A note on: Writers' Centre Kingston programme for 2018 / 2019

I'm very pleased to announce the programme for the second year of Writers' Centre Kingston at Kingston University. Themed events with guest speakers including Max Porter and Joe Dunthorne feature alongside unique standalone projects like the English PEN fest, European Poetry Festival, the annual Museum of Futures exhibition and collaborations events at Rich Mix in London. Each event will be opened by student readings and performances and the Centre will also host workshops, release new student publications and aim to bring together staff and students alike from a wide range of specialities.

Visit https://www.writerscentrekingston.com/schedule/ or click on the event below for more information.

October Thursday 4th 2018 – The Rose Theatre, Kingston : 7pm Free Entry
On the theme of Becoming, with Damian Le Bas, Tina Chanter, Christoph Lueder


October Thursday 18th – Kingston University, Penrhyn Road campus, PRJG0003 : John Galsworthy building : 7pm Free
On the theme of Gambling, with Revital Cohen, Tuur Van Balen, Isabella Van Elferen, Ghazal Mosadeq

November Thursday 8th - Kingston University, Penrhyn Road campus, PRJG0003 : John Galsworthy building : 7pm Free
On the theme of Purpose, with Joe Dunthorne, Éadaoin Agnew and Matthew Cunningham 

November Saturday 24th 2018 – The Kingston Camarade : Rich Mix, Venue 2. London : 7.30pm Free Entry
New collaborations in pairs from Kingston Uni students and staff including Nick Foxton, Mark Harris, Alison Baverstock, John Hughes & Mandy Ure, Catherine Humble, Diran Adebayo, Janice Miller, Joanne Addison, Andrew Benjamin.

2019
January Thursday 17th - The Rose Theatre, Kingston : 7pm Free Entry
On the theme of Mythologising, with Max Porter Winsome Pinnock

January Thursday 24th - English PEN Modern Literature Fest : The Bishop. 2 Bishop Hall, Kingston. 7pm Free.
with Sam Jordison, Ellen Wiles, Gareth Evans, James Miller, Helen Palmer, Adam Baron, Sara Upstone and more

February Saturday 9th – The University Camarade IV : Rich Mix, London : 7.30pm Free
Students from Kingston University and other institutions across the UK present brand new collaborations.

February Thursday 21st : Visual Literature Exhibition opening - The Museum of Futures, Surbiton : 7.30pm Free
(The exhibition runs February 19th to March 13th 2019.)

March Thursday 7th :  Poem Brut - The Museum of Futures, Surbiton : 7.30pm Free
with Nise McCullough, Lisa Kiew, MJB and Patrick Cosgrove.

April Thursday 4th : European Poetry Festival - The Rose Theatre, Kingston : 7pm Free Entry
with Maja Jantar and many more poets from across the continent.

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.

 https://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2016/10/pm-reading-list-october-2016/

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."

A note on: Forumstadtpark: Graz, Austria - June 2016

The Forum Stadtpark in Graz is a unique place. I’d heard about it for a few years before I met those who mastermind the institution in 2015. Not a gallery or venue, more of a communal centre in the heart of Graz, for all arts and all kinds of discussions and meetings, set the idyllic second city of Austria, it has a reputation for supporting some of the most avant-garde work in Europe. The word they seem to use, the warm hearted, playful, endlessly hospitable people who seem to wander in and out of the stadtpark, is transgressive or provocative, alongside everything all else that might be interested in the now or the future. A chance to visit here, to speak and perform was granted to me by virtue of the CROWD omnibus project and a two day symposium called Text World World Text, bringing poets and organisers from all over Europe. The symposium was led by Max Hofler, a friend and a text artist I admire so much and was essentially about poetry and politics, and whether there was a connection between the two.

I've written a whole webpage dedicated to the trip with detailed travelogue. Please visit http://www.stevenjfowler.com/graz

A note on: Kakania Berlin – May 9th at Österreichisches Kulturforum

A wonderful thing to be able to travel to curate something, to be able to leave my home and bring together artists who genuinely excite me, in Berlin. A chance to watch people who offer permission to push boundaries and to learn. Thanks to the generosity of the Österreichisches Kulturforum, I was able to put together a Kakania project in Berlin. I brought together 5 artists from across Europe and each presented a new work responding to a figure of the Habsburg Era, 100 years ago or so. We were in the grand performance space of the Österreichisches Kulturforum itself, just off Tiergarten, an imposing curved hall with giant curtains and high ceilings. The Österreichisches Kulturforum couldn’t have been easier to work with and the performances on the night had some real highlights, definitively making an impact on the audience with some of the best sound poets in the world interspersed with conceptual text performances. There was a really dynamic energy to the evening and a clear enthusiasm and intensity, as I’ve often felt in Berlin. Just great to spend time around so many artists I admire under such professional conditions, and to visit Berlin again, having time to bop down Kurfürstenstraße with old friends.

