Writers' Centre Kingston : blog #4 - a performance, Dying


The first few months of running the new literary centre at Kingston University have been really interesting, and our first few events have been as good as I could've hoped for. The second, the official launch, at Rose theatre in Kingston, featured Iain Sinclair, Andrew Teverson and myself speaking on the theme of Dying, to a full house.

Find out more at www.writerscentrekingston.com/dying

I had to give a performance for the event as a speaker dropped out in fact. I did an improvised talk, the kind I've been focusing in on the last year. Lots of speed talking, lying, comedy rhythms. As a condition I write them on the day, a few hours before, as bullet points and then just work them out live, frightening but satisfying. I wrote tonight's on toilet papiere while waiting for the audience to arrive.


A note on: Global Cities at London Literature Festival & Londonist Article

A great pleasure to host and curate an event for the London Literature Festival in partnership with Southbank Centre and Literature Across Frontiers last night. The panel included Iain Sinclair, Livia Franchini, Jana Purtle Srdic and Karlis Verdins and we had a really busy crowd on a friday night. www.theenemiesproject.com/globalcities In reference to the event, Kyra Hanson wrote a small writeup for the Londonist https://londonist.com/2015/10/do-you-feel-like-an-outsider-in-london

"In cities like Paris, Berlin and Mexico City the nature of 'belonging' is well defined. In London you have the whole world crammed into a city. This is the view of writer SJ Fowler, who suggests that in London there are few outsiders, purely because everyone is an outsider.

Despite growing up in Devon and curating over 150 events in 18 countries Fowler feels most at home in London. His latest event Global Cities, created for the London Literature Festival, suggests that London is a city shaped by those who venture here. "Iain Sinclair, the absolute archetype of a Londoner is actually Welsh," says Fowler, "yet he's more rooted in defining contemporary, artistic and literary ideas about London than nearly anyone else."  

In Fowler's experience, the only way you can become an outsider is to make yourself one. "That feeling," he says, "can only relate to how that person defines the insider, so it's always about perception." But what of the crucial aspect of language? What if English is only your second, or third, or fourth language? Doesn't that make you an outsider in London? "It's a paradoxical advantage if you come to London and you speak English," says Fowler, "you're not really speaking 'Englishness', you're speaking the world language.

"You're learning the way to speak to someone from Serbia, Japan, China." Personally, Fowler can't resist the allure of Polish shops and likens walking down a London street to travelling. "Growing up in Devon might be the reason why when I'm walking down a street and see a Polish shop I go in and talk to the person." "It's like being surrounded by growth, different cultures, different backgrounds, different childhoods, different languages, different approaches to thinking." 

On 9 October Steven J Fowler comperes a discussion with writers Iain Sinclair, Jana Putrle Srdic, Livia Franchini and Karlis Verdins about London from from an outsiders/insiders perspective. Global City London Inside Out is part of London Literature Festival at The Southbank Centre. 

Reading at Stoke Newington Literary Festival 2015

Just a few days after the launch of {Enthusiasm}, I had the privilege to read alongside Iain Sinclair and Tom Chivers at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival. Influx press, whom I respect immensely, had been given a day to curate and had invited Test Centre to present three of their authors. So I had the pleasure to read alongside two people who have helped me greatly in my work. Iain was the first to really support my work, extremely early on, months into writing, and Tom has been a consistent champion of my stuff. At certain moments, certain perceptions and realities only become real because you hear them being made so. What Iain said in his slot, about my work, will stay with me as a great treasure for a very long time.

The very first reading from {Enthusiasm}

European Literature Night: Edinburgh – May 14th: the full whack

European Literature Night 2015 will be a unique evening of live contemporary literature in Edinburgh, with over 30 poets performing at five events, from a dozen European nations, all on one night. www.theenemiesproject.com/el

Part of the continent-wide European Literature Night program, held in 75 cities during mid-May, and supported by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature trust, our program brings together some of the most forceful European avant-garde, literary and sound poets, to share their work, to read alongside and to collaborate with a swathe of Edinburgh’s equally brilliant poetry scene.

Four simultaneous events take place in the early evening of Thursday May 14th, around 6pm, with solo readings, before all poets and audiences will congregate at Summerhall for the epic finale of the night, with 11 pairs of poets presenting brand new Camarade collaborations, starting around 8pm

Every event is free of charge, so join us at The Fruitmarket Gallery, The Saltire Society, The Sutton Gallery and The Forest before seeing the night in at Summerhall, with poets from France, Spain, Iceland, Austria, Germany, Sweden and of course, Scotland. 

