A really brilliant magazine is Hotel, and they've once again generously published some of my new art poems or poem bruts which will form the major output of my work over the next year or so, with a series of events at Rich Mix and four new limited edition books. These three works are taken from the book New Prim.
After publishing a selection of my poem bruts online, the brilliant Hotel journal has featured three of my poems from The Guide to Being Bear Aware in their latest hard copy issue, which has been produced beautifully. Really happy to be in some impressive company for their second issue.
You can pick it up here http://partisanhotel.co.uk/Hotel-2
Very happy the brilliant Partisan Hotel magazine have published a set of three of my poem-brut artpoems, all taken from my upcoming Stranger Press book 'I fear my best work behind me' due out in the summer. http://partisanhotel.co.uk/S-J-Fowler
From the magazine bio "These works are taken from his trilogy of books in the poem-brut tradition, exploring ready writing materials, the composition of handwriting and mark making and the role of illustration and legibility in determining poetic meaning. The three books are to be published in 2017 and are entitled I fear my best work behind me (Stranger Press), New prim (Hesterglock Press) and Aletta Ocean Empire (Blart Books). A sequence of Fowler’s poems will appear in Hotel #2."
I've been very ill travelling before. It's always a lonelying experience. You are a long way away from those you love, as you are sensorially, from comfort. It is a mental game. In the end I had trouble walking, it not just being projectile but with cramps, migraines and so on, and before we were to leave for Guanajuato, they had to have a doctor visit me. I was faced with a difficult decision as to whether to attend or not, but with such ripe disdain for that hotel room, that plush open room that sat on the 17th floor and took in most of Mexico City, that I hated, I went. Much is owed in easing my own will to those around me, the writers Nell Leyshon (who kindly ((!)) took this photo of me as the doctor visited) and Bee Rowlatt, the British Council staff, the organisers of the Cervantino and those back home who relentlessly insisted on getting me better when I wanted to crawl into a corner.
A five hour car journey then, still ill, but corked, listening to Veracruzian music sent me by new friends in Xalapa just gone. Into Guanajuato, an impossibly beautiful place. But I was blind to it, and hid again for another lost day, trying to get past the nausea. Student protests raged outside my room, hundreds, like thousands across Mexico, protesting the horrific torture and murder of a group of protesting students in Iguana. The brilliant Ioan Grillo wrote this article on the awfulness of what happened http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/10/opinion/mexicos-deadly-narco-politics.html?_r=0
I woke up better yet, and being able to know the date, and the place. I walked around Guanajuato, also being to eat more than a bite for the first time in days. The city is unbelievable, every corner a scene in a film, every street a picture. Every colour on the buildings, rising up on hills and littered with parks and markets and small alleys, and tunnels. The city is build on tunnels that bore through the hillside, genuinely subterranean streets that hold bus stops and pedestrian walkways see cars pour through and pop out in brilliant sunshine. I talked with people again, bought things, felt like a person once more.
My nurses and friends and buoys, Nell Leyshon and Bee Rowlatt, and I, then attended our event, at the University, for the grand Cervantino festival. This is the 42nd year and the festival goes on for three weeks. That we were staying just a day seemed incongruous. We were self panelling on Shakespeare, and it turned out marvelous I thought. We all come from different backgrounds, different professions, different modes of thought. And it complimented. I stressed the need to interrogate the value of Shakespeare, pedagogically, to make sure the relationship was personal and not assumed, earned and not because the value of his works were so overbearingly lauded. I also talked about his role in the future, which was the theme, being the same as it was in the past, really, but that there were immense things to be taken from his prolific nature etc etc.. It went well and the students were positive.
More time allowed me to visit Diego Rivera's house and the old market, before we bundled into a van for a brutal 6 hour crawl back south across Mexico into Mexico city once again. I was well and truly well then, for if I hadn't have been, I would've capitulated. Instead Nell and I shared the backseat and confused the Mexican car with conversation.