Tutuola, John Pepper Clark & more – Experimental mythology: Mythic tropes as paths to the new.
  • Brazil: Noigandres: Haroldo de Campos, Augusto de Campos & more – Concrete poetry: The visuality of the poem as its meaning
  • Syria & Iraq: The Tammūzī Poets: Badr Shākir al-Sayyāb, Adonis & more – The ancient as modern: Free verse as liberation.
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This workshop will be in our new offices at 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water, SE16 2XU. The venue is a 2-minute walk from Canada Water Station. Take the ‘Lower Road’ exit from the station onto Surrey Quays Road, then walk straight ahead, crossing over Deal Porters Way, and the Dock Offices come up on the left. The door for the school is at the far end of the building.

The Autumn Term is open for booking! Have a read through our fantastic quick guide, which you can find here and below, to see all of the courses - online and face-to-face - we're running this autumn! There really is something for everyone. 

A note on : The end of the Other Room

The Other Room has come to an end. Ten years of remarkable events that have led the way in a resurgence of decidedly contemporary forward thinking poetry in the North West have wrapped themselves up as of April 2018. The trio of curators, all markedly influential poets, publishers and educators themselves – Scott Thurston, James Davies, Tom Jenks – have worked together in putting on dozens of poets in dozens of events, publishing 10 anthologies and posting hundreds of updates online for events and publications across the UK. They have done the kind of work that acts as an invisible inspiration to generations that come up behind them, that create concrete connections between writers and happenings that influence the future of poetry in the UK, especially outside of London, and I for one have often made it known their very specific way of working events has been a massive influence upon me. https://otherroom.org/

I would say my experience reading at The Other Room in 2011 was the singular influence on the nascent Enemies Project then and has concentrated my focus ever since. What I discovered was that there isn’t a contradiction between a warm, welcoming, hospitable, funny, unpretentious atmosphere and poetry that is challenging, complex, oblique, idiosyncratic and strange. In fact, these two things are complimentary. This discovery made me realise the often experienced distance, coolness and hierarchy of many readings was a deliberate imposition fashioned in order to create for themselves a sense of exclusivity. The Other Room showed this to me, this vital realisation and in so doing eliminated any instinct I might’ve had for utopian projects in poetry, allowing me to focus on each night at a time, to be present with the poets on those nights, enjoy their company, listen concentratedly to their work and then have a laugh whenever possible. This is very likely the reason my events are still going, 8 years after they began. 

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The Other Room also showed me that the superstition some poets have as a legacy from the last century, that organising too successfully blots out appreciation of your own poetry, a spectre of conflicting interests somewhere in the poetry ether (being a poet and editor is fine though apparently, and anthologising, and teaching) is also a myth. Scott, James and Tom are some of the most interesting poets writing in the UK, each with their own markedly original oeuvre and intellectual concerns, rendered in a multitude of forms and spaces, each with their own influence over many of their peers. Scott was one of the very first poets I met, and I listened to him carefully then, as I do now - his work offered me great possibility. James has done as much as anyone to make conceptual poetry in the UK its own separate exploration with its own decidedly British concerns, separate from the humourless aggrandisement that can be indicative of people’s understanding of that area of poetry. And Tom’s prolific invention, insight and deep erudition worn lightly has been a huge influence on my use of satire, humour and the balance between lyricism and found language. Tom, like Scott and James too, is such a clear thinker about poetry, has such a mind for the art, but carries this knowledge with great humility, always in a mode of learning, always open to new ideas.

The end of The Other Room is a loss for the UK poetry scene. I had always hoped similarly organic homes for interesting poetry would pop up in cities across the country, that it would procreate into more rooms of otherness, so that we could build a circuit that would be exponential, that would serve as a link for new poets coming through everywhere, doing what they have done for a decade, leading a way, lighting a path, providing a space. Yet, after this time, after such selfless labour, one can’t help but understand why it should end, so neatly, so that it doesn’t just dissolve as often the best things in poetry do, into something lesser, to disappear unnoticed. For my part, I’m grateful to them, they’ve run something powerful for longer than I’ve been involved in writing at all, and I hope as the next years pass The Other Room is remembered as a real moment in 21st British poetry.
 

