EPF2018 #11: Hitting Manchester with the European Poetry Festival

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The International Anthony Burgess Centre in Manchester is one of the best literary venues in the UK I think, I’ve only ever had grand events and performances there, audience and enthusiasm wise. It seems to distil the cities energy for more innovative work into concentrated form. This is in no small part to the staff there, and to the work of poets like Scott Thurston and Tom Jenks, and many others, who have led the decade long resurgence of avant-garde poetry in the city. I brought the European Poetry Festival north in the second to last event, after running 8 events in 8 days, nearly all of which involving over 10 performances 20 poets and sell out audiences. No one was flagging. Poets from Norway, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, France, Latvia and elsewhere in European travelled with us and were mostly paired with locally based poets. Everyone was kind, generous, full of life for the project of the festival. The positive feedback from both poets, supporters and audiences has been the most consistent of any project I’ve ever done. As ever the atmosphere in Manchester was friendly, unpretentious, and the performances were varied in tone, the collaborations ranged from the conceptual and satirical to the intense and reflective. Robert Sheppard’s The European Union of Imaginary Authors was celebrated alongside 10 brand new performances for the night. As has been the case for every event of the festival, the poets were buoyant afterwards and stayed out into the night. There has been a palpable sense the festival, beyond my control or intention, has created a community of sorts, transitory but concrete. Friendships have begun, and I’ve had the chance, through the poets and the audience, to meet so many new people I'd like to work with again.

A note on: On Monocle 24 radio discussing poetry

Had a fun burst of gab chatting with the folk at Monocle Radio about internationalism, collaboration, poetry and stuff that's done wrong / right to change people's perception of poetry in the UK, if that's even desirable. Broadcasts 7.30pm on May 29th 2017 and then available as a podcast after that

https://monocle.com/radio/shows/culture-with-robert-bound/294/

A note on : Bucharest International Poetry Festival

Blown away by this trip to Romania, a place that seems to be undergoing a palpable shift into a new generation of poets and curators who are seeking a more dynamic, innovative understanding of what literature can be. A country that was the subject of my first ever international Enemies project, and one that I think it’s fair to say is steeped in formalism with poetry post war - beyond the explosive tradition of Tzara, Janco, Ionesco, Cioran, Fondane, Brancusi, Celan, Braga etc etc -  due to its recent traditions and history, this visit for the Bucharest International Poetry Festival, thanks to poet and curator Simona Nastac, completely subverted my expectations. www.stevenjfowler.com/romania

I had the chance to spend a number of days in Bucharest before and after the performance I gave, my first time in the city, and I was able to travel in the country after that. So I had to really think through the work I was to present, and to make it completely new, as I’ve managed to do for every performance over the last few years. The city was immediately attractive to me, the grand fading architecture, a whole slew of what seemed new and open restaurants, cultural centres, and beautiful weather, and a general energy and unpretentiousness that made the kind of open, unplanned walking and exploring that I so often do when travelling, deeply rewarding.

My work was part of a night curated by Simona called MetaMorph and it brought together ten artists from across the world. A lineup that at any place and time would be considerable. Ten of us each given ten minutes, on one night, no intermission, with what ended up to be around 150 people crammed into the beautiful Point theatre, with space for perhaps 100. Friends and peers I admire so much like Maja Jantar and Max Hofler alongside Romanian talents I’d long since read like Claudiu Komartin and Razvan Tupa and even really considerable talents from as far as Canada and the US in Christian Bok and LaTasha Nevada Diggs.

I planned my work to initially be an slightly improvised conceptual performance, a meta talk, revolving around a subversion of the gross ads the British government had taken out in Romania to dissuade Romanians to come to the UK for work. Having lots of ties to the Romanian cimmunity in London at first this would be anti-these ads in a direct way, and then later, assuming the mantel of a copywriter of these ads, so pretending to be in favour of them. Both seemed too favourable or too provocative. I ended up evolving a kind of TED talk satire, with slides full of ambiguous poetic statement and some pretty straight on jokes. I then used this as a spine to improvise around on the night. This open space did make me nervous, as is often the way nowadays, I use this fear to produce something that I do believe the audience can feel is alive, unscripted, being made for them and before them. I watched the 9 performances very carefully before me, as I was last to close out the evening, and used much of others work as inspiration / material too. In the end, I think the individuated, tailored nature of the work did resonate with people, they seemed to like it. I was glad too I didn’t try to match the likes of Maja, LaTasha, Max and Christian in terms of force and skill. The playful, humorous, conceptual was the strength I should’ve leaned into on this night and it worked well for me in the end.

