A note on: European Poetry Now, teaching at the Poetry School

Lambeth Walk is synonymous for me with the Poetry School. The city is a massive patchwork of associations, splicing my own experiences against the ground. I feel part of something larger in London, in small patterns, of walking, visiting places for a purpose. Getting the Bakerloo line to Lambeth North, walking down to the Poetry School, where I started teaching in early 2014, and where I really developed the teaching techniques I tend to use now, and where I met lots of poets whom are now friends, is a really positive memory. I learned so much in that building, that row of buildings. The Poetry School is about to move on, as all things must, but I was really pleased I managed to do one last course in the old building before I've no real reason, for now, to visit Lambeth Walk. It was as good as anything I've done for the PS, a weekend exploring contemporary European Poetry, that I ran alongside on online course, on the same subject, with poets from across the globe.

I woke up very early on both weekends days, in the snow, the tubes quieter than normal, and was joined by a dozen really brilliant, positive minded poets. They couldn't have been more engaged and enthusiastic, it was just one of those experiences where the human mix makes it resoundingly positive. I shared some poetry I've never taught before, most especially around the notion of a new european lyric tradition, with poets like Max Czollek, Ann Cotten, Tomica Bajsic and many others I've been lucky enough to meet. This complimented explorations of sound, visuality, materiality, performance, new surrealism and pretty essential ideas that drive a lot of european poetry. Some of the participants will read on an upcoming European Poetry Festival event and it seems already that the contact with others that really motivates me to do these courses has begun once more, anew, thanks to what the poetry school does. www.stevenjfowler.com/poetryschool

Addendum, added April 12th 2018 - here are four of the participants on the course performing as part of the European Poetry Festival - Lithuania

A note on : Two new courses for Poetry School - European Poetry Now!

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I'm delighted to be returning to teaching at the Poetry School, after nearly two years away from the fold. It is a place where I have met some of the finest poets and humans I've come across in this tiny tiny world. In the spring 2018 I am running two separate but intertwined courses. Please do book one of them and come be a part of our continent still yes.

You can see all my Poetry School experiences, including these below here www.stevenjfowler.com/poetryschool

European Poetry Now (& Then) – International Course

Online Course Celebrate and explore the best-kept secrets in innovative, contemporary European poetry https://poetryschool.com/courses/zur-holle-european-poetry-now-international-course/

As the UK sadly divorces itself from the EU, this course with SJ Fowler, director of London’s European Poetry Festival (April 2018), abjures further divisions by embracing (and reclaiming) contemporary European poetry. In this course you will be introduced to dozens of working poets and multifarious traditions, drawing on modern poetic history and with an emphasis on the radical, experimental and avant-garde. Exploring constraint, concrete, visual, sound, performance and language poetry, this is a chance to gain access to poetic cultures and scenes almost completely hidden from British poets and readers, and making your own new work in response.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.

European Poetry Now! – Two Day Workshop

Face-To-Face CourseA practice-focused weekend looking at what is happening right now in a golden age of poetic innovation just over the Channel https://poetryschool.com/courses/zur-holle-european-poetry-now-two-day-workshop/

This intensive two-day course with SJ Fowler, director of London’s European Poetry Festival (April 2018), explores what is happening right now in a golden age of poetic innovation just over the Channel, and how that offers British poets the chance to expand their own poetic practice. Focusing on methodology and making over two days, exploring relay-style the ten themes of the Festival, this crash-course draws on huge array of ground-breaking yet little-known European poets to blaze new paths into language, visual and live poetries. Participants will also have the opportunity to develop their own works for presentation at the European Poetry Festival.

A two-day workshop running 10:30am – 4:30pm on Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 March.

Why I am excited for Yes But Are We Enemies? an outside view of Irish poetry

I've had the great fortune to travel during my life, and recently (perversely) often through poetry. Yet, I've never been outside of Dublin in Ireland, never been outside of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Moreover, when I've spent time in Manchester and Edinburgh, and made public my admiration for the depth and consideration of the poetry scene in both those places, centred on, but not exclusive to, the Other Room and Caesura, so those local to the place have expressed surprise that I should feel that way so vehemently. What was most often said of the Auld Enemies grand show success at Summerhall in Edinburgh just last month was that only an outsider could've had a hand in such an event coming together. So my being an outsider to Ireland has allowed me to watch, over the last year or two, a distinct and decisive blossoming of extraordinary writers, poets, editors and curators coming out of those nations. It is too frequent that a poet of quality, that I will then go on to watch for, to invite, to follow, will come out of the Irish nations, that it might be an accident. 

Darran Anderson was my predecessor at 3am magazine, to him I owe the job of poetry editor there, and much more besides. His writing, and the clear energy of literary impetus is extraordinary. http://darrananderson.com/ Susan Tomaselli has been doing for me, for my repute as it were, what often poets long for and few get, actual consideration and unexpected support. Her work with Gorse is nothing but a revelation, it is a singular project, and a magazine I will submit to for every issue, fail and or succeed. http://gorse.ie/ Michael Shank's Bohemyth is another extraordinary publication, genuinely marked out from its peers by its intensity and width, and the editorial care that Michael selflessly throws into it. http://thebohemyth.com/ Colony is an outstanding publication too, edited by a team that includes Kim Campanello, Dave Lordan, Anamaria Crowe Serrano and Rob Doyle, all of them authors whose work represents the quality of the magazine. http://www.colony.ie/ Kim herself represents the depth of connection to Ireland that currently resides in London, and has informed and expanded, palpably, the scene I am actively a part of. Pascal O'Loughlin, Robert Kiely, Stephen Mooney, Sarah Kelly, Becky Cremin, Philip Terry ... all hold Irish passports of one kind or another, all are brilliant, and perhaps united, by being profoundly underappreciated. I'll say nothing of whether the famous Irish poets of the last half century have strangled any appreciation for just how inventive and truly Avant Garde Irish poetry is and has been, as I'm not Irish and I don't know enough. What I do know, with absolutely certainty, these poets, above and below, are extraordinary, and aren't considered so by more than a few hundred people. If this project makes it a thousand (or two), then I'll sleep better.