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: The European Camarade & collaborating with Endre Ruset

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.

A note on: Globe Road Festival Walking Tour - November 15th 2015

A really open, generous, honest and fascinating morning, walking the length of Globe road in East London, from Mile End Road to Bethnal Green. I was so pleased to be leading the walking tour for the Globe Road Festival with Gareth Evans, Elaine Mitchener, Adam Bohman as the commissioned artists, each presenting extraordinary and varied works, from Adam's hand written scores of found language, to Gareth's lyrical poem, to Elaine's heartfelt conceptual poem, read just a stone's throw from her childhood home. The many people in tow, kindly sharing their morning with us, followed on into York Hall, for a small reading kindly arranged by Jonathan Mann, where Richard Scott and Stephen Watts also read. You can find out all the details and watch all the performances here http://www.theenemiesproject.com/globeroad 

"A unique live walking tour performance experience, as part of the Globe Road Festival, the Enemies project presents a stroll down Globe Road itself, in the company of poets, sound artists and vanguardists. Stopping four times, at designated places on Globe Road, the artists will present a talk or performance completely original to the walk, in response to Globe Road. With their own lives entwined to the history and culture of this stretch of East London, this will be an original outdoor insight into the most interesting and often underground avant garde artists of contemporary London."

Upcoming: Mondo - a world of avant-garde poetry, a course for the Poetry School

Thursdays : November 5th - December 3rd : 6.45pm to 8.45pm at the Poetry School in Lambeth, London. £90.00. Concs: £72.00

5 sessions 5 international avant-garde poetry movements / methodologies from Japan, Canada, Nigeria, Brazil, Syria & Iraq

Book online using this link: http://www.poetryschool.com/courses-workshops/face-to-face/mondo--the-global-avant-garde.php

I'm very happy to be presenting a new course for the Poetry School focusing on 5 global avant-garde poetic movements of the post-war period, in five different nations, aiming to elucidate traditions that might be occluded in the UK, and explore how their innovations in writing can compliment people's poetry in the now. The onus is on how these great moments in modern poetry can enrich writing practise, rather than dense historical analysis. It’s a rare chance to excavate avant-garde work in such a setting, please sign up above if interested. 

Participants will have a chance to share their work at a post-course reading and you can see further information about Mondo and my previous courses & activities with the Poetry School here: www.stevenjfowler.com/poetryschool

Week One: November 5th – Japan
The ASA group to the VOU: Kitasono Katue & more
Logogrammatic poetry: The abstract illustration of language

Week Two: November 12th – Canada
The Four Horseman: bp Nichol, Paul Dutton & more
Sound poetry: Language as Sound, resonant, non-lingual, vocal.

Week Three: November 19th - Nigeria
The Mbari Club: Amos Tutuola, John Pepper Clark & more
Experimental mythology: Mythic tropes as paths to the new.

Week Four: November 26th – Brazil
Noigandres: Haroldo de Campos, Augusto de Campos & more
Concrete poetry: The visuality of the poem as its meaning

Week Five: December 3rd – Syria & Iraq
The Tammūzī Poets: Badr Shākir al-Sayyāb, Adonis & more
The ancient as modern: Free verse as liberation.

Upcoming: a language art - a course at Tate Modern

A Language Art: a course at Tate Modern

Avant-garde Poetry & Modern Art, in the galleries

Mondays, 26 October – 30 November 2015, 18.45–20.45,
session on Monday 9th November at Tate Britain
£150, concessions available

Book online using this link: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/courses-and-workshops/language-art-avant-garde-poetry-and-modern-art

I'm delighted to be leading a course for Tate Modern this winter, where over six weeks, we will explore the intersections between the post-war traditions of modern art and avant-garde poetry.

Discovering poets and artists from the Tate collection who make use of language, sound, space, printing and writing, this course reveals how these practises are fundamental to both arts. A detailed course breakdown is available here: http://www.stevenjfowler.com/alanguageart/

Sessions are based within the galleries of Tate Modern in the presence of works by Gerhard Richter, Li Yuan-Chia and RB Kitaj amongst others, which bring to light some of the great moments in modern art and poetry that have enriched the traditions of both writing and art-making. Each week participants are also introduced to contemporary examples of work inspired by those held in the Tate Collection, as well as encouraged to create and share their own avant-garde poetry and text art in the extraordinary environment of the museum. One session is held at Tate Britain and includes the chance to explore Tate’s Prints and Drawings Rooms.