A grand achievement on Simona’s part, it really felt that afterwards enjoying some beautiful evenings in the city with the other poets, talking for many hours, sat in some really wonderful restaurants and cafes, that her work here included Romania firmly in the collection of new hubs for showcasing a new understanding of what poetry might be in Europe. I’ve found this all over the continent over the last few years, I’ve tried to do this myself in London, and it’s a genuine flowering of a new way of working, of a new community. Hearing of similar enterprises in Brasov and Sibiu too, it’s clear Romania has something happening.

A note on : European Poetry Night Norwich 2017

As part of three days of European poetry celebrations last week I had the pleasure of accompanying four Scandinavians poets to Norwich, to read at an event I organised, which also drew in local Europeans, in the camarade model, in pairs. The night was brilliant, full of energy and warmth. I met lots of poets new to me, and reconnected with many friends. We had a grand turnout thanks to the Nordlit seminar on translation which had been taking place that day, hosted by those who had kindly hosted us, Writers Centre Norwich and the International Litcase Showcase. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/norwich

I collaborated for the fourth time with Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir. We’ve only known each other for just over a year, but our collaborative magic feels many years deep. We put on a kind of Eurovision Poetry Contest, or hosted something to that effect. As ever, Asta’s rare energy and invention told, it was a weirdly beautiful piece of poetry theatre.

We were shown great hospitality too, with Dan, Endre, Martin, Asta and I taken to dinner, and then out on the town for many hours after the event. Always wonderful people to work with, Jonathan Morley, Sam Ruddock and everyone involved made sure the beginning of EPN was memorable.

Published: an article of "The Poetry Reading, Literary Performance & Liveness" for Norwich Writers Centre & ILShowcase

http://litshowcase.org/content/reading-in-public-is-always-a-performance/

"READING IN PUBLIC IS ALWAYS A PERFORMANCE

SJ Fowler explores the role of poet as performer and artist

Cautiously declaring a desire to be severed from the tendon of smugness often associated with the avant-garde, be it in writing or performance, I will begin rather by saying my interest in this kind of writing is really not about literature first, but about three things, two of which seem relevant to the notion of liveness and poetry.

The first is the future – a desire to be future facing, in a moment where the world is so different than it ever has been before, so much so that it is beyond previous imagination. By this I mean the world population of human animals doubling in the last forty years, climate apocalypse, the internet as a language based human nervous system emerging in the last three decades etc… No more on this, but to me the avant-garde gives poets more in the way of preparatory strategies than the classically fascinating, formal, history-facing poet. I’ve been asked why it is important to be future-facing. To know the past, as I try to do, reading as much classical poetry as I can (ought to?) is useless without having a stake in the future. It is undeniable that the default mode of contemporary British poetry is conceptually, theoretically and methodologically facing backwards, over its shoulder, resisting what might lie ahead.

The second is potential. What is the possibility of the page? Does it stop at times new roman size 12 left aligned grammatically correct first person narrative anecdotes of emotional insight, as most poetry books are? No. White space, paper stock, colour, font, language as material - this is the domain of the poet, if any kind of artist. The poet is a language artist, and these material concerns are not just for the graphic designer, or text artist etc… This is all a frame of mind, a mode.

The third, most importantly to me, is my naiveté as it relates to poetry. I have only been writing, performing, painting, for a sixth of my life, or thereabouts. It all, for better or worse, flooded in at once. Before, and since, I am fundamentally confused, about most things, about poetry. Why is what might be taken for a normal, everyday sentence, describing an event or incident or anecdote, but given line breaks, called a poem? And speaking most generally, I find existence relatively adversarial, within the comfort I’m lucky to have (again I mean macroanalytically thinking, life is adversarial as its fundamentally degrading before expiry etc…) And this is often the state of avant-garde work. It is confused, can appear inexact, or exacting, it is equal to life, it does not control the uncontrollable, it mirrors it. It presents questions to questions, not unlikely answers......."

A note on: Performing in Stockholm with Aase Berg

Read the full writeup here with all the videos and pictures www.stevenjfowler.com/sweden 10tal's Stockholm International Poetry Festival - November 22nd 2016

An inspiring burst of collaborative performative energy and invention in the Swedish capital for the Fiender project at the 20th anniversary of 10tal’s famed Stockholm International Poetry Festival. Six months in the planning, curated by myself, Harry Man and festival director Madeleine Grive and Emanuel Holm, this was a intense experience, with nothing but fascinating people in attendance at the fest and a genuinely resonant team feeling to the collaborations.

