34 readings in 51 days

From May 8th, when Feinde: Austrian Enemies began, to June 27th, when the Mahu exhibition events program ended I was read, performed, collaborated or organised 34 readings in those 51 days. It was a patch of time I had cultivated as active, always wanting an ebb and flow between periods of relentlessness and calm, and yet I did rather blunder into it too. I've had the privilege of staying busy with creative stuff the last two or three years but this was probably the most intensive patch. I learned things through it that will change the way I approach almost everything, both good and bad, which is perhaps it's greatest result, but more than anything the extraordinary experiences I had with people are what stays with me. I met at least a 1000 new poets, artists or people interested in that. I am grateful, and what does truly stay with me after these few months, for the hospitality, energy and friendship of so many. 

From Feinde, working with Jorg Piringer who I admire so much, and making deep friendships with Esther Strauss, Max Hofler, Ann Cotten and the amazing Theodora Danek, and all the brilliant British poets who were involved, Jen Calleja, the Bohman brothers, Robert McClean, Emma Hammond, Cristine Brache, Prudence Chamberlain, Eley Williams ...

to Euro Lit Night Edinburgh and the beautiful hospitality of my friends Colin Herd, Ryan Van Winkle, Graeme Smith, nick-e melville, Iain Morrison and so many others .... to the Garden Museum and Jo Gibbons and co who are kind enough to have me in residence at their Landscape Architecture firm ... to the Five Years Gallery, spending lovely time with Fabian Peake, Giovanna Coppola, Phyllida Barlow, Clover Peake ... to Kettle's Yard, and an amazing night with Sarah Turner and Lyn Nead beneath Gauder-Brzeska's Wrestlers...

to Gelynion! one of the very best Enemies projects, so full of heartfelt support and exchange and friendship. To Nia Davies, Joe Dunthorne, Eurig Salisbury, Zoe Skoulding, Rhys Trimble, Annwn and the amazing array of poets who could not have given more to the readings in Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth, Bangor ... to Hay-on-Wye, which I found to be completely welcoming and full of interesting people, to my friends Nell Leyshon, Daniel Hahn, Rosie Goldsmith and others who showed me around

to {Enthusiasm} and it's launch, and the incredible relationship I have been lucky to cultivate with two extraordinary people - Will Shutes and Jess Chandler, to whom I owe much, ... & to Eleanor Vonne Brown at X Marks the Bokship ... & to Kit Caless, Gary Budden, Tom Chivers and Iain Sinclair, for that special day at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival

to my friends in Berlin, to the generous hospitality of Chris Szalay, Daniela Seel, Cia Rinne, Alexander Filyuta, Alexander Gumz, Moritz Malsch, Katharina Deloglu, and all the people from around the world, from China to Sweden, who I met and began relationships with, many of which I am sure will bear fruit.

& finally to Mahu, and the near 400 people who crammed into that beautiful hidden space in St Pancras over 11 nights last month ... to all the guest curators who took their tasks so seriously, to all my friends who visited, and strangers alike, who offered kind words about the work on exhibition. my beautiful sister who travelled so far to see it - to Lotje Sodderland, Dave Spittle, James Davies, Michael Weller, Stephen Emmerson, & so so many more, and most of all to Cameron Maxwell and Amalie Russell, I could not have had a better experience in my home from home the Hardy Tree gallery

 

Mahu: a World without Words - June 17th 2015

Always a beautiful thing to be around people like Lotje Sodderland, Harry Man and Malinda McPherson, such is their intelligence and generosity of spirit. We presented our second www.aworldwithoutwordsevent.com in the Hardy Tree Gallery, during my exhibition, Mahu. Everyone followed on from the themes of the premiere event, and I had the chance to speak about my experiences in martial arts and my research on CTE and brain damage. Lotje and I has a structured chat too. A fine time was had by all.