This course is for people interested in developing their own skills and understanding of experimental poetry and modern and contemporary art practises, and the onus of the course is on how these great moments in modern art and poetry can enrich writing and art-making practise, rather than dense historical analysis. It’s a rare chance to excavate avant- garde poetry in such a setting, and each week participants will have the chance to create new works in the extraordinary environment of the Tate Modern’s galleries.

Kakania IV at the Austrian Cultural Forum – March Thursday 26th 2015

The Kakania project closes its program for now with a grand event at the Austrian Cultural Forum, just off Hyde Park, in London. Four new commissions, and four new iterations of previous commissions blend poetry, avant-garde music, performance art and video art, all from contemporary artists and poets each responding in their own unique way to a figure of Habsburg Vienna around one century ago.

George Szirtes reads poems on Arthur Schnitzler
Ben Morris offers experimental music on Ernst Krenek
Joshua Alexander screens his video art on Paul Wittgenstein
Emily Berry reads poems on Sigmund Freud
Colin Herd reads poems on Oskar Kokoschka
Fabian Faltlin performs in response to Otto Wagner
Stephen Emmerson shares things in response to Rainer Maria Rilke
eff Hilson reads poems on Ludwig Wittgenstein

The event is completely free, but please do use this link to book your place
http://acflondon.org/literature-and-books/kakania-iv/

Both Kakania publications, the Kakania anthology with over 40 contributors, and Oberwildling: On the Life of Oskar Kokoschka by Colin Herd & I, will be available to buy at the event.

Once this phase of Kakania is complete, the remaining copies of the books will be available online and the anthology will have a special reading launch in June at the Hardy Tree gallery in Kings Cross, London.

Also in situe at Kakania IV will be books from the imitable Pushkin Press, who have generously supported the Kakania project and who publish some of the finest authors of the era we are emploring. http://pushkinpress.com/kakania/

Thanks too to Theodora Danek, Elisabeth Kögler and the team at the Austrian Cultural Forum and all those who’ve helped make the project so special. www.kakania.co.uk

Month one in residency at the Hub: Wellcome Collection - February 16th 2015 {#4}

I've got my rhythm now, and finding my purpose amidst the immense possibility of the Hub. Somehow I assumed I would be able to land here and spark collaborations immediately, but what I've realised, being here a few days a week for over a month now, is that's not even desireable, even if it was possible. At root this is because it's still hard for me to comprehend the freedom we have to explore new work on our terms, the real space we have to create interdisciplinary works. Anyway, my work with the Hub is evolving into these areas:

- Some experimental classes that take my martial arts teaching and develop them as wholly process orientated practises, to emphasise the students knowledge of their own bodies possibilities, integrities and corporeal limits / potentials. That is to say these classes will be about motion, mental focus, muscle memory and not about harming other bodies, through the developed exercises and techniques that originate toward the product of hurting bodies. 

Video art performance pieces of me training, hitting the punchbag so far, and which emphasise the rest periods between this exertion in order to create vistas of human perception when altered by this exertion. A long time preoccupation of mine, this is taking form for me in the realm of video, which is exciting, and at the moment I'm tinkering with making these pieces glitchy and kitsch.

- A new series of collaborative sound poetry performances, called Soundings:
"Soundings in the Reading Room is a series of collaborative avant-garde sonic art & sound poetry performances which will present site-specific writing, composition and performance that explores how noise and silence mediate the relationship between the city and the text, artwork or musical score. Receptive to the unique surroundings of the Wellcome Collection Reading Room, Soundings will be an exploration of the potential poetics of sound amidst city noise and the profound effect it has on our experience of restfulness."

This last one is really an extraordinary platform for me to work with artists I admire in a beautiful new space.

I also helped build a hammock and have made lots of new friends.