Kakania Berlin - May 9th : 7.30pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum

7.30pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin kulturforum berlin: kulturforumberlin.at 
ree Entry - May Monday 9th 2016
Stauffenbergstraße 1, 10785 Berlin. T: +49 30 202 87-114 E: berlin-kf (at) bmeia.gv.at

Very happy to announce that the Kakania project will debut in Berlin, with six new literary performance commissions from contemporary artists, each of whom will present a work that celebrates / responds to a figure from the Habsburg era. The event is free to attend if you're in Berlin, please share with friends in the city if you're not http://www.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniaberlin

Book your place here: http://www.kulturforumberlin.at/veranstaltung/kakania/

Max Höfler on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas Salome
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Tomomi Adachi on Josef Matthias Hauer
Ernesto Estrella on Gustav Mahler
Ann Cotten on Otto Neurath

This is the first of two Kakania events that will take place in Berlin in 2016, supported by Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin and follows six events, a symposium, two publications and over fifty new artist commissions in London from 2014 to 2016 thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum. www.kakania.co.uk 

About Kakania

There has been no one city's culture, at one singular time in modern history, more widely influential on contemporary thought than that of Habsburg Vienna a century ago. A time so densely constituted with intellectual revolution in fields as diverse as poetry, fiction, journalism, music, composition, philosophy, psychology, art … that it seems it can often only be evoked through a wistfulness that belies the melancholy, the energy and the seismic change that constituted it.

With Kakania, decidedly contemporary, avant-garde, original works of text and art are presented in an attempt to be as complex and genre testing as the works, and the people, they are responsive to. This is a project where the past, and our understanding of it, is not be refracted through historical analysis, but the creative process, and one that is utterly contemporary. Kakania is an opportunity for audiences to discover the Habsburg era in a wholly new guise, as our era.

Exhibited: Manners Maketh Man, my commission for Graz Forumstadtpark Glory Hole series

So happy to have been commissioned by the amazing pioneering Forumstadtpark in Austria, curated by the equally groundbreaking Max Hofler, to produce a videotext work, part of their Glory Hole series. This series has been going for years and involves a video with text projected against the side of the Forumstadtpark itself, blown up like a bat signal, in the middle of a huge, beautiful park in the middle of the city. Loads of people see it, and for my work, which runs throughout April, this is true as its being screened while a film festival goes on. Really i had fun making it too, they promote my kind of work. You can see all the glory hole commissions here : https://vimeo.com/forumstadtparkgraz, some great ones, and my edition, the 31st, below

A note on: CROWD - the Omnibus Tour

Great to be part of CROWD's groundbreaking and ambitious European Omnibus tour across Europe this summer. It's a mad, brilliant project, huge swathes of poets in stints from northern Finland all the way down to Cyprus. Loads of wonderful people involved, and I get to travel from Graz to Belgrade over a week in late June. http://crowd-literature.eu/omnibus-2/

CROWD: A 3 month bus tour from May to August 2016, featuring around 100 authors from all over Europe in 15 European countries and more than 40 cities and about 24 associated organizers and dozens of local events.

Here's a feature on me on the CROWD site, with a short interview http://crowd-literature.eu/one-crowd-steven-j-fowler/

"There have always been interactions and disputes between the discourses of poetry and politics. Do you see possibilities of emancipatory strategies concerning contemporary interactions between poetic and political discourses and agendas? How can/should/do these literary strategies look like?

I think, often, these questions are answered by people who show a fundamental assurance I cannot relate to. I find most problems, most questions, confusing, and more complex than I can understand without serious consideration and time. Therefore the answers to these questions are way beyond me. That doesn’t mean I’m left inert in the face of very real challenges. In fact, by acknowledging my changing, confused perspective, a certain kind of pragmatism tends to come to the fore, and I am free to be active.

If I have to answer, and briefly, then I’d simply say there are interactions and disputes between politics and people, politics and culture, politics and language. Poetry is a tiny, all but irrelevant part of these interactions and disputes. Poetry has no more claim or power over these discourses than baking or gardening. People who write poems can be powerfully influential on politics and culture and people, but not exclusively because they write poems. There is nothing innately useful in poetry for positive change in political terms, apart from maybe a sensitivity to language (which might manipulate us), but you need not be a poet for that.

My opinion then, following from this, is that a strategy for change with literature is about people over poetry, process over product, context over content. That’s why I think organising collaborations with poets from all over the world, organising readings and projects – this is a political act that actually is inclusive and positive and makes changes. Others talk of being political with poetry, being liberal, with an ethics based on empathy, and then they isolate many humans who happen not to share their exact political opinion, and cause divisions and bitterness and fallout. So I’m interested in real space."

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.