European Literature Camarade! Summerhall - 8pm doors for an 8.30pm start - Free entry. In the Demonstration room http://www.summerhall.co.uk/2015/unesco-european-literature-night-edinburgh/ 

Following the amazing success of the Auld Enemies project in Summerhall in 2014, we return to the Demonstration room for the grand finale of this ambitious evening. Brand new collaborative work will be presented by pairs of poets from across the continent. Featuring:

Colin Herd & Iain Morrison
Ryan Van Winkle & Calum Rodger
Graeme Smith & Andres Anwandter
nick-e melville & Anne Laure Coxam
Valgerður Þórodds & Katy Hastie
Esther Strauss & Ann Cotten
SJ Fowler & Jorg Piringer
Max Hofler & Robert Herbert McClean
Eduard Escoffet & Martin Bakero

JL Williams & Jessica Johannesson Gaitán 

The Saltire Society Caesura on Sound poetry: supported by the Scottish Poetry Library
6pm - Free Entry https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/connect/events/caesura-31-spl-saltire-society Enjoy some of Europe's most dynamic and pioneering sound poets, coming together for one night to present their innovative musique concrete, from Paris, Barcelona and Vienna. Featuring Eduard Escoffet (Barcelona), Martin Bakero (Paris) Jorg Piringer (Vienna) & curated by Graeme Smith (Edinburgh) as part of the Caesura series. 

The Sutton gallery on 20th century art:
6pm - Free entry http://www.thesuttongallery.com Join us for performance art from Esther Strauss (Vienna), readings from Tomasz Mielcarek (Poland), Robert Herbert McClean (Belfast), and the launch of Colin Herd & SJ Fowler's collaborative book Oberwildling: on the life of Oskar Kokoscka, published by the Austrian Cultural Forum all in the environs of one of Edinburgh's most beautiful galleries.

The Fruitmarket Gallery on Possibilities of the Object:
6pm - Free entry http://www.cityofliterature.com/event/european-literature-night-fruitmarket-gallery/ 
At one of Edinburgh's cultural hubs, The Fruitmarket Gallery, hear readings from Valgerður Þórodds (Reykjavik), Max Hofler (Graz), nick-e melville (Edinburgh), Jean-François Krebs (Paris/Edinburgh) and Iain Morrison (Edinburgh), all responding to the exhibition on display. 

The Forest Café on Activism / Craftivism
6pm - Free entry http://www.cityofliterature.com/event/european-literature-night-the-forest-on-activism-craftivism/ At an Edinburgh staple, join Ryan Van Winkle and other Scottish poets, alongside Austrian Ann Cotten, for readings on the theme of activism. Featuring Thomas MacColl, Ed Smith, Rachel McCrum & Ryan Van Winkle (Edinburgh), Katy Hastie & Calum Rodger (Glasgow) & Ann Cotten (Berlin) 

European Literature Night is supported by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Scottish Poetry Library & many others.

Poetry at Little Sparta - May 15th 2015 

"Set in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, Little Sparta is Ian Hamilton Finlay’s greatest work of art. Imbued with a high idea content, the garden is created from the artistic fusion of poetic and sculptural elements with those of the natural landscape which is shaped and changed to become an inherent part of the concepts realised at Little Sparta.” http://www.littlesparta.org.uk 

The day following European Literature Night, we will be presenting this unique poetry event at Little Sparta. The performances will begin at 2.30pm and finish 4.30pm, taking the form of a series of short readings given as a tour of the gardens. This will be a unique mini-festival poetry celebration of one of the most extraordinary landscapes in Britain with an amazing array of contemporary European poets.

Readings & acoustic sound performances from Andres Andwandtner, Martin Bakero, Eduard Escoffet, Graeme Smith, Calum Rodger, Ryan Van Winkle, SJ Fowler, Colin Herd, Iain Morrison, Esther Strauss, Katy Hastie, Robert Herbert McClean, nick-e melville, Valgerður Þórodds & more.

Please note entrance to the garden is £10 and if you can't make your own way, you can join the poets on a pre-booked coach to the location by emailing me at steven@sjfowlerpoetry.com. The coach will meet at 1pm in Edinburgh city centre, at Waterloo place, and depart Little Sparta at 5pm. All are welcome. Thanks to the Little Sparta Trust, Calum Gardner & Graeme Smith.

after the Fest - Camaradefest blogs & videos

Only a few weeks ago now, Camaradefest seems to resonated with the people who attended and performed, which is obviously very gratifying. Some lovely blog posts have been written detailing the day, from:

Aki Schilzhttp://akifreetheword.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/camaradefest-ii/
"...I wrote a few micropoems on Twitter throughout the day, taking bits from everyone else’s poems to compose a sort of ‘mashup’ collection/overview of the event https://akifreetheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/camaradefest.pdf"

Iain Morrisonhttp://permanentpositions.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/veni-vidi-lectiti-iains-london-visit-24-28-october-2014/ 
"We arrived at something, sounding like Steve Reich minimalism regularly interrupted by exclamatory words, via a poem by Brodsky called Elegy for John Donne. It’s an iambic pentameter poem. Most of the syllables in it we suppressed into the number 1 with a few words showing through to disrupt the typographic snow drift."