Reading American poets at the Whitechapel gallery with Chris McCabe amidst American cinema

This was a really lovely evening, expertly curated by the generous and eloquent Gareth Evans, putting myself and Chris McCabe into a program of some amazing contemporary American experimental cinema, reading American poets. The Whitechapel is always a good place to read, but to have cinema sit up close with poetry, and to be reading work like O'Hara and Starr Hamilton made it feel completely new to me. A very generous feeling between the filmmakers and film curator Jamie Wyld and us too, this is the kind of thing I'm always happy to be doing. 

Kakania at the Horse Hospital - February 19th

Another extraordinary lineup of contemporary artists presenting new works responding to figures of Habsburg Vienna one century ago marks our third Kakania event, this time taking place at the iconic Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury, London. A host of artists I am very proud to present, coming from Vienna, Paris, Zagreb & elsewhere just for Kakania. Doors 7pm, for a 7.30 start.
 
Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt
Martin Bakero on Arnold Schoenberg
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil
Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler
Joerg Zemmler on Karl Kraus
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke

 
Tickets, at £8, on the door, with info available here: http://www.thehorsehospital.com/now/kakania-iii/

More news soon on the launches of the Kakania anthology and Oberwilding: on the life of Oskar Kokoschka, both original publications made for the project, now in print and presented for the first time at the Freud Museum. As well as our last event on March 26th at the Austrian Cultural Forum, who must be thanked for their generous support of this project. www.kakania.co.uk / www.acflondon.org
 
I would also like to draw your attention to the awful news that the Horse Hospital, an endlessly innovative and generous home for avant garde artwork in London, for 20 years now, is in the process of being sold off. There is a campaign against this http://www.thehorsehospital.com/horse-hospital-to-be-sold/ Please support the HH in anyway you can.

1000 Proverbs

The Liverpool Camarade event on Feb 18th 2015 will also serve as the launch for my new collaborative publication, 1000 Proverbs, written with the brilliant Tom Jenks and published by Knives Forks & Spoons press. I've been excited about this for a very long time. Tom and I have read from the work on multiple occasions and every time people seem to enjoy it. It is because he is talented and funny.

Soon the book will be available here: http://www.knivesforksandspoonspress.co.uk/

& you can see some of the many times Tom & I have shared our proverbial wisdom over the last few years here:

The cover is by the artist Theo Kaccoufa.

announcing Kakania! a brand new project begins Nov 25th

Thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum, I’m delighted to announce a new project that celebrates the culture of Habsburg Vienna a century ago, with commissions of contemporary artists from 21st century London. Kakania - over 4 events, each in different venues, 4 original publications and an array of contemporary artists working in poetry, visual art, sound & conceptual art - aims to not just to evoke the Habsburg era, but to envelope it, to transpose it, to avoid nostalgia and in its stead bring the intensity and innovation that marked the last days of the Habsburg era. www.kakania.co.uk

Each artist is creating new work based on one specific figure from that time. The website features an artists section where you can see the full list of commissions, which include Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud, Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka, Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt, & George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler, amongst many others, including, in time, works on Stefan Zweig, Robert Musil, Egon Schiele, Gustav Mahler, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Alma Mahler, Joseph Roth & many others.

The first event takes place in just over two weeks and is completely free to attend.

Kakania
November Tuesday 25th – 7.30pm
the Rich Mix Arts Centre – Main space – Free Entry
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Sharon Gal on Anton Webern
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ariadne Radi Cor & Diane Silverthorne on Alma Mahler
Dylan Nyoukis on Raoul Hausmann
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas-Salome
The following three events will take place on:
January thurs 22nd at the Freud Museum
http://www.freud.org.uk/events/75773/kakania/
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
& many more

February thurs 19th at TBC
Featuring brand new commissions from:
Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Tom Jenks on Otto Gross
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka
Martin Bakero on TBC
Morten Sondergaard on TBC

March thurs 26th at the Austrian Cultural Forum

Featuring brand new commissions from:
George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler
Joshua Alexander on Paul Wittgenstein
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke

Kakania is an ambitious project which explores the legacy of the Habsburg past through decidedly contemporary, original works of text and art, which will attempt to be as complex and genre testing as the works, and the people, they are responsive to. Please come out to support the endeavour.


