A note on: my collaborators for European Poetry Festival 2019

As part of the oncoming European Poetry Festival I have the opportunity to collaborate six times with six poets from six places. With Maja Jantar, Patrick Savolainen, Fabian Faltin, Morten Langeland, Krisjanis Zelgis and Tom Jenks. From April 6th to April 13th, one week, I do six new performative collaborations. It is one of the most exciting parts of the fest, this constant collective creative output, in live settings, making new things, writing them, negotiating in cafes, changing plans minutes before the event starts, having to also announce the lineup, help all the other poets, work the venue, then perform too. Making new friendships also, I have never worked with Patrick, Krisjanis and Fabian before. Cementing friendships too, Tom, Maja and Morten are all very close and dear friends. It is obvious terrible for them they have to work with me but sacrifices must be made on the altar of poetry.

Check out when and where here www.europeanpoetryfestival.com/programme

A note on: new articles commissioned for Versopolis

The European Review of Poetry, Books and Culture is an online literary journal, funded by the European Union, aiming to create an anglophone publication platform with a focus on continental Europe and world beyond. www.versopolis.com

A sample of the articles I've commissioned recently.

Open Mouth Surgery, a collaboration with Morten Sondergaard, published in the Bohemyth

http://thebohemyth.com/2014/05/06/morten-sondergaard-steven-fowler/ Im proper pleased one of my favourite collaborations this year, with the extraordinary Danish poet Morten Sondergaard has been published in the great Irish journal the Bohemyth, edited by Michael Shanks. The work, Open Mouth Surgery, is a fusion of Morten's wordpharmacy project and its concerns, and my own aberrant attempts to run veins of speech fragments and surrealism through such a beautiful tailored poetic project. 

Fjender in Copenhagen

D is soft in Denmark. Sondergaard is Sonnegoe, Kierkegaard is Kierkegoe, Knausgaard is Kenausgoe. A happy, strange week in Copenhagen to finish off the Fjender project for now. Really at the core of this offshoot of the Enemies project was the relationship between myself and Morten Sondergaard, and his hospitality, generosity and energy of ideas has made my time in Copenhagen memorable. To have the time to really communicate with someone, to refine ones ideas in the face of such openness and intelligence is a wonderful thing, the very physical actualisation of an approach I’ve tried to take to my writing, my events and all such things, where process is emphasised over product, with the hope that the positive former will take care of the latter.
vikings on exhibition at Ark books, Copenhagen

My last day in Denmark was spent visiting the Asger Jorn exhibition at the national art museum, with Peter Jaeger and Morten, two wiser, kinder poets you couldn’t hope to meet. Having just taught Jorn as part of my Poetry School class a few weeks back, as he was a fundamental part of the CoBrA group, and been entranced by his work the further my investigations went, this was a perfect combination of things. Once in awhile an exhibition does what it is supposed to do to you. Once I had spoken to Morten and Peter at great length I found an arts supply shop, bought indian ink and paper and a scratch pen and took to finally completing a project of asemic writing I had begun years before. This is the purpose of all the stupid emailing bullshit, all the admin, the fraught running between working fulltime, training, teaching, organising – to open up days, like a aperture, where I am overwhelmed with the feeling of being fortunate to be able to experience life as a choice, to have the complete freedom to have experiences beyond my own small world, in new places, with new people, who are wiser and kinder and more intelligent than I, and to be able to create reflections of that experience without limitation.

Overall it was a week split in two, dark days and light days. The day at the zoo, commiserating with the surviving giraffes and spending hours by the bears, finding Kierkegaard’s grave by accident, visiting Ark books, who were hosting our reading and exhibiting my books and runic art, and then reading in the strange literature house with Morten, Peter and Martin Glaz Serup was wonderful. I am sure it will be the beginning of much, the Fjender project, rather than an end, and over the three events and month that it has lasted I have proven to myself that this mode of organisation, creating partnerships in writing across nations and languages has the potential for brilliance I thought it did.

Wordpharmacy readings at the Hardy Tree gallery

The second part of Fjender was as satisfying as the first. Where the event at the rich mix had the energy and the speed of the best of the kind of events I try to experiment with, this, at the Hardy Tree gallery, had all the familiarity, community and intimacy I hope my events always have. It was a genuinely considered and friendly and engaged reading, with the British poets writing new work that responded to Morten Sondergaard's remarkable Wordpharmacy installation and exhibition. Morten is such a sweet man, so so remarkably nice, it was a proud moment to see him touched by the efforts of the readers and the audience, those 50 or so bodies packed into the intimate space. The evening was defined by a series of intense and rewarding conversations with other poets for me, and a lot of whom Id not had read before expressed the feeling that they felt welcome and that there was a noticeable lack of standoffishness or posturing, which is what I want to always be the case. All 8 readings were wonderful, huge thanks to those who made it what it was, and who did so collectively and generously 
David Berridge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb0DUkjvGLo
Claire Trevien https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peVSIUyhu28
Alison Gibb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYa-TltihTA
Andy Spragg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35v4Rp_LvGY
Prudence Chamberlain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Enn-vUR38
Mark Waldron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXozGut3-NE