I had the pleasure of working on a new poem performance with Aase Berg, without overstatement one of the most interesting European poets of the last twenty years, whom I’d interviewed for my Maintenant series just after I started writing really. Our correspondence collaboration broke through powerfully when she suggested we might work on the notion of guiltlessness, the quality, or characteristic rather, of being cold, unemotional and somehow shading psychopathy, so rarely admitted in contemporary arts circles (!). I share such a suspicious about myself, that I have an empty chasm in my chest sometimes and am capable of terrible deeds, simply fenced in by a comfortable life and very little stress and opportunity to render harm, and we quickly wrote something akin to a miniplay made up of poems, a test to give out to the audience and conceptual acts. In real time we put all this together on the day really, in the hotel an hour or two before performance. It came together beautifully. Aase was the cold dictatorial matriarch and me the kvetching jelly, at various times lying face down on stage, taking the fetal position and drooling on myself. It was awkward in the best way possible.

A note on: Fiender at the 20th Stockholm Internationella Poesifestival

Visit www.theenemiesproject.com/fiender for more specific info

"With this year’s Jubilee Festival we wish to draw attention – with gravity, sensitivity and intellect – to poetry in its many shapes as a living and constantly changing art form through which we peer inwards into the human mind and outwards unto the incredible Universe. Our aim has been to present a succinct but also light programme, where each individual reading and performance gets the focus it deserves whether it is poetry, music, dance or talks. Come along with us inside the theatre house and move freely between programme points, the beautiful theatre foyer, the bar and the restaurant!
.... We have invited poets from South Korea, Colombia, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Great Britain. We present the result of a workshop that is running during the festival – the unique performance Fiender (Enemies), with three British and three Swedish authors. AKT UNG! – the scene for young, Swedish poetry – has its fifth anniversary and will show how very lively the young poetry is. We present poets that have been with us from the start, but also many new voices, who will take poetry into the future. Welcome to enjoy three days of literary art! = Madeleine Grive, Artistic Director and Editor-In-Chief"


Programme - Tuesday 22 November - 9 pm
Poetry Performance: Fiender (Enemies)

Six innovative poets from Great Britain and Sweden have collaboratively written poems that are performed in pairs in a unified performance: Aase Berg (SWE) and Steven J Fowler (UK), Jonas Gren (SWE) and Harry Man (UK), Elis Burrau (SWE) and Holly Corfield Carr (UK).

A note on: Summer performances 2016 - Poland, Holland, Serbia, Georgia & more

Summer performances from Miłosz Festival (Poland), Tbilisi Literature Festival (Georgia), Krokodil Festival (Serbia), Poetry International on Vlieland (Holland), South West Poetry Tour, Parasol Unit, CapLet and European Poetry Night (UK). www.stevenjfowler.com

Praxis at Parasol Unit, London. A new collaborative performance with Maja Jantar, on an evening curated by Simon Pomery and Lala Thorpe. 

South West Poetry Tour: A collaborative poetry tour of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. New readings and performances with JR Carpenter, John Hall, Matti Spence, Annabel Banks and Camilla Nelson www.stevenjfowler.com/southwest/

Tbilisi International Literature Festival, Georgia: brand new reading and performance collaborations with Luke Kennard, Eley Williams, Zaza Koshkadze and Lia Liqokeli. Curated by Davit Gabunia www.stevenjfowler.com/georgia

My Century / Mój wiek' at the Miłosz Festival, Krakow: a new UNESCO City of Literature Krakow commissioned performance with Tom Jenks and Weronika Lewandowska. Curated by Justyna Jochym. www.stevenjfowler.com/krakow

Krokodil Festival, Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade: 8th edition of the Krokodil Festival in Serbia hosted CROWD literature's Omnibus project. www.stevenjfowler.com/belgrade

Poetry International at Stortemelk, Vlieland Holland: Reading of new poems, translated by Tsead Bruinja, hosted by Tsead and Bas Kwakman.
www.stevenjfowler.com/vlieland

CapLet, London: A new performance with Prudence Chamberlain, launching the collaborative poetry collection, House of House. CapLet reading series is curated by Jonathan Mann www.stevenjfowler.com/houseofmouse

European Poetry Night: part of European Literature Festival in 2016, a new collaborative performance with Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir www.theenemiesproject.com/epn

A note on: Poetry International at Stortemelk, Vlieland: Holland - August 2016

My first reading in Holland, and an utterly unique place to give it – the island of Vlieland, a poetry reading on the Stortemelk holiday camp. All thanks to Tsead Bruinja and Bas Kwakman, and Poetry International, for letting this beautifully idiosyncratic mini-festival tradition – poetry readings for those on holiday on the camp, in the dying days of the summer season, nearing its tenth year of happening – be my debut in Holland. More than that, I had a really wonderful experience meeting some remarkably hospitable, intelligent and generous people.