Kakania is also partnered by Pushkin Press, who will have books to sell at the events & who publish vital Habsburg figures like Stefan Zweig http://pushkinpress.com/ & the website is ever growing with new works of art and poetry published online, as well as information on the project and its commissions, so please check back regularly www.kakania.co.uk All thanks go to the Austrian Cultural Forum http://www.acflondon.org/

Camaradefest II - the videos

Camaradefest, in its second incarnation, was extraordinary. A collective generosity permeated throughout the day, made it feel fresh and easy and I'm very much glad we did it. 100 poets, hundreds upon hundreds watching throughout the day. It was busy and full of exchange and the poetry was fantastic.  Still processing, more on this later. Here's the videos, yours to enjoy.
Ross Sutherland & Thomas Bunstead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSfp_P2wB5w
John Clegg & Holly Corfield Carr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuL3kMUCI6M
Sarah Dawson & Robin Boothroyd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58JLMgIxRO4
Jonah Wilberg & Lucy Furlong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rHChB8cTJY
Vera Chok & Sophie Herxheimer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdJYSwlciNg
Paul Hawkins & Mali Clements https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM3AlEVbqis
Angus Sinclair & Laura Elliott https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCbVgf0Pcfw
George Szirtes & Carol Watts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlIBnKsGFUo
Mike Saunders & Emilia Weber https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3XPPcYSQ4A
Tamar Yoseloff & Claire Crowther https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENbSrOlgBxk
Andy Spragg & Emma Hammond https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkwJ7CbBuuU
Alan Halsey & Geraldine Monk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydgyFD5sv0s
Tim Allen & Richard Barrett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v825a2R7yIQ
Prudence Chamberlain & Eley Williams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNRA4TDSEvM
Hannah Silva & Andra Simons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIKR-YM1SkU
James Byrne & Sandeep Parmar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSCVJBizFTg
Vicky Sparrow & Dave Spittle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vOqM7Sdeiw
Agnes Lehoczky & Astrid Alben https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi46d4s6vD0
Francine Elena & Emily Hasler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT0Y68Do3BI
Ollie Evans & Becky Varley Winter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df-6ErFrzXw
Rebecca Tamas & Martin Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9e6ZPVujMM
Sarah Kelly & Seekers of Lice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHazjqVrKSQ
Jow Lindsay & Anne Laure Coxam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_KgpEhXFWc
James Wilkes & Ariadne Radi Cor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glPqBljn4iM
Sophie Collins & Livia Franchini https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haBN_nHCqKU
Nikolai Duffy & Rhys Trimble https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrltmSLikyk
Ryan Van Winkle & Ghazal Mosadeq https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4UYVkYypUw
Calum Rodger & Anthony Autumn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k9t_pUykBg
Cristine Brache & Holly Childs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9QLUlMq5CQ
Lila Matsumoto & Samantha Walton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX5mQzy020o
James Davies & Philip Terry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z67_iVlMSmA
Nathan Jones & Christodoulos Makris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtIFvHzvCQs
Zuzana Husarova & Olga Pek https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC1CEhq9oGA
David Berridge & Stephen Emmerson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxKhFGoIWQw
Alison Gibb & Kimberley Campanello https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcUWdWHaQBE
Sean Bonney & nick-e melville https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gBRH1iQ8ds
Sam Riviere & Crispin Best https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZfKMgNFdJg
Holly Pester & Emma Bennett Camaradefest II - Holly Pester & Emma Bennett

Yes But Are We Enemies? diary #5 - Dublin : the end of our Ireland

One of the best Enemies events I've ever been a part of. Hard to describe just how intense, and how brilliant this event felt. Very much, it would seem to me, to be a culmination of a variety of circumstance. The first being the underappreciation of the strength of the Irish avant garde. Here poets of that ilk came together, from Cork to Derry, from Dublin and beyond to share a series of works so radically different in their experimentation, but all wonderful in their power and authenticity, that it became undeniable there is an amazing thing happening right now in Ireland. From audiovisual collaboration, to performance art, to found text, to multivocal readings, the event did what we initially planned this tour might do, and it gave a home, and created a platform for really diverse writers to prove us right. It was also in the Writers Centre, a beautiful place, but known perhaps for its formality, and we crammed it, filled most of the two rooms, and somehow used the ornate nature of the surroundings to intensify the intimacy of the works. We also preceded it with a Q&A, which became, in a gentle way, a discussion with a hypothesis, about collaboration and the Irish tradition. Had the following hours poetry been a damp squib, we might have appeared foolish, but seeing its fire and its clear success as an enterprise, all the more it was as though we had convinced the audience about the salience of our ideas. And finally, it was the last Irish date for us six travelling, and assorted others, and it felt like a goodbye of sorts, because it was. I had such a wonderful time reading with Billy and the others, and really felt as relaxed as I can remember feeling at such an occasion. The videos below bear this out. 