Mahu: to Tom Raworth - June Tues 7th: the videos

Beginning the work of Mahu - 25 hours of handwriting into my exhibition novel

A concept that cannot be understood until it is realised. I had three days from exhibition opening to when I arrived back in London from time in Wales. During that time I had three events, including the launch of my book. I spent 25 hours in those three days in the Hardy Tree Gallery, writing the beginning of my novel by hand. I did not plan the content, but I did try and keep it, strictly, narrative (if strange and menacing) and clear. I began by writing on the wall, then I realised this would be a profound waste. So we got scrolls of paper to hang on the wall. Then I wrote on the scrolls. Then after 5 hours and one scroll done, I got deep stress position pains. So I took the other scrolls down and wrote on them while at a desk, pulling the paper slack up as it was needed. 

The story is of a lonely, scholarly farm child called Mahu, living in the countryside of Wiltshire. The townspeople think him strange and he only goes into town to buy supplies for his ailing, if distant mother. His 12 brothers and sisters all have jobs, while he schemes of ways to keep from working so he can keep secretly reading the church histories and occult papers he has stolen in the company of his dog. He meets someone and his priorities shift. She disappears, and he begins to follow her, leaving Devizes for the first time in his life, down the polluted banks of the river Kennet.

Now I'll be writing a wall of the gallery for each week of the run, so by the end, by June 27th, all four walls will be covered and the novel will be finished. The first wall was an experience of chest pain and some agitation, but I have already forgotten that pain and the response from those who have seen it so far has been really pleasing. They say my handwriting is neat.

Mahu: an exhibition at the Hardy Tree Gallery - June 6th to 27th 2015

My first solo exhibition in London will run for three weeks in the Hardy Tree Gallery, in Kings Cross, just behind the British Library.

Mahu is an exhibition of writing - a novel written upon the gallery walls, growing as the exhibition passes. A living book in ink, veering between sense, story and abstraction. The gallery is covered in scrolls of paper, onto which I write, without preparation and entirely within the gallery. As the exhibition passes, so the walls become entirely covered. The text will never be typed, only read, ready to be unfurled.

Mahu remains a novel, in the true sense of that word, employing abstraction as a necessary part of the narrative, a narrative that will evolve as the exhibiting takes place. Ostensibly the story of a man living on a farm in Devizes with his distant mother, hagiographical manuscripts and loyal bulldog, Mahu must leave the only place he has ever known to follow the polluted river Kennet out of Devizes, tracing the clues left by the one human in town who'll tolerate him. A story of menace in small town England, Mahu can be read in cursive from the walls. 

As part of the exhibition, the gallery will host 11 events. Each & every event is free to attend, with doors at 7pm, unless otherwise stated below. The gallery’s address is 119 Pancras Road. London, UK. NW1 1UN www.hardytreegallery.com

Click on the event to visit its specific event page, with details of readers and happenings:

June Saturday 6th: Mahu in Sound - 6.30pm start
A sound poetry choir led by Sharon Gal, following a workshop - a celebration of Daniela Cascella's new book F-M-R-L, with Christian Patracchini, Eleanor Vonne Brown, Georgia Rodger, Helena Hunter, Mark Peter Wright & more. 

June Sunday 7th - Blart Books & Home baked Books
Curated by Stephen Emmerson & Lucy Harvest Clarke, readings from Blart Books authors, Richard Barrett, Cathy Weedon, Marcus Slease & more – Celebrating ten years of MJ Weller's Home Baked Books 

June Tuesday 9th - to Tom Raworth
A host of poets pay their debt to the greatest living British poet by reading selections from his work. Readings from Andrew Spragg, Tim Atkins, John Clegg, Fabian Peake, Philip Terry, Michael Zand & many more. 

June Wednesday 10th - Railtracks 
Curated by Gareth Evans. A complete reading of Anne Michaels & John Berger's collaborative book, read by actors. 11,000 words over an hour. Read by Anamaria Marinca and Tony Grisoni. RSVP required for this event. Please email steven@sjfowlerpoetry to reserve one of the last few places remaining.

June Friday 12th - Test Centre
Curated by Jess Chandler & Will Shutes, featuring Paul Buck's Pressed Curtains tape project. 

June Saturday 13th – Mahu Cinema
Co-curated by Dave Spittle. Screenings of over a dozen filmpoems, the emerging medium of poetry film or cinepoetry, crossing poetic principles with video art. A full program of screenings. 