Another grand result of Tsead and Bas’ invitation was the chance to have Tsead translate a dozen or so of my poems. We spent some hours working on this, one of the most comprehensive and rewarding translation processes I’ve been through, and Dutch is the 20th language my poetry has been translated into. So Tsead and I had chatted plenty before I arrived in Amsterdam to begin the journey north, to the sea. I had a night in the city, amidst rainstorms, in an Airbnb not conducive to rest, before I met Tsead early and we began catching busses across country. Friends from the first, the sensibilities Dutch and British people share, the dry, barbed humour most of all, we chatted for hours until we caught the ferry from Haarlingen to Vlieland. The island has a tiny population, it is a well known holiday destination but genuinely removed from the mainland, a culture unto itself. And as part of the reading’s tradition, the poets contributing get to stay in tents as part of the sprawling Stortemelk complex. I was led to my tent, the first time for a poetry event, and got to reunite with Bas, who I’d spent time with in China, Germany, Scotland, and meet the wonderful Saskia Stehouwer, Ries de Vuyst and the others in what became a temporary, extended family/friendship group to which I was immediately included. Just beyond the tents, over one large, lengthy dune, was the expansive white beaches and the north sea. I had a chance to ramble, and be cooked for, before hitting my tent, exhausted.

visit stevenjfowler.com/vlieland to read the complete travelogue

A note on: Summer performances in Europe 2016 - a tour of sorts

 

I am really lucky to have the chance to visit various European nations across May and June through a series of festivals and commissions. By chance, they've aligned around each other and allowed me good time to travel between countries and make a tour of it. More details on the below soon.

May 16th to 23rd – Tbilisi: Mtrebi: a Georgian Enemies project as part of the 2nd International Tbilisi literature festival with Eley Williams, Luke Kennard & co

May 27th – Istanbul: a reading at the DamDayiz Cultural centre with Efe Duyan & others

May 29th – Venice: a reading with Alessandro Burbank, Alessandro Mistrorigo & others

June 10th to 14th – Krakow: a commissioned collaborative performance from UNESCO City of Literature for the Milosz Festival with Tom Jenks, Weronika Lewandowska & Leszek Onak, responding to Aleksandr Wat's 'My Century'

June 16th to 18th – GrazForumstadtpark Conference curated by Max Hofler on poetry & politics

June 18th to 24th Omnibus Tour through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia

June 25th - Belgrade: Krokodil Festival 

Published: Poems translated into Romanian on Poesis International

Thanks to the brilliant poet / editor Claudiu Komartin and the translator, Ramona Hărșan, a series of my poems, from my collection the Rottweiler's Guide to the Dog Owner have been translated into Romanian and published on the highly regarded Poesis International journal online. They appeared in print earlier in the year but now everyone can have a look.

http://poesisinternational.com/poeme-de-s-j-fowler/

The International Literature Showcase in Norwich

An unbelievable week for me in Norwich, an incredible platform for my work and really another grand stage for the testing of my ideas, as an artist and a curator. I was very humbled to be there and lived it to the fullest. I wrote an in depth review of the whole experience here http://www.stevenjfowler.com/ilshowcase


The Poetry School: Maintenant - an international course & new website

I'm happy to say that in January 2015 I shall be once again teaching my Maintenant course for the Poetry School, this time as an International course. This means, as an interactive online course, it can be taken by anyone in the world and, I would hope, many from Europe as well as beyond. 

The course explores post-war & contemporary European avant-garde poetry, 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 below if interested.

http://www.poetryschool.com/courses-workshops/online/maintenant---an-international-poetry-course.php 

The course begins Monday 26th, in January 2015 and follows a bi-weekly format, with five movements covered over ten weeks, with poems and texts submitted by the participants every two weeks. The course is mediated through the Poetry School’s innovative social media platform Campus, allowing a remarkable accessibility to an assignment driven course, a credit to the innovative pedagogical approach of the school.

