Published: Oxford Brookes Poem of Week : Snow Bunting bay bay

Well nice of Oxford Brookes poetry centre at the University to publish my poem Snow Bunting as their weekly poem. The poem was commissioned for the amazing Birdbook 4 anthology from Sidekick Books, who are equally brilliant publishers. http://www.brookes.ac.uk/poetry-centre/weekly-poem/weekly-poem-for-21-february-2017/ I put a good bio on this one

SJ Fowler is a poet and artist. He has published five collections of poetry and been commissioned by Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, The British Council, Tate Britain and Wellcome Collection. He is the poetry editor of 3am magazine, Lecturer at Kingston University, teaches at Tate Modern and is the curator of the Enemies project. He is a high functioning vegan bear, befriends birds and will protect their eggs with electric technologies. Currently he is writing an autobiography of the famous Hyde Park Mud Crow. Find out more about his work on his website.

Notes from Sidekick Books: With this poem we continue our selection of poems from Sidekick Books’ four volumes of Birdbooks. In 2009, with two micro-compendiums under their belt, Kirsten Irving and Jon Stone, the editors at Sidekick, discussed the idea of a book of bird poetry – but one in which less well known species were on equal terms with the popular ones. There are dozens of poems about herons, eagles, ravens and nightingales, not so many about the whimbrel, the ruff, the widgeon or the hobby. Paper-cut artist Lois Cordelia was recruited to give the series its distinctive covers, and over 150 artists and illustrators were commissioned over six years to complete the series. The first volume is now in its second printing. Find out more about the Birdbook series on theSidekick website.

Published: an artpoem in Oxford Poetry

Grand to have this art poem, on the left page, in the latest issue of Oxford Poetry. Thanks to Lavinia Singer and the editorial team at OP, which has been publishing since 1910. The work will be featured in my debut art book, published by Stranger Press in 2017, called I fear my best work behind me. This is what I wrote to contextualise the poem...

"The poem on the page is first a series of markings made upon a surface. Obvious, but it seems to me a great source of often profoundly underexplored potential for the poet. That is the continued realisation of this fact - of black on white, of colour, material, front, handwriting, of dead and living space, of a computer screen or piece of sliced tree - all that is happening aside from semantic content, and the relation of these things in changing, fluctuating, the semantic meaning and content the poet should worry over. 

This work draws from the influence post-war central European avant garde pioneers like Henri Michaux, Christian Dotremont and Constant Nieuwenhuys have had on my work, all of them poets in the purest sense, all too erroneously and conveniently labelled artists. It draws on asemic writing, experimental logograms and illustration but it also a poem in the clearest, anthropomorphic sense" 

And from the editorial ... "Encrusted in paper word impasto, this issue of Oxford Poetry celebrates the relationship between the verbal and the visual. Some poets respond ekphrastically to works of art (Richie McCaffery, Jeremy Valentine Freeman Ganem, Pascale Petit, Nancy Posey). Others paint worlds through bold metaphor and surreal imagery (John Burnside, Rebecca Perry, Mark Waldron, Astrid Alben, Martha Kapos) or evoke the subtleties of consciousness, memory and perception (Dominic Hand, Fiona Sampson, Denise Saul). Others step into the realm of visual poetry (SJ Fowler) to shape their words on the page (Chris Kerr, Elaine Feeney)." http://oxfordpoetry.co.uk/

A note on: OVADA, Brook & Black & a visit to Oxford on November 6th 2015

I was very generously invited to participate in a Symposium on collaboration in Oxford thanks to artists Brook & Black, whose exhibition Arkitektoniske Kramper made collaboration with Christina Bredahl Duelund and Natascha Thiara Rydvald was opening at OVADA. 

Really a beautiful day discovering people's work and listening to insights on the collaborative process. Lovely too to share the stage with longtime collaborator / friend, Tamarin Norwood, and to feel the unity of the scene in Oxford. That, and the hospitality and enthusiasm, was palpable. 

The large scale sculptural exhibition, which closed last week, was quite stunning and what an extraordinary space OVADA is. Do visit / support both the artists and the gallery if in Oxford. More info here. http://www.ovada.org.uk/arkitektoniske-kramper/

Oxford Brookes weekly poem feature - Gilles de Rais from Enemies

http://www.brookes.ac.uk/poetry-centre/weekly-poem/weekly-poem-for-20-october-2014/ Very nice to have two poems from my collaboration with David Erkembode Kelly pop up on the Oxford Brookes poetry weekly poetry feature.  
Weekly Poem for 20 October 2014
  • from Gilles de Rais

    shot in the ribs in revenge.
    my organs like this, two ribs, rhymes 
    and emily’s 
    racist baby workout 
    is a future collected book 
    like this a postcard sized box that is completely 
    empty as a hospital bed 
    can be empty soon 
    enough if you don’t watch you mouth & if so 
    I’ll be on quick as a flash 
    evidence for it in my past
    by SJ Fowler

    This excerpt from ‘Gilles de Rais’ is copyright © SJ Fowler, 2013. It is reprinted by permission of Penned in the Margins from Enemies  (Penned in the Margins, 2013).
    Notes from Penned in the Margins: ‘Gilles de Rais’ is a collaborative work with poems by SJ Fowler and artwork from David Kelly, and comes from the anthology, Enemies. This ground-breaking, multi-disciplinary collection is the result of collaborations between SJ Fowler and over thirty artists, photographers and writers. Diary entries mingle with a partially-redacted email exchange; texts slip and fragment, finding new contexts alongside prints, paintings, diagrams, Rorschach blots, YouTube clips and behind-the-scenes photographs at the museum. Find out more from the Penned in the Margins website, watch SJ Fowler read from the poem, and follow his work on his website and on Twitter.
    Penned in the Margins is an independent publisher and live literature producer specialising in poetry and based in East London. Founded in 2004, the company has produced numerous literature and performance events, toured several successful live literature shows, published over twenty-five books, and continues to run innovative poetry, arts and performance projects in the capital and beyond. The company is currently touring two productions: Shlock!, a powerful feminist satire for the cut and paste generation, and The Shipwrecked House, a one-woman performance that blends poetry with theatre, in which Anglo-Breton poet Claire Trévien navigates a shifting maritime landscape. You can find out more about these productions on the Penned in the Margins website