June Sunday 14th - Mahu Camarade
Pairs of poets collaborate to produce original works of poetry especially for this night. Featuring Sarah Dawson & Lucy Furlong, Clover Peake & Giovanna Coppola, Doug Jones & Matt Martin & more.

June Wednesday 17th - a World without Words II
Co-curated by Lotje Sodderland & Thomas Duggan. A World Without Words is an exploration of language, neuroscience & art. Featuring talks by Harry Man, Malinda McPherson & more

June Thursday 25th - Kakania anthology launch
A celebration of Habsburg Vienna in 21st century London. www.kakania.co.uk Readings from Aki Schilz, David Kelly-Mancaux Emily Berry. Jeff Hilson, Pascal O'Loughlin, Rhys Trimble. Vicky Sparrow, Alison Gibb, Eley Williams & more 

June Friday 26th - Influx press
Curated by Gary Budden and Kit Caless. Influx press & their books explore, in some fashion, the idea of ‘place’. Readings from Paul Hawkins, Clare Sita Fisher & more. 

June Saturday 27th - If P then Q press & Mahu in Paint
If P then Q is a pioneering British press edited by James Davies, readings from Peter Jaeger, Nathan Walker, Chrissy Williams & more. Following the readings a live collective art & poetry collective collaboration.

Feinde: Austrian Enemies is over, what a week

Feinde was ambitious, 6 events, an exhibition, 4 extraordinary Austrians over in London with us. It was an extraordinary experience to get to know Esther Strauss, Ann Cotten, Max Hofler and Jorg Piringer better, to see their work and collaborations unfold in my city and have the great privilege of hosting them at Enemies events. Each event had its own character, each its own energy and ebbs and flows. It was a remarkably intense week for me, marked by calm conversation, gentle humour, nuanced discussion, a bit of physical illness and some intense artmaking. It sounds like puff, but alongside thanking those four artists I must thank the Austrian Cultural Forum and Theodora Danek for being so sophisticated in their / her support. & what an honour for me to work with Jorg Piringer twice, means the world to me to do so.

You can see all the videos, via link or embedded, with detailed documentation of all 3 London readings & exhibition here http://www.theenemiesproject.com/feinde alongside Alexander Kell's beautiful pictures.

I have also set up my own Feinde page on my site too www.stevenjfowler.com/feinde

proud to present Feinde: an Austrian Enemies project

I’m proud to present one of the most ambitious international Enemies projects yet, Feinde. Over four events in two cities and a two week exhibition in the heart of London, we will present the best of the brilliantly innovative contemporary Austrian poetry scene through new collaborations with their British counterparts. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/feinde 

The four remarkable Austrian poets coming to the UK - Ann Cotten, Jörg Piringer, Max Höfler & Esther Strauss - are a powerful representation of one of Europe’s great avant-garde traditions, from linguistic innovation to sound poetry, from concrete poetry to conceptualism & performance. Feinde is generously supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum. 

Feinde at the Rich Mix Arts Centre: Main Space - May Friday 8th: 7.30pm
35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road : E1 6LA - Free entry http://www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/event/feinde--the-enemies-project-austria/ 

The premiere performance event of the Feinde project. Taking place in the main space of the Rich Mix Arts Centre, this event will showcase eight brand new collaborations from the best of 21st European avant-garde poetics, including the collaborations between the four visiting Austrian poets & their core collaborative counterparts, & other brilliant London based artists & poets. It will be a unique night of performance and poetry. Featuring:

Jörg Piringer & I
Ann Cotten & Prudence Chamberlain
James Wilkes & Esther Strauss
Max Höfler & Robert Herbert McClean
Tim Atkins & Jeff Hilson
Philip Terry & James Davies
Erica Scourti & Mira Mattar

Jonathan Bohman & Adam Bohman 

The Feinde exhibition: a new concrete poetry 
May 1st to 14th 2015 at the Hardy Tree Gallery, Kings Cross, London
119 Pancras Road. London, UK. NW1 1UN www.theenemiesproject.com/feindeexhibition

This two week exhibition celebrates the visual poetry of the Feinde: Austrian Enemies project, with over 20 artists exhibiting poetry that explores the conceptual, the concrete and the material.