Week One:  – Oulipo

Georges Perec, Jacques Roubeau, Raymond Queneau up to Frederic Forte and British Oulippeans like Philip Terry. The constraints that emancipate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oulipo

Week Two:  – Austrian postwar modernism

Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, Elfriede Jelinek. How to deal with the legacy of Fascism.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Handke

Week Three:  - Concrete poetry

Hansjörg Mayer, Bob Cobbing, The Vienna Group, Oyvind Fahlstrom, Marton Koppany up to Anatol Knotek. The visuality of the poem as its meaning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_poetry

Week Four:  - CoBrA

Asger Jorn, Christian Dotremont, Pierre Alechinsky. Dutch, Danish, Belgian & beyond, poetry as art revolt & primitivism.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBRA_(avant-garde_movement)

Week Five:  - British Poetry Revival

Tom Raworth, Bill Griffiths, Maggie O’Sullivan & many many more. Those every British poet should know, our immense late 20th century Vanguard heritage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_poetry_revival -

I've also a new website www.stevenjfowler.com which can be navigated through a menu as well project pages, one of which is www.stevenjfowler.com/poetryschool which contains information on Maintenant: International as well as the first Maintenant course and the Vanguard course.

& here is the interview series that inspired the course http://www.stevenjfowler.com/maintenant all 97 editions so far.

Thanks for reading & happy festivus.

teaching Maintenant for the Poetry School in 2015 as an International course

I'm really delighted to say that in January 2015 I shall be once again teaching my Maintenant course for the Poetry School. This is exciting on two fronts:

The first is that this course, the first time round, was undoubtedly my most positive experience teaching, ever. I got very lucky with the group of people who came to share their thoughts, but also years of research, really from the start of my writing as a whole, as well as from the 98 issue deep interview series I ran here www.maintenant.co.uk, into contemporary European poetry came to bear. I knew more than I had thought I knew, and had a passion for much that I had forgotten. This in the ideas behind the movements more than anything - in teaching the course I came to realise so many of these brave, wondrous engagements with experimental literature on the continent since WWII had genuine and fully realised political, ideological and philosophical ideas driving them, and these were good ideas. Not at all pretentious or removed, so many of these movements were about responding to the horrors of the middle 20th century and could be gleaned for the unique problems, and opportunities of our time. So I realised more than I had that the European avant garde was wholly relevant to me, that I shared, often, its concerns, and so took much away in realisation of how and why my writing had become what it has. I think the 16 people who came every two weeks to speak with me at the Poetry school thought so too. So we engaged deeply with the potential of technology and writing, of political and social engagement, of collaboration and community. Their amazing energy and their desire to make these historical groups and movements new and real to them was palpable, and amongst other things, at one of my events celebrating Danish poetry, they did this:

The second reason in that this second go of Maintenant is an International course. This means it can be taken by anyone in the world and, I would hope, many from Europe as well as beyond. It's very exciting to be able to relate my ideas and my thoughts about these 5 great movements with people who have a wholly other perspective than my own. This accessibility is such an exciting prospect, and a credit to the innovative pedagogical approach of the poetry school and will undoubtedly produce a really interesting experience for me, as much as, I hope, those who take up the course. Moreover it means the course is assignment driven, i.e. writing driven, and this was always the hope, that the course would be a platform for others to create their own work, their own movements, or at least radical and personal ideas for themselves and their writing. Here is the syllabus:

Week One:  – Oulipo
Georges Perec, Jacques Roubeau, Raymond Queneau up to Frederic Forte and British Oulippeans like Philip Terry. The constraints that emancipate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oulipo

Week Two:  – Austrian postwar modernism
Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, Elfriede Jelinek. How to deal with the legacy of Fascism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Handke

Week Three:  - Concrete poetry
Hansjörg Mayer, Bob Cobbing, The Vienna Group, Oyvind Fahlstrom, Marton Koppany up to Anatol Knotek. The visuality of the poem as its meaning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_poetry

Week Four:  - CoBrA
Asger Jorn, Christian Dotremont, Pierre Alechinsky. Dutch, Danish, Belgian & beyond, poetry as art revolt & primitivism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBRA_(avant-garde_movement)

Week Five:  - British Poetry Revival
Tom Raworth, Bill Griffiths, Maggie O’Sullivan & many many more. Those every British poet should know, our immense late 20th century Vanguard heritage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_poetry_revival

You can also read an indepth interview with me about this course and other stuff here:
http://campus.poetryschool.com/maintenant-interview-s-j-fowler/

