Published : I Stand Alone by The Devils, and other poems on films

I Stand Alone by The Devils, and other poems on films
Broken Sleep Books : 33 pages : £5
www.stevenjfowler.com/istandalone
www.brokensleepbooks.com/product-page/sj-fowler-i-stand-alone-by-the-devils-and-other-poems-on-films

A book, though lean, I have been working on for years. It’s been a pleasure to bring it into life with Aaron Kent, editor of Broken Sleep. From the publisher = "26 new poems celebrating 26 cult films of the 20th and 21st century, I Stand Alone by The Devils is a slim volume of cinematic poetic ekphrasis. At play is an aberrant intersemiotic translation between the mediums of popular or arthouse cinema and contemporary, modernist poetry. The poems aim to re-imagine moving image in language, often cutting in tone, taking on the dark, symbolic and sardonic on film. Each poem is a single film, interpreting, reflecting, embodying and transposing, exploring both films familiar to many, and digging out, often from 20th century European cinema, more unorthodox motion pictures. From Querelle and The Baby of Mâcon, to American Werewolf in London and Don’t Look Now. From Aguirre and Festen to The Fly and Breaking the Waves, these poems are a strange and playful musing on cinema’s impact on poetry and language and a useless thinking through of how films are actually consumed."

A full list of films featured - Angel Heart, Querelle, Last Year at Marienbad, Ali : Fear Eats The Soul, The Fly, The Devils, Breaking the Waves, American Werewolf in London, Don’t Look Now, I Stand Alone, A short film about Love, En Coeur En Hiver, The Baby of Mâcon, Nightwatch (Nattevagten), Silence of the Lambs, Satan’s Brew, Aguirre, wrath of god, The Long Good Friday, Stalker, Salo, Festen, Three Colours Blue, Yojimbo, Possession, Beau Travail, M.

LAUNCH : August Thursday 29th 2019 at the Cinema Museum, London, alongside a screening of Peter Greenaway’s The Baby of Mâcon
http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk/
7pm doors for 7.30pm entry. £8 (£5 concessions)
Readings, featuring Jonathan Catherall, Yvonne Litschel, Chris Kerr, David Spittle and more, alongside SJ Fowler, will mark this unique celebration of cinematic poetry, before a screening ofThe Baby of Mâcon, Peter Greenaway’s remarkable and challening 1993 film. More details to come soon.

A note on: reflecting on Handke for Illuminations III

Held at the Austrian Cultural Forum in London I had the chance to put on an event reflecting on the work of my favourite novelist, Peter Handke. It brought together performers from Amsterdam, Vienna and across London, and the varying works on the night showed the range of achievement of Handke. My own performance was made up on the night really, a mix of the impersonal and personal, gentle and threatening. 

All the videos from Stephen Watts, Phil Baber, Eley Williams, Verena Durr, Iris Colomb are here www.theenemiesproject.com/illuminations and I'm very happy to say this series, which has had three successful episodes this year, will have another next year, on the remarkable Thomas Bernhard.

Published: Peter Pan by Prudence Chamberlain & I in Wazo, Spain

The Spanish magazine and cultural powerhouse Wazo continues to be a very generous supporter of my work, here publishing one of the near dozen collaborations by Prudence Chamberlain which makes up our House of Mouse collaborative poetry collection, published this year. http://www.wazogate.com/peter-pan

A note on: Kakania returns to London on March 31st 2016

Kakania in London – March 31st 2016: 7pm at Austrian Cultural Forum, London www.theenemiesproject.com/kakania2016

The Event: 7pm – Free Entry / The Symposium: 2pm – Free Entry / 28 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PQ www.acflondon.org

The Kakania project returns to the Austrian Cultural Forum for a night of brand new performances, each from a contemporary artist or writer responding to a figure of Habsburg Era Vienna. The great, groundbreaking personas of 100 years past are made new by some of the most dynamic and innovative performers and thinkers of our day, without nostalgia, but with faithful invention and intensity. Visit www.kakania.co.uk for more information on the project.

Featuring Harry Man on Erwin Schrodinger  ~ Daniela Cascella on Hugo von Hofmannstahl ~ Steve Beresford on Arnold Schoenberg ~ Thomas Havlik on Walter Serner ~ SJ Fowler on Robert Musil ~ Declan Ryan on ...