Anamaria Crowe Serrano & Alan Jude Moore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtF-GGgfZug
Michael Shanks & Cal Doyle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1C9NnKwxnU
Aodan McCardle & Ailbhe Hines https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHwymwq82uI
Sam Riviere & Ailbhe Darcy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofoUxakKZ8A
Christodoulos Makris & Patrick Coyle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPhuZ7INV-0


Yes But Are We Enemies? diary #3 - Galway

The difference a three hour car ride through the north west of Ireland can make. The intensity of Derry for the easy gait of Galway. The change was pretty extreme. I rode in Billy Ramsell's car with Ailbhe Darcy, while the unfortunates got the bus. Nothing like a poet's road trip, and with Billy, a gentle education in Irish history (welcomed, asked for), Irish language (and it's poetry), and Trad music (which is uniformly beautiful). Galway itself was like a small, Leprechaun ridden Barcelona. The volume of tourists, tourist bars, tourist shops, students, and people in general was pretty surprising to me, and the hot weather (apparently extremely rare) made for a change of tone. But runs down on the seaside, against the atlantic, and the food and the friendliness of the people made it apparent why so many people love it as a place. Again the cohesion and care the group has for each other was palpable, we all ate together on what was really our first day without a reading.
A full day in Galway and then to the arts centre for the reading itself. Some beautiful contributions from Elaine Cosgrove, Anamaria Crowe Serrano, Susan Millar DuMars, Kevin Higgins, Eleanor Hooker, the wonderful Sarah Hesketh who'd come all the way from London to join us, and Sam and Ailbhe, the genuine talent of the latter bringing some non-ironic feelings out of the former for the first time in his life I'm sure. My performance with Christodoulos was a wee bit unexpected by the audience perhaps, a bit more performative, or contradictory, or combustible than they'd expected, and in contrast to the gentility of the fine poetry beforehand, it was noticeable, the discomfort. I am glad we did it, despite not wanting to make people feel awkward, I do believe that is a valid aesthetic reaction and guards against the complacency and comfort that often lazy lyrical poetry can bring. Moreover, it is a very real part of what this tour and project stands for, that the avant garde of Ireland has been smothered and needs its platform with the more 'poetic' poetry. By the time Patrick was utilising repetition as a humourous and interrogative tool against listeners complacency we had got a walkout! Strike one for the project. Elaine Cosgrove & Anamaria Crowe Serrano https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKMA65LAczM
Susan Millar DuMars & Kevin Higgins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4g7y-Tf0YE
Sarah Hesketh & Eleanor Hooker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tzhXDGmcZE
Christodoulos Makris & myself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pauNrHzFVo
Patrick Coyle & Billy Ramsell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9mkefRikHk
Ailbhe Darcy & Sam Riviere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnmY5ek5WF

Why I am excited for Yes But Are We Enemies? an outside view of Irish poetry

I've had the great fortune to travel during my life, and recently (perversely) often through poetry. Yet, I've never been outside of Dublin in Ireland, never been outside of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Moreover, when I've spent time in Manchester and Edinburgh, and made public my admiration for the depth and consideration of the poetry scene in both those places, centred on, but not exclusive to, the Other Room and Caesura, so those local to the place have expressed surprise that I should feel that way so vehemently. What was most often said of the Auld Enemies grand show success at Summerhall in Edinburgh just last month was that only an outsider could've had a hand in such an event coming together. So my being an outsider to Ireland has allowed me to watch, over the last year or two, a distinct and decisive blossoming of extraordinary writers, poets, editors and curators coming out of those nations. It is too frequent that a poet of quality, that I will then go on to watch for, to invite, to follow, will come out of the Irish nations, that it might be an accident. 