Novi Sad Poetry Festival - a diary

Not 100% this actually happened. Not sure how to situate myself fresh off another near week away, this time in Novi Sad, in the north of Serbia. It did happen of course, but bracketed, as these things often are (lots of strangers, together, in a hotel of fading glory, in a place some find exotic, some intimidating etc..) but more so. More so than normal for me, and I often seek these things out, their intensity of exchange and potential for private experience and exploration very attractive to me. I can meet new and interesting poets, people local to the place, retire early each night, write a lot, and feel engaged in quite a profound way. But this trip was somehow more and less intense.
My 4th time in Serbia, and the first for poetry, the first I didnt pay loads to get there etc... and I'm older now. It made a difference somehow. Difficult to convey the subtle change in my perception of a place I was once very enamoured with. Silly of me to make generalisations, but I spent this trip seeking conversations and contact, and made them, and found many to be contradictory or even worrying in places. Moreover, while I had told friends this might be a trip that sits to the Right of my practise, an Old poetry festival, 9 years old (2005 beginning) and so starting just in the midst of a new era of Serbia, perhaps the reality of that being true did take me slightly aback. The grandeur of poetry and those who think themselves grand in that light is quite bearable, more funny for its absurdity than offensive, but still, not a cushion to my proclivities. And I enjoyed hospitality and kindness, but I also experienced a palpable sense of obstinate assuredness and martyrdom from young Serbs I had assumed to be the ideal liberal voices. Yet the whole experience was very joyful, I felt very present in Novi Sad, ate amazingly, ran the length of the Danube, spent a half dozen hours a day in conversation, and as ever a privilege to be invited and to engage with a new place and people, and travel, through the mad irrelevance of what I write.

I was delighted to be there with Mark Waldron, a friend through poetry, but how much do we know these kind people we meet at readings? I got to really know him in Novi Sad, for that alone, all was magical. We shared many meals, many British complaints as gentle shows of affection, many jokes, and wide ranging discussions on many things I don't often speak about. He is as humble as he is brilliant. I also got to meet some extraordinary poets from around the world, Mexico, Poland, Colombia, Denmark, and on. And some of those involved in the festival were hard pressed and lovely, overworked and bright and friendly and hospital. It was a human experience. Novi Sad itself looks beautiful to my eye, more Habsburg than Belgrade, and it was boiling hot. And I got to walk the banks of the Danube in yet another city. I climbed the hills to the fortress, perused the communist museum, rambled into the suburbs and housing estates. 
We read in a public square, under a massive chinese arch, to mixed audience, public and poets, small and large. I tried to entertain during my reading, but only between the normal miserablist / disjunctive poetry. It was gently, quietly received. On the final night, Mark read and then we were shuffled to the national Serbian slam championships, and I was slowly tortured before reading myself and deadening the crowd with my lack of emotion. It was a firm summation of the whole experience of the festival, a place too full of nostalgia that can't help but pass some of that onto you, and that's a vivid emotional experience, even if its one I often resist.

International Translation Day - September 26th at the British Library

International Translation Day 2014

The British Library
Friday 26 September, 9am-5.30pm
£35 (£28 over 60s) & £25 (concessions)

Book tickets
View full programme
Ngugi wa Thiong'o talks to Amanda Hopkinson at ITD 2013

"English PEN invites everyone who is interested in the art and business of literary translation to join us at this year’s International Translation Day." 
I'm leading a session with Ricarda Vidal from Translation Games and chatting about Enemies! join us at the british library http://translationgames.net/?page_id=192

audio installation at Poetry International at the Southbank centre

Happy to say some audio recordings of me reading my own work and some classic anglo saxon poetry texts will be part of the listening wall, to be installed at the Southbank Centre as part of Poetry International The installation is called I Leave This At Your Ear. Poetry International takes place from Thursday 17th - Monday 21st July, and from Friday 18th I Leave This At Your Ear will be open for the public to sit at and listen to the recorded poems.  The wall will be installed on the Clore Ballroom floor of the Royal Festival Hall (level 2, entry level). Full details can be found on the Southbank website. Go and spend your summer days listening to my radio voice.

Cristine Brache - Monger Tours

http://mongertours.com/ an incredible representation of the work of Cristine Brache, the homeland of international ballers, all housed up in annn website. the interplay between text, image, net tech and the actual tonality of the engagement with the grime of the international fluid scene is remarkable. especially priding to me is this piece, http://mongertours.com/iknow.html, which includes lines from my poems. Click through all the chapters, watch the videos, all amazing poetry art video.