Calling back to the great tradition of postwar British and Austrian concrete poetry, so defining of that medium, this exhibition of 21st century poets brings together over 30 artworks from concrete poetry pioneers like Viennese-based Anatol Knotek and London’s Victoria Bean.

The exhibitions includes works from: Anatol Knotek, Victoria Bean, Jen Calleja, Simon Barraclough, Ben Borek, Sophie Collins, Tim Atkins, Ollie Evans, Adam Bohman, Jeff Hilson, Fabian Macpherson, Peter Jaeger, mjb, Jörg Piringer, Prudence Chamberlain & Ann Cotten, Esther Strauss, Robert Herbert McClean & Max Hofler. 

Special view / Poetry reading: May Sunday 10th  7pm - 9.30pm Free entry 
There will be a special view of the exhibition, with readings from British based poets and artists, and those visiting from Austria, including Cristine Brache, Emma Hammond, Simon Pomery, Ollie Evans, Prudence Chamberlain, mjb, Jörg Piringer, Ann Cotten, Esther Strauss & Robert Herbert McClean. 

May Tuesday 12th - Feinde at the Austrian Cultural Forum: 7pm 
Free Entry http://www.acflondon.org/literature-and-books/enemies-feinde

The final performance in London for the Feinde project will take place in the beautiful environs of the Austrian Cultural Forum itself, just off Hyde Park. This evening will allow the visiting poets to present their work with solo readings and performances alongside another host of London based poets. 

Featuring Rebecca Perry, Eley Williams, Jen Calleja, Jörg Piringer, Max Höfler, Ann Cotten, Esther Strauss, James Wilkes, Robert Herbert McClean & Prudence Chamberlain.

Feinde at Unesco European Literature Night Edinburgh - May 14th 

The European Literature Night 2014 is being co-curated by the Enemies project and acting as the grand finale of the Feinde project, the four Austrian visiting poets will travel to Edinburgh to present their solo works and brand new collaborations at the evenings closing show at Summerhall. More details on the specific times and location of the ELN program can be found here: www.theenemiesproject.com/eln

Some of the poets involved in Feinde will also read at Ian Hamilton Finlay's famous Little Sparta poetry garden on May 15th. www.theenemiesproject.com/littlesparta More information on European Literature Night and Little Sparta coming soon.

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

This two week exhibition, which focuses the Feinde: Austrian Enemies project (which has four events in 2 cities over two weeks) right in the heart of London, in the Kings Cross based Hardy Tree Gallery is a wonderful opportunity for me to bring together over a dozen new visual poetry artworks in exhibition, all from contemporary artists, with a decided nod to the legacy of the British and Austrian postwar Concrete poetry pioneers. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/feinde

http://hardytreegallery.com 119 Pancras Road. London, UK. NW1 1UN : 
Gallery Hours - Thursday to Sunday Midday to 6pm.


Poets like Bob Cobbing, Edwin Morgan, HC Artmann, Friedrich Achleitner, Konrad Bayer & Gerhard Rühm have had an indelible influence on contemporary visual poets who are able to interrogate visuality, materiality and the very appearance of their language. I have taught their works at the Poetry school and Kingston University, and this exhibition is a way for me to bring together some of the work that evidences the necessity of this movement and how it can compliment everybody's work. This is a huge part of the exhibition, that the poets involved are not just Concrete poets, they work across poetic methodologies. We owe this flexibility disproportionately to the poets working in Austria and the UK from that period.

The exhibition will feature works by Anatol Knotek, Victoria Bean, Peter Jaeger, Fabian Macpherson, Tim Atkins, Jeff Hilson, Nat Raha, Sophie Collins, Esther Strauss, Robert Herbert McClean, Ann Cotten, Prudence Chamberlain, Simon Barraclough, Max Hoefler and many others.

The opening hours will be Thursday to Sunday midday to 6pm, and we have a special view reading on Sunday May 10th, beginning at 7pm, free entry, with many of the exhibitors and readings from Emma Hammond, Cristine Brache & Ollie Evans.

Thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum in London
www.acflondon.org

Zimzalla exhibition closing readings

This was a really wonderful evening in the Hardy Tree gallery, just a few days after the mass of the Camaradefest, this was an intimate way to unwind and share work with many who had travelled to London for the fest. Also a proper way to say goodbye to the brilliant but brief Zimzalla exhibition, which Tom Jenks has put a lot into and the Enemies project is proud to represent.
Zuzana Husarova & Olga Pek (Tryie collective) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B4JvHiwg54
Kim Campanello https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-yjF49erKI
Lucy Harvest Clarke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX1nsbQFQ04
Iain Morrison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQTX6CKWTgI
Ryan Van Winkle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UouHrENNFFw
Tom Jenks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzZwQkgcwPk
Christodoulos Makris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s09hcNNSDq8

Zimzalla exhibition launch readings

http://weareenemies.com/zimzallaexhibition.html So pleased to kick off this 4th exhibition the Enemies project has done with the Hardy Tree gallery with such a wonderful evening of readings in Kings Cross. It felt like a catch up with old friends, and the ZimZalla objects, all 25 of them, look really beautiful in the space. Tom Jenks, the mastermind behind ZimZalla seemed pleased with it, and thats all that matters to me, along with the little bit more attention his publishing venture deserves. 
Tom Watts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAZfWSGE88k
Leanne Bridgewater https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1qHPfLvcng
MJ Weller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwSI1hplSr8
Stephen Emmerson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUvVJdqHRy4
Andy Spragg  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9g4hbIXvCQ

ZimZalla : an exhibition at the Hardy Tree gallery

I'm proud to say running concurrently with the fest will be ZimZalla: an exhibition at the Hardy Tree. Leading the way in innovative poetry publishing for last number of years, the Enemies project is delighted to present an exhibiting of all 25 of the ZimZalla poetry objects, evidencing that there is nothing in the UK poetry scene quite like ZimZalla. Visithttp://zimzalla.co.uk/ to peruse their wares and http://hardytreegallery.com/ for more information on the wonderful gallery.
“zimZalla is a unique publishing imprint specialising in literary objects. With twenty-five objects published to date, including poetry tea bags, greetings cards, scented chocolate bars and a backwards book in a miniature coffin, zimZalla celebrates the handmade, the ephemeral and the eccentric. zimZalla at the Hardy Tree, co-curated by The Enemies Project, is a never before available opportunity to see all twenty-five objects in one place at one time. A true trip down the rabbit hole.”
There will be two events will celebrate the exhibition, both free to attend, both at the Hardy Tree gallery just behind the British Library and Kings X.
October Saturday 18th. 7.30pm: a celebration of Red Ceilings press and the exhibition special view. Readings from Andrew Spragg, Stephen Emmerson, Alison Gibb & Tom Jenks, Leanne Bridgewater, Tom Watts, MJ Weller & more
October Monday 27th. 7.30pm: ZimZalla in performance, readings from the TRYIE Collective (Zuzana Husarova, Olga Pekova +), Tom Jenks, Lucy Harvest Clarke, Kim Campanello, Ryan Van Winkle, Iain Morrison, Christodoulos Makris & more

Wordpharmacy readings at the Hardy Tree gallery

The second part of Fjender was as satisfying as the first. Where the event at the rich mix had the energy and the speed of the best of the kind of events I try to experiment with, this, at the Hardy Tree gallery, had all the familiarity, community and intimacy I hope my events always have. It was a genuinely considered and friendly and engaged reading, with the British poets writing new work that responded to Morten Sondergaard's remarkable Wordpharmacy installation and exhibition. Morten is such a sweet man, so so remarkably nice, it was a proud moment to see him touched by the efforts of the readers and the audience, those 50 or so bodies packed into the intimate space. The evening was defined by a series of intense and rewarding conversations with other poets for me, and a lot of whom Id not had read before expressed the feeling that they felt welcome and that there was a noticeable lack of standoffishness or posturing, which is what I want to always be the case. All 8 readings were wonderful, huge thanks to those who made it what it was, and who did so collectively and generously 
David Berridge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb0DUkjvGLo
Claire Trevien https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peVSIUyhu28
Alison Gibb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYa-TltihTA
Andy Spragg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35v4Rp_LvGY
Prudence Chamberlain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Enn-vUR38
Mark Waldron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXozGut3-NE