A note on: States of Mind events I & II at Wellcome Collection: July 7th & 14th

A highpoint to speak and curate at Wellcome Collection for these three events as part of their States of Mind: Tracing the edge of consciousness exhibition. I've had the chance to bring together some of the finest neuroscientists, psychologists, artists, speakers and thinkers working today, and curate these evenings as complimentary in their differences, letting new questions be asked through the presentations, rather than trying to tie together complex threads on a very complex issue - consciousness itself.

The first event focused on poetry and consciousness, language really, and the second on sound and consciousness. Both were a pleasure to put together and amazing to witness. Daniel Margulies, Noah Hutton, Jen Calleja, Maja Jantar, Nick Ryan, Vincent Moon and John Gruzelier have all spoken wonderfully, insightfully and the sold out audiences have seemed engaged and pleasantly surprised by the variance of expertise.

I also had the chance to speak at the first event, talking about poetry and consciousness, which has been a concern of mine for sometime, in the sense that I studied philosophy with an emphasis on phenomenology towards the end and am always trying to probe at the why underneath my practise and the genre in general, especially through recent teaching experiences. Unfortunately during this talk I had to wear a headset and look like a member of a 90s boyband, but you can't have it all. I looked how I felt. 

a World without Words at Apiary Studios was wonderful

The premiere event of a World without Words was an extraordinary night, well over one hundred people crammed into Apiary Studios in Hackney to watch six presentations from neuroscientists and artists from around the world. What really emerged from a night of big ideas and great personal passion, was how much the unique format we had aimed to provide appealed to both the speakers and the audience. The presentations were not centred about the sharing of knowledge, but of personal passion, and experience, and how the former came through the latter. The event was not one of provocation but curiosity. Lotje Sodderland, Noah Hutton, Ben Ehrlich, Harry Man, Malinda McPherson and Nick Ryan all found their journey into the human brain and our ability to wield language in different ways - through pain and illness, through study and discipline, through travel and creativity, yet they all shared an open, inviting, discursive evening where everyone left with more than they had a few hours before. It was also, what I had already known, a real joy to share the curating with Thomas Duggan and Lotje, we all seem to compliment each other and the process couldn't have been more gratifying. Four more events to come this year... www.aworldwithoutwords.com

Interrobang bookfair Camarade videos

A deliightful time was had curating a wee Camarade, 7 pairs, 14 poets, for Nick Murray's Interrobang bookfair. Videos below

Interrobang Camarade at the Betsey Trotwood - Saturday 22nd Nov 2014

Very happy to be hosting another Camarade event this saturday evening at the Betsey Trotwood in Farringdon, to round off the Interrobang bookfair held just over the road in the Freeword centre. http://annexemagazine.com/interrobang/
The event starts at 8pm and features seven pairs of poets presenting new collaborations;
Prudence Chamberlain & Eley Williams
Jon Stone & Harry Wooler
Simon Pomery & Cali Dux
Holly Corfield Carr & Zelda Chappel
Gary Budden & Kit Caless
Kirsty Irving & Harry Man
Aki Schilz & Nick Murray

Coming November 22nd the Interrobang Camarade

Im really happy to be curating an upcoming Camarade event with 8 pairs of poets reading new collaborations as part of the evening's entertainment for Nick Murray and Annexe presses extraordinary Interrobang book fair and poetry day http://annexemagazine.com/interrobang at the Freeword in Farringdon. More info to come, but for now, we have confirmed the marvelous: 

Cali Dux & Simon Pomery - Kirsty Irving & Harry Man - Gary Budden & Kit Caless - Jon Stone & Harry Wooler - Prudence Chamberlain & Eley Williams - Nick Murray & Aki Schilz

Aletta Ocean Empire published in Osmics by Annexe press

Yet another wonderful and innovative publication from Annexe press and Nick Murray. A thing called the Pheromone Party (where people are asked to sleep in a shirt for a week, then bag it, and then given to others attending the night to sniff, blindly, and then choose who they'd like to meet based on the smell - a dating thing I think) commissioned Annexe to produce two zines for the events, as souvenirs, or things for people to read, I assume, if it all gets a little bit awkward. I was delighted to be asked, having a predilection for the olfactory, having done commissions for Lush before etc...I wrote poems called Aletta Ocean Empire (if you don't know who Aletta Ocean is then don't bother looking her up) which were accompanied by an inkblot that looks like the thing the poems are about, and then split into two, and the two lost halves published in the different zines. I have reunited them above, folding the separate zines together for a reunion. 

Performing the Whale Hunt: Viking poems for Annexe magazine launch

This was such a joy to do. Not only because it was with Nick Murray's amazing Annexe press that I was launching out a new booklet, nor because it was beside Tom Chivers, my friend, whose work I get to see live far far too infrequently. But because I got to show slow motion footage of killer whale revenge, while playing norse drone music, while hand painting runes onto wall mounted poems that I was reading from, occasionally spitting into the paint palette to keep it wet and punching the wall or stomping the wall when it was called for.
The pamphlet Nick has produced, the 2nd of my vikings series, it a beautiful thing, Im very proud of it and to be in the Annexe family. Tom's reading was far better than mine, it was actually brilliant, blending music with a slide show of his residency in Hull, tracing the flots of a river. He had a wonderful cadence and direction to his reading, one of the best Ive seen him do. My performance I don't know how it went. Maybe I was just laying performativity on top of a reading to avoid being boring. Does all of it work? I don't know. I committed to the idea and people seemed to value it, but they could have been lying. All good, there is something there, something authentic beneath the puff.

Launching "Vikings: the Whale Hunt" a new publication with Annexe

Really pleased to be publishing some new work, a lovely illustrated pamphlet, another in my Vikings series (which will continue to be released segment by section) with the amazing Annexe and its fine editor Nick Murray. I really respect the energy, the quality and the breadth of the work Annexe puts out, and really happy to be under its umbrella. More so that the publication will be launched alongside a new work by Tom Chivers, a close friend and a really good poet. www.annexemagazine.com
The first Annexe event of the year is an exciting one as we launch new pamphlets from two exceptional writers. 

Tom Chivers & SJ Fowler - Double Launch - Candid Arts Trust 
Wednesday 26th February - 7pm (reading commencing at 7.30) = FREE
Whale Hunt  - SJ Fowler 

"Time began with a bear then it became a Viking

family tree over grandfather to all of us (that matter)
the polite, the gentle born of the power to display force
but choosing not to do so in company resounds its glow"

Poet and vangardist, SJ Fowler, strives to encounter and confront all disciplines in the poetic tradition. His latest work starts from a root of Norse mythology and carves a path through contemporary poetics and language construction. 

Whale Hunt, part of the Introducing series, is a curated section of Fowler's Vikings work and is published as an illustrated pamphlet.