& Rob Doyle, whose book sits on my shelf, recently catapulted quite deservedly (and all the more rarely for that fact) into a literary exposure I could not have been more pleased to watch happen http://robdoyle.net/ There's Aodan McCardle, who I saw perform in London before I published a poem, who leaves behind him here, while making similarly important work in Ireland, a legacy that generations will remember in Veer press. There's James Cummins, who I saw storm up Prague this May. There's Stephen Connolly, who I've had the pleasure to publish and invite to read in London, who is markedly, no matter where he might be from, one of the more generous and intelligent younger poets working today. There's Damian Smyth, a more open and supportive curator I have yet to come across from the distance I have been lucky enough to know him so far. There are these names, and so many more, whom I have read and whom I have the pleasure and privilege of meeting in the latter half of September - Kit Fryatt, Cal Doyle, Eleanor Hooker, Ailbhe Hines, Doireann Ni Ghriofa, James King, and many others,  please search them out, you will be better for doing so. 

I will not yet write about my co-tourees, Sam Riviere, an old friend who lives in Belfast, Ailbhe Darcy, Billy Ramsell, Patrick Coyle, as I will have plenty of time to do so during my tour diaries and this is about what is in front of me, that which is happening in Ireland now. But I will finish by speaking of Christodoulos Makris, someone who I'm very proud to say has become a friend since I interviewed him for my Maintenant series a fair few years ago now. I could not have found a better and more responsible and generous co-curator and collaborator for this project. He has managed to be so many things at once, in his work and in his person, humorous and warm, yet dignified and serious, experimental and innovative, and yet never trenchant or posturing, Irish and Cypriot, and yet neither / both of these. His recent work is up on 3am http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/chances-are/ Have a look at 'Chances are' and the poetry of it speaks up itself. 

This is the right time to be exploring Ireland, and not just through poetry, but through collaboration in poetry, something that forces creative sociality, friendships, communication and bonds, made face to facem that I hope, being relatively young in my life, will last many decades into the future

Kiddy Kamarade

all hail the extraordinary Sophie Mayer who pulled off this genuinely wonderful and original undertaking
Welcome to Kiddy Kamarade! The Archive of the Now and Rich Mix invite you to join our carousel of poets, providing ideas and inspiration for making word-art together with your children. Try out our imaginative techniques — and have a chance to show off what you create!
Station 1: Sarah Crewe and Chris McCabe – Poem Post Office
page2Sarah and Chris had a stack of postcards with mystery recipients (including Roald Dahl, Mr. Tumble and the Pope) written on one side – it was up to you to send them a message that might describe them before you knew who they were! The message you wrote was a description of something you could see in Venue 2, the long, sunny upstairs bar where the event was taking place.
I was describing the event itself – but there was a magical, funny collision with the recipient who was revealed to be:
I like to think She enjoyed it. Especially the glitter… of which more at Station 3: Poetry Potions!
SONY DSCBut first, Station 2: Tim Atkins – Wonderful Day Haiku Station
Tim posted this haiku by Shiki Masaoka (in English and Japanese!) and invited us to imagine our wonderful day in brilliant colour! the delicious array of food treats available around the venue (including bagels) was a popular theme – as was the event itself…

Austrian Cultural Forum - avant garde poetry now!

Sound and Vision: Avant Garde Poetry Now

Caroline Bergvall, Peter Finch and S J Fowler

Thursday 14 November 2013, 7.00pm | Austrian Cultural Forum London Martin Colthorpe, freelance programmer, presents an evening with Caroline Bergvall and Peter Finch, two leading lights in the UK’s avant-garde poetry scene. Join us to hear two mesmerizing poets performing their work in the context of the Art Meets Languageexhibition. Ranging from Bergvall’s language art to Finch’s concrete/sound poetry, the readings will be followed by a conversation and audience questions chaired by the poet S J Fowler, who will also give a short talk on contemporary avant-garde poetics. The event is organized in association with Modern Culture. http://www.acflondon.org/literature-and-books/sound-and-vision-avant-garde-poetry-now-caroline-b/

Very excited about this, I'll give a ten minute talk and then chat with Caroline and Peter, please come down to Knightsbridge if you can!

david kelly / vispo / 3am magazine

i acknowledge my longstanding relationship to him as a collaborator, but the work here is soooo good. so good. so amazing to host it at 3am, to have that facility, today, is a privilegio.

the poetic is so very much akin to the sensibility of his art, which itself would require an essay to understanding in the writing of - a true modern, a premodern contemporary, a KoKoschKA, A SCHIELE of London now, so exciting to see the visual lie with the text.

having forgotten where to sleep
that i am responsible for you