Holly Corfield Carrhttp://hollycorfieldcarr.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/bisect-dissect/
",,,and this incised extimacy with Eley Willams and Prudence Chamberlain and more things than I can try to cleverly word from more poets than I can fit in my car and drive around the Carr-Clegg coniunctio.  There was everything I could want: flip-charts, trip ups, rip-roaring laughter and pillows in swimsuits and sexy poems and power steeples and that was only the first hour.  It was wonderful and a bit messy and a lot good."

& this grand minidoc by the Czech centre marking the appearance of Zuzana Husarova & Olga Pek

Iain Britton - Photosynthesis

http://kilmogpress.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/iain-britton-photosynthesis-2014/ Very exciting to see a new work emerging from the fantastic Kiwi avant gardist Iain Britton, a beautiful book, and a link to Iain’s website thepsychologyofariver.blogspot.co.nz/
IMG_0085"Photosynthesis is a journey, a culmination of a mood sequence, exploring aspects of survival, renewal, through the many personalities our psychologies have to deal with when looking at ourselves. The reader might/could interpret this exploration quite differently. The poems, I would hope, will stand alone, beyond the poet’s orbit and take on lives of their own. The acceptance of their imagery is essential to their existence and the poems should be interpreted according to how the readers receive and permit the images and their juxtapositions to infiltrate their consciousness. Photosynthesis is a very individual attempt to see the world from the other side of one’s self."

Kiwi avant gardist Iain Britton in the UK

Im really happy to say that the wonderful, groundbreaking Kiwi poet Iain Britton, whom Ive had the honour of publishing at 3am, and whose works have graced many of the avant garde presses that have also featured my own, is giving a long overdue reading in London next month. It takes place at Birkbeck college, details here http://www.nzstudies.com/event/poetry-reading-iain-britton-friday-14-march-2014/ He will also read 5 days before at the Albion beatnik in Oxford, with the excellent Nikolai Duffy. Really worth taking the time to see someone doing the important work on the other side of the world, a brother to our endeavours. 
  • The Albion Beatnik Bookstore, 34 Walton St, Oxford, OX2 6AA. Sunday 9 March, 5 PM. With Nikolai Duffy.
  • Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, room MAL 151. Main building, entrance from Torrington Square. 14th March, 6 PM. Poster here.

2nd edition of my 1st collection: Red Museum

http://knivesforksandspoonspress.co.uk/redmuseum.html As is the poet's prerogative, this, my first book, was somewhat declaimed by me over the last few years. Coming into this year, it's gotten a little attention and reconsulting it, it suddenly seems to have its own 'value'. Not sure what that is exactly, that it is so big and dense to be a reading challenge, that it maintains its intensity of language...Anyhow, very happy Knives forks and spoons press have gotten to the point where the first print run has gone, and a new one needed doing, with really beautiful production values. It looks better than ever, a lovely thing to receive in the post.

Iain Sinclair's RED EYE and Test Centre in general

Really such a privilege to flick through this thing, it's enormous and the rendering of the large font text and the colour photographs are amazing. http://testcentre.org.uk/ Some events coming up are unmissable, for example 

Test Centre Four Magazine launch, with Thurston Moore, Lee Harwood, Tom Raworth and Iain Sinclair| Saturday 16 November

Test Centre 4 launch 
Test Centre Four magazine, which will be freshly printed and stapled for this launch event, will contain a unique range of poets from England and the USA, featuring important American influences on Test Centre such as Ed Sanders, Tom Clark, and Ron Padgett, local associates including Chris Petit and Stewart Home, and younger writers such as Sam Riviere. This eagerly-anticipated night's line-up is certain to launch the issue memorably.
Price: £8 online, £10 on the door
Doors: 7.30pm

Iain Sinclair's 4th book of Suicide Bridge on 3am

Without doubt the highlight of my editorial career at 3ammagazine, and an enormous privilege to publish extracts from the 4th book of Iain Sinclair's legendary Suicide Bridge. http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/iainsinclairbookfour/ Without doubt, if anything ensures my opinion that the post war British avant garde has an ethical, human, social streak running through it, it is my personal experiences with the likes of Will Rowe, Tom Raworth, Anselm Hollo, Iain Sinclair and others. 

From the first time I sidled up to him at a lecture in Kings college, having heckled the rest of the panel, from the Balkans, about the turgid lack of experimentation in their works, he has been uniformly kind, supportive and generous. Hard to imagine how practically busy he must be, and having a lifetime of brilliance behind him in poetry, fiction and new genres of writing, it is indicative of the man that always makes time for younger writers, not only in gesture but action. He was one of the only writers who really acknowledged the existence of my debut collection, Red Museum, and his collaboration with Ragnhildur Johanns has spanned my event organising career. Moreover, Suicide Bridge and Lud Heat were direct inspirations to me when I first began reading properly, and when I first came to London. I used the map in the granta book to explore the city in fact, and then found the original publications from the Albion Village press in the Poetry Library. These works are from the books of Suicide Bridge, not published, until now, coming out soon with Skylight press. See below for details and buy a copy.