Darran Anderson was my predecessor at 3am magazine, to him I owe the job of poetry editor there, and much more besides. His writing, and the clear energy of literary impetus is extraordinary. http://darrananderson.com/ Susan Tomaselli has been doing for me, for my repute as it were, what often poets long for and few get, actual consideration and unexpected support. Her work with Gorse is nothing but a revelation, it is a singular project, and a magazine I will submit to for every issue, fail and or succeed. http://gorse.ie/ Michael Shank's Bohemyth is another extraordinary publication, genuinely marked out from its peers by its intensity and width, and the editorial care that Michael selflessly throws into it. http://thebohemyth.com/ Colony is an outstanding publication too, edited by a team that includes Kim Campanello, Dave Lordan, Anamaria Crowe Serrano and Rob Doyle, all of them authors whose work represents the quality of the magazine. http://www.colony.ie/ Kim herself represents the depth of connection to Ireland that currently resides in London, and has informed and expanded, palpably, the scene I am actively a part of. Pascal O'Loughlin, Robert Kiely, Stephen Mooney, Sarah Kelly, Becky Cremin, Philip Terry ... all hold Irish passports of one kind or another, all are brilliant, and perhaps united, by being profoundly underappreciated. I'll say nothing of whether the famous Irish poets of the last half century have strangled any appreciation for just how inventive and truly Avant Garde Irish poetry is and has been, as I'm not Irish and I don't know enough. What I do know, with absolutely certainty, these poets, above and below, are extraordinary, and aren't considered so by more than a few hundred people. If this project makes it a thousand (or two), then I'll sleep better.

& Rob Doyle, whose book sits on my shelf, recently catapulted quite deservedly (and all the more rarely for that fact) into a literary exposure I could not have been more pleased to watch happen http://robdoyle.net/ There's Aodan McCardle, who I saw perform in London before I published a poem, who leaves behind him here, while making similarly important work in Ireland, a legacy that generations will remember in Veer press. There's James Cummins, who I saw storm up Prague this May. There's Stephen Connolly, who I've had the pleasure to publish and invite to read in London, who is markedly, no matter where he might be from, one of the more generous and intelligent younger poets working today. There's Damian Smyth, a more open and supportive curator I have yet to come across from the distance I have been lucky enough to know him so far. There are these names, and so many more, whom I have read and whom I have the pleasure and privilege of meeting in the latter half of September - Kit Fryatt, Cal Doyle, Eleanor Hooker, Ailbhe Hines, Doireann Ni Ghriofa, James King, and many others,  please search them out, you will be better for doing so. 

I will not yet write about my co-tourees, Sam Riviere, an old friend who lives in Belfast, Ailbhe Darcy, Billy Ramsell, Patrick Coyle, as I will have plenty of time to do so during my tour diaries and this is about what is in front of me, that which is happening in Ireland now. But I will finish by speaking of Christodoulos Makris, someone who I'm very proud to say has become a friend since I interviewed him for my Maintenant series a fair few years ago now. I could not have found a better and more responsible and generous co-curator and collaborator for this project. He has managed to be so many things at once, in his work and in his person, humorous and warm, yet dignified and serious, experimental and innovative, and yet never trenchant or posturing, Irish and Cypriot, and yet neither / both of these. His recent work is up on 3am http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/chances-are/ Have a look at 'Chances are' and the poetry of it speaks up itself. 

This is the right time to be exploring Ireland, and not just through poetry, but through collaboration in poetry, something that forces creative sociality, friendships, communication and bonds, made face to facem that I hope, being relatively young in my life, will last many decades into the future

Modes of Aberrant Research - next week at the Whitechapel Gallery

Very excited to be part of this event with brilliant artists, and I'll be reading my experimental story MueuM for the first time in public after it was White Review prize nominated this year.
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Performances coming up this August at the Whitechapel Gallery

Performance: Modes of Aberrant Research

Thursday 7 August, 7pm 

An evening of deviant anecdotes, radical storytelling and narrative segues through archives, collections and institutions. Through experimental fiction, multi-media performance and voice-driven texts, five artists and writers, including SJ Fowler, Patrick Coyle, Holly Pester and Kreider + O’Leary,  examine the subject’s status as agitator, witness and unwitting member of memory institutes.  