The Kakania Symposium - March 31st at ACF London
2pm, 3pm, 4pm in 3 sessions www.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniasymposium

Address: 28 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PQ. Phone020 7225 730 http://www.acflondon.org/

Preceding the evening’s performances there will be a symposium on Habsburg Vienna, through the kaleidoscope of Kakania’s inventive approach, led and curated by Dr.Diane Silverthorne, a leading voice in Habsburg Viennese studies. The Symposium will feature informal and academic talks about the era, interspersed with poetry and text art readings from poets and writers involved in the first year of the Kakania project, who will also give context to their process. The Symposium will also see a screening of the acclaimed film Altenberg: The Little Pocket Mirror. The schedule is thus: 

2pm - A talk by Dr. Diane Silverthorne on expressionist  landscapes in music and art and  talk by Dr. Leslie Topp, on madness, architecture and Vienna.

3pm - A talk by Jamie Ruers on Cabaret Fledermaus / A talk and reading by Eley Williams on Broncia Koller-Pinel / A talk and reading by Vicky Sparrow on Margarethe Wittgenstein / A talk by Stephen Emmerson on his multi-part performance art response on Rainer Maria Rilke. / A talk by Marcus Slease on writing a new poetry commission on Max Kurzweil. / A screening of Joshua Alexander’s experimental film on Paul Wittgenstein, commissioned for Kakania

4pm - A screening of ALTENBERG: The Little Pocket Mirror  A documentary by David Bickerstaff and Gemma Blackshaw  | 54 min

About Kakania

Following a brilliant first year in which 40 artists made 40 new commissions, 5 events in 5 venues took place in London and 2 original books was launched, Kakania returns with events in Berlin and London. The project is thoroughly documented here: www.kakania.co.uk and the project is only possible through the generosity of the Austrian Cultural Forum London.

Mahu: to Tom Raworth - June Tues 7th: the videos

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.

Enemies Slovakia videos

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!

Popescu prize 2013

The Popescu Prize awards are upon us, and I've taken specific interest this year because of the names on the list. Henry Israeli translating my friend Luljeta Lleshanaku (my interview with her - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/maintenant-60-luljeta-lleshanaku/), Ciaran Carson > Rimbaud, Ilmar Lehtpere > Kristiina Ehin, Alice Oswald > Homer and my pull for the win Peter Manson's Mallarme! amongst others. http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/
content/competitions/popescu/ The awards night takes place at Europe House, Ill be there

Rest is Noise festival - on Thomas Bernhard & the Black Mountain college

A day of two halves. The first, a bite talk, 15 minutes on Thomas Bernhard. It was a failed experiment. I overwrote the content, wanting it to be so good because of the passion I have for Bernhard, and was far too loyal to the text. I was boring. The art of lecturing is a practice I am engaged in learning. You learn more from a 'loss' I suppose. Still annoying to speak so poorly about an author I love so much, and if anyone stayed awake through my monotone the actual content had some moments of insight I hope. / I then went on to chair a panel on the Black Mountain college with Alyce Mahon from Cambridge Uni, and my old friends Tim Atkins and Peter Jaeger. It was a brilliant hour, fluid, insightful and balanced. Each speaker brought information from differing perspectives, and were all very generous with their thoughts. Peter offered real insight into John Cage and Zen, Alyce opened up the history of the school with its creative spark offset by administrative suicide, and Tim told everyone that poets killed the college. The list of alumni or teaching staff is unbelievable - Duncan, Olsen, Williams, Cage, Cunningham, Albers, Twombly, Creeley, de Kooning, Rauschenberg, Dorn. The questions were also very positive, and we ended up talking about the modern state of the education system and how restricted it is, against such a hotbed of radical innovation and collaboration as the BMC. / The rest is noise is an awesome opportunity to open up so many discussions that rarely get such a platform. Next up, Walter Abish and Jack Spicer in November

Peter Jaeger: John Cage & Buddhist Ecopoetics

Peter Jaeger has really been an inspiration for me for sometime. Not only his masterful poetics, refined, precise, conceptually superlative, but also as a person, he has an immense aura of calm and is so refined in his warmth and genuity. I saw him speak at the London Buddhist society about this book some time ago and have been awaiting its release since. Great its with such a big publisher. I managed also to have him speak at the Hardy tree this summer and just this last weekend at the Southbank centre, on Cage in some form in both instances. Just wonderful to be associated with such a poet, and I'm sure being one of his students at Roehampton must be some privilege. Go and get this book now, it's a unique and brilliant undertaking. http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/john-cage-and-buddhist-ecopoetics-9781441117526/ 

"John Cage was among the first wave of post-war American artists and intellectuals to be influenced by Zen Buddhism and it was an influence that led him to become profoundly engaged with our current ecological crisis. In John Cage and Buddhist Ecopoetics, Peter Jaeger asks: what did Buddhism mean to Cage? And how did his understanding of Buddhist philosophy impact on his representation