A note on: Poem Brut at National Poetry Library

Fun was had in the wonder library of london. I love this library. It is a pure space. A space of generosity and discovery. I had the pleasure too to work with my friend pascal o'loughlin and the lovely jessica atkinson, librarians, in developing a special edition event. This time the event was part of my poem brut series, which asks poets often on the margins of what people think poetry is, to produce works that entirely concerned with liveness and material. Liveness in time, in language, in motion. Proper performance. Organically weird then, weird in a way that the world is weird. But also weird in such a range of ways. Saradha Soobrayen, Chrissy Williams, Patrick Cosgrove, Maja Jantar, Harry Man. They were all magic. And we had a packed out house, a nice audience of people, some of whom were suspicious, but in a way that made me trust them all the more.

My performance was a little naff, but something playing with ideas Ive had for awhile. I used a friend of mine, a chatimal, to repeat back words that I had said, to undercut the pompous tone of the recital. I read from in the stacks. I tried to asphyxiate myself. It was a good time.

Published: 3 poems published in Wild Court


For a poetic celebration of Joseph Conrad, generously commissioned by Professor Robert Hampson, I've written 3 new poems on his work, published by Wild Court, the magazine of Kings College, London @wildcourtpoetry http://wildcourt.co.uk/new-work/920/ 

They are for this exciting event at National Poetry Library, a special edition on Conrad https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/124451-poetic-celebration-joseph-conrad-2017 …

A note on: celebrating Shearsman Books at National Poetry Library

A grand evening at National Poetry Library celebrating Shearsman Books and their 35 years in publishing, constantly and carefully putting out books of brilliant modernist poetry from around the world. The library was full and I had the pleasure of reading alongside multiple Shearsman authors, including Peter Riley, who has been writing for over 50 years and someone whom I've been reading with great admiration for many years.

A note on : National Poetry Library Special Edition - Shearsman Books

I'm excited to return to the national poetry library reading from my new book in an event celebrating Shearsman Books and the work of Tony Frazer.

DATES & TIMES 5 Jul 2017 : 8:00 pm
WHERE National Poetry Library, Level 5, Blue side, Royal Festival Hall

Hear authors from across the generations that Shearsman Books represents, as they read and discuss their work. Speakers include SJ Fowler, Elisabeth Bletsoe, Siriol Troup and Peter Riley, in discussion with Shearsman editor Tony Frazer.

Shearsman Books have been a driving force in British modernist poetry for 35 years. Their global list has championed the work of some of Britain’s most important, and often overlooked, modern poets. With a reputation for exploration and considered experiment, Shearsman has provided a prolific and invaluable contribution to our understanding of what poetry might be.


A note on: Magma Poetry's National Conversation Event: Peel & Portion - Jan 15th 2016

A real pleasure to spend an evening the company of the Magma magazine audience, for an event exploring drafting, its process and concepts, curated by John Canfield and hosted by Patrick Davidson Roberts. I always enjoy speaking to people who aren’t perhaps familiar with my work, or even the philosophies that underpin, who see modernism or the avant-garde as something alien (though I don’t want to assume too much). It was an evening where the insights given by Rebecca Perry and Kathryn Maris, both of whom spoke wonderfully, complimented my more discursive, fundamental questions and ideas. And the audience really seemed to engage with this, the collective impetus of the event, and the notion that I want to question certain assumed ideas about what drafting means, from the creative impulse, to the notion of a language idea, to refining, to what might be called a finished piece. And that these questions aren’t necessarily antagonistic to more confirmed notions, that seem to proffer control of language in poetry. I was really touched to have quite a few people stop me after speaking and share their thoughts and enthusiasm and was very grateful to John and the team at Magma for having me involved in a really positive event in the lovely environs of the Teahouse Theatre in Vauxhall.

a lunchtime with the ENO - can you suffer well?

I had the chance to visit with a few extraordinary people the other day from English National Opera. Quite admirably, they are beginning a project where they open channels of communication with writers they might not have come across before, just exploratory, just beginning conversations and this was the first in a series of salon events that they are planning as part of their Talent Development programme. It's an opportunity for intimate conversations to take place between some of the extraordinary individuals working on productions at the ENO and younger writers, to open up windows into the world of opera.  Very pleased to be able to speak to them, knowing how much my stuff with the Guildhall and the Sinfonietta brought me joy and expanded my practise into new areas. Who knows what'll come of it, but a lovely beginning was had when I got sit in on an intimate discussion given by Frank McGuinness, the playwright and poet, and Julian Anderson, the composer, who have just collaborated to produce the Thebans, http://www.eno.org/thebans the latest production at the Coliseum for the ENO. 
It was an intense, educational hour, one that seemed to bracket off the discussion, and the very specific creative world these two men had worked in, so that everyone in the room was fully entrenched in their pursuits and ideas, that of a librettist and a composer. Such was the intensity, the discussion was, by necessity perhaps, at times, somehow private, but not at all pretentious, perhaps a indulgence of necessary energy, of conviction and it was deferent, humourous and profound at the same time. It became very personal too, disarmingly so, and emotional. At times, being someone who always tries to interrogate the notion of the 'writer' as a figure, I was uncomfortable, just by the sheer intimacy of the exchange, but I was, afterward, deeply excited, realising the intensity of this kind of collaborative process, and the responsibility, so massive, that the writer faces in such a relationship. Clearly the trust, and the skill, required to produce an opera like this is so mountainous, that the challenge of it got under my skin. To have to write well and quickly, and incisively, and be ready to let all be broken apart, that is what I'm seeking to do now really, always, anyway, making it new in form and tone. Much to think over, hopefully more to come.

Asger Jorn at National Gallery Denmark

"I don't believe in any kind of profundity that cannot withstand being confronted with the banalities of everyday life" 1964

"Within Nordic art the picture exists before the word. Here, the image is the theme. The words are variations. Within the Latin Tradition things are the other way around. The word is the point of origin"

"A book of love bound in sandpaper, which destroys your pocket"

"not about ideas, but the concrete material, realities of art: wall, canvas, pigment"

"One is often better able to describe the struggle between people, the essential, by using fantastical animals, simple, primitive naked instincts than by painting a specific individual situation (...) we should describe ourselves as human animals"

"Art & handwriting are the same. An image is written and handwriting is images" 1944

The Jade flute / The girl in the fire / The Troll and the birds / Tallowscoop Waunderworker / Narcolepts on the Lake of Coma (titles)