£8.50 full price (£4.25 members price).

Book now

Auld Enemies: July 9th - 26th

7 locales : over 40 poets : a national tour of Scotland
& brand new innovative poetic collaborations : a Scottish Enemies project http://weareenemies.com/auldenemies.html

The Enemies project: Auld Enemies is a transnational poetry collaboration where six poets will work in rolling pairs to produce original works for readings across the breadth of Scotland. Each event will also feature numerous pairs of writers from the region, who will be presenting brand new poetry collaborations as well. Auld Enemies is a groundbreaking exploration of contemporary Scottish poetics through the potential of collaboration.

Auld Enemies will commence with a six date tour of Scotland, taking in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Lerwick in the Shetlands and finishing with Kirkwall in the Orkneys. It will conclude with an event in London, at the Rich Mix Arts Centre, on July 26th, which will feature many of the new works from the tour, new collaborations and a documentary screening about Auld Enemies.

Auld Enemies is fundamentally about the creation of new collaborative works and the integration of differing poetic communities, and has only been possible through the generosity of a series of organisational partners, first and foremost Creative Scotland, but also the Scottish Poetry Library, Literary Dundee, Summerhall, Shetland Arts, the Orkney Islands Council and Northlink Ferries.

Please find below the schedule and the poet's involved, and if possible, do spread the word, and attend all and any of the events you can:

July 9th - Dundee - 6pm
Duncan of Jordanstone (studio & foyer space) University Of Dundee, Perth Rd, Dundee DD1 4HT (with thanks to Peggy Hughes)

Billy Letford & nick-e melville / Ryan Van Winkle & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & Ross Sutherland
plus AZ Jackson & Lindsay MacGregor / James Stewart & Dawn Wood / Richard Watt & more
July 10th – Glasgow - 8pm
McChulls 40 High Street (http://mcchuills.co.uk/) (with thanks to Henry Bell)

Ross Sutherland & Ryan Van Winkle / Billy Letford & Colin Herd / nick-e melville & SJ Fowler
plus Thomas Betteridge & Neil Davidson / Katy Hastie, Antony Autumn, Iyad Hayatleh & more
July 11th - Edinburgh - 7pm
Summerhall -- Demonstration Room. 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL
 http://www.summerhall.co.uk/ (with thanks to Jen White)

Colin Herd & Iain Morrison / Billy Letford & Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler & Ross Sutherland
nick-e melville & Jane Goldman / Dave Coates & Rachel McCrum / JL Williams & Elspeth Smith / Luke Allan & Graeme Smith / Karen Veitch & Mike Saunders / Ed Smith & Thomas MacColl / Rob McKenzie & more
July 12th - Aberdeen 7pm
Cellar 35, 35 Rosemount Viaduct (http://www.list.co.uk/place/21626-cellar-35/ (with thanks to Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown)

Billy Letford & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle & Colin Herd / Ross Sutherland & nicke melville
Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown / Maureen Ross & more
July 14th – Lerwick, The Shetland Islands- 7pm
At the http://www.mareel.org/ arts centre. ZE1 0WQ (with thanks to Donald Anderson)

Ross Sutherland & nick-e melville / Colin Herd & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle
Nat Hall & James Sinclair / Donald Murray /  Laurajayne Friedlander & more
July 17th - Kirkwall, The Orkney Islands - 7pm
Kirkwall Library -- 44 Junction Rd, Highlands and Islands, Kirkwall KW15 1AG -- https://www.facebook.com/orkneylibraryandarchive) (with thanks to Pam Beasant)

Ross Sutherland & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & nick-e melville
Rosemary Merriman, Sylvia Hays, Rosie Alexander, Lydia Harris & more
July 26th - London - 7pm

Ross Sutherland / nick-e melville / Colin Herd / Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler
Emily Berry & John Clegg / Tom Chivers & Roddy Lumsden
Nick Murray & Eley Williams / Vahni Capildeo & Jeremy Noel-Tod
Kirsty Irving & Harry Man / Daisy Lafarge & more

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

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

Jiang

One Hundred Years of New Poetry in China

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