Without doubt one of the best events I've put on, the best of 2014 so far, Fjender at the Rich mix was an intense and across the board brilliant evening of contemporary European innovative poetry. I was continually blown away by the quality of the original work and the performances of the poets I'd asked to contribute and the atmosphere of the evening was really generous and open, as it always should be. It was an epic two hour, twenty poet + event. I was really gratified to show the visiting Danes, all of whom I've admired and whose work I have been trumpeting for years, the quality of the poetry scene in London. 
Cia Rinne & Chrissy Williams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JwIWWX5ezk
Peter Jaeger & Martin Glaz Serup https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osVyEpJ0jHI

It was really a joy to read with Morten too, though difficult at times to maintain the prosaic difficulties of organising and introducing such a complex array of events along with reading, but once the event was in full flow it really felt like everyone was in on it together, and it was easy to relax into it. 
And those dozen who've been kind enough to attend my Maintenant course at the poetry school gave a really beautiful reading of an immense collaborative, constraint heavy text, which just added to my feeling that the synthesis of organising / reading / writing / teaching can be fluid and organic if attended to openly. 


I'm very proud to announce Fjender: a Danish Enemies project. Taking place over an entire month, Fjender will feature 3 events, 1 exhibition and over 30 poets. At the heart of Fjender is the visit to London of 3 of Europe's most brilliant innovative poets; Morten Søndergaard, Cia Rinne & Martin Glaz Serup. I’ve been trying to get them to the UK for sometime, and thanks to the Kulturstyrelsen (the Danish Agency for Culture), they are coming, for Fjender, to share their work.

Fjender - March Saturday 15th at the Rich Mix Arts Centre

The flagship event of the Fjender project, featuring new collaborations from Martin Glaz Serup & Peter Jaeger, Cia Rinne & Chrissy Williams and
Morten Søndergaard & I. The Danes will also share their own work, and there will be a series of brand new commissions from UK based poets, in response to the concepts and themes of Morten’s amazing http://www.wordpharmacy.com

New work by James Davies, Prudence Chamberlain, Philip Terry, Claire Trevien, Fabian MacPherson and Stephen Emmerson, who will present his Neurolinguasulphate.

This packed evening of avant garde poetry will also feature a collaborative group reading from 13 students from my Poetry School course Maintenant. http://www.poetryschool.com/courses-workshops/face-to-face/maintenant.php

Wordpharmacy at the Hardy Tree gallery

For the first time ever in London, the remarkable Wordpharmacy will be exhibited for the Fjender project. The Hardy Tree gallery will be turned into a fully functioning poetic chemist’s, a pharmacy for the avant garde poet, replete with stocked shelves, white-coated pharmacist and a near endless supply of word-drugs. Situated just behind Kings Cross St Pancras, the exhibition will look something like this ...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE1rBI06szI

Wordpharmacy reading / special view
March Thursday 20th, 7.30pm, at the Hardy Tree gallery. Free entry

To celebrate the Wordpharmacy exhibition a half dozen British based poets have been commissioned to write, or conceive of, original works that respond to the ideas and concepts of the project. On this evening brand new work from Alison Gibb, David Berridge, Claire Trevien, Andy Spragg, Prudence Chamberlain, Fabian MacPherson & of course, Morten Søndergaard himself will be shared.

Fjender in Copenhagen
April 7th at Ark books. 7.30pm. Free entry.  http://www.arkbooks.dk/

Sharing the work of Peter Jaeger and I, as well as the original collaborations between myself and Morten Søndergaard, and Peter Jaeger and Martin Glaz Serup, a reading will take place in the Danish capital, featuring local poets and accompanied by a short run exhibition of the Enemies project. More TBA. Made possible by Arts Council England International Development fund.

I’m very excited to present this month of events, and for more information on the poets, you can read my Maintenant interviews with Cia, Morten and Martin here: http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/maintenant-52-cia-rinne/

Without the support of the Royal Danish Embassy in London, Fjender wouldn’t exist, so special thanks to Kirsten Hansen, and thanks too to the generosity of Kulturstyrelsen (the Danish Agency for Culture) as well Arts Council England, the Rich mix and the Hardy tree gallery.