A note on: Poetry Magazine April reading list



S.J. Fowler
My friend Tom Raworth died recently, so I’m reading his poetry. He was somewhat of a mentor to me. One of my first meetings with Tom was at the last reading Anselm Hollo ever gave, an event I helped organize. After Anselm’s death I felt the urge to seek out every single one of his books and read them from first to last. That experience utterly changed my perception of my writing, and the books I publish. When I read Anselm’s earlier work, when he was in London in the sixties, it felt as though he had lived exact elements of the life I am living now, but just fifty years removed. And tracing his life through his poems I realized these books were a palpable record, a concrete legacy of his life in writing. I knew then I wanted that, and not a big readership, or critical success, not to unleash the “perfect” collection every ten years. Just a quiet record of my life in poetry would be fine. So I decided to publish whenever I felt the urge, or whenever a publisher would support me, which is why I have six collections after eight years writing. I did the same when Tomaž Šalamun died, followed his life in poems, he had been very kind to me too. But Tom was a light to me, he taught me the most, and so I’m in the middle of this journey now, reading him book by book, remembering him this way.

The only other poetry I’m reading is that of my current and former students at Kingston University in London. Like many poets, I support myself through teaching. I think the quality of their work is indicative of a unobtrusively brilliant time for poetry in the U.K., there is so much talent around at the moment. Molly Bergin, Zakia Carpenter-Hall, Matt Navey, Dacy Lim, Julia Lewis—all names to watch. There is also something inevitably poignant and powerful about reading young poets coming into their own alongside the works of a great poet, just departed. A sense of my own place on the wheel is palpable, that I’m still rising but soon to drop off.

A note on: my Poetry Magazine reading list for October 2016

I'm very lucky to be in poetry magazine this month and they ask the poets in the issue to provide a small writeup of a reading list (where everyone presents their fancypants list in the month they happen to be published). I am no different. I'm down there past ken chen and between calvin forbes and daisy fried. americans have good poetry names apparently.


S.J. Fowler
Offering me the chance to write this has made me realize I barely finish books anymore. I read chunks and snippets of lots of things at once. I mostly read non-fiction but no one here wants to hear about that I’d imagine. With poetry and text I’d consider poetry I’m always sniffing around for things to nab, so that’s a very different kind of reading, often splicing and lifting, robbing the tombs of the dead and snaffling the aesthetic of contemporaries. It’s a great moment for British modern poetry (what others might call avant-garde), I think, and I’m deep in Tom Jenks’s Spruce (Blart Books) and The Tome of Commencement(Stranger Press), Vahni Capildeo’s Measures of Expatriation(Carcanet), Stephen Emmerson’s Family Portraits (If P Then Q), and Denise Riley’s Say Something Back (Picador).

Beyond the U.K., I tend to look to mainland Europe, and I’ve gotArchitectures of Chance by Christodoulos Makris (Wurm Press), Zuzana Husarova’s Liminal (Ars Poetica), and Max Höfler’s wies is is(Ritter) on the go.

I’ve also been at Enitharmon Press’s new selected Mayakovsky, entitledVolodya, edited by Rosy Patience Carrick. It’s extraordinary, and has led me back to a load of Russians I’d been given years ago, Fyodor Sologub’s The Little Demon, A Novel Without Lies by Anatoly Mariengof—a memoir about Sergei Esenin and how loopy he was,Leonid Andreyev’s The Red Laugh, poems by Gumilyov, Khlebnikov, I’ve been trying to pick up threads all over.

I’m also putting final touches to a book of asemic poems and artworks due out next year and that’s thrown me back into Henri Michaux’s amazing Untitled Passages (Merrell), as well as Christian Dotremont, Constant and Asger Jorn, supreme poets all, huge for me anyway, all were in the CoBrA group. That’ll do. Thanks for asking."

Enemies at the Hardy Tree gallery

Just days away from the opening night of the Enemies: visual art & avant garde poetry exhibition at the Hardy tree gallery, http://hardytreegallery.com please find below updated listings for all seven of the events, and here, a trailer for the show:

All events are free to attend, and open to the public, as it were. All take place at the Hardy Tree gallery itself - 119 Pancras Road, London, NW1 1UN. All start at 7.30pm. The exhibition runs July 6th to 20th 2013, with the space open for viewing 12-6pm on July 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 18th, 19th, 20th.
July Saturday 6th – Exhibition opening night:
readings from Iain Sinclair, Ragnhildur Johanns, SJ Fowler - performances from Ben Morris & Marcus Slease, a super8 screening from David Kelly, and interactive asemic writing.
July Monday 8th – Voice art
Celebrating the non-lingual in poetry / avant garde music / sound art, sonic landscapes without technological assistance, experimentation in unpure human sound - performances from Dylan Nyoukis, Ben Morris, Adam Bohman, Holly Pester, SJ Fowler, Emma Bennett & more, finishing with an ensemble soundwork. 
July Thursday 11th – Mini-lecture Poetics
Short, informal, aberrant talks given by contemporary British experimental poets – Peter Jaeger on John Cage & Buddhism, Tim Atkins on London poetry in the 90s, Marcus Slease on travelling poetics, Chris McCabe on Collaborating with the dead, James Wilkes on Cognitive Neuroscience & poetry & more on the night
July Saturday 13th – ‘Dear world & everyone in it’
Readings from the groundbreaking anthology, published by Bloodaxe and edited Nathan Hamilton, featuring Fabian MacPherson, Ahren Warner, Stephen Emmerson, Amy Evans, Becky Cremin, Andy Spragg, Emily Hasler, Sarah Kelly, Ben Stainton & more.
July Monday 15th – The Contemporary Poetics Research Centre
A rare academic entity, the CPRC, based in Birkbeck College, University of London is a hub for avant garde poets featuring Dan O’Donnell, Ollie Evans, Mendoza, Dan Eltingham, Albert Pellicer, James Wilkes, Vicky Sparrow, Mark Jackson & more

July Thursday 18th – P.O.W.
Edited by Antonio Carvalho, P.O.W. is a publishing project reigniting the great global tradition of concrete poetry. Readings from Simon Barraclough, Chrissy Williams, Pascal O’Loughlin, as well as other readings including Ryan Van Winkle & others.
July Saturday 20th – Closing night: a celebration of art writing
Brand new performances and artworks from Tom Jenks, Claire Potter, Tamarin Norwood & a host of collaborative performances from poets / artists involved in the Enemies project.
www.weareenemies.com supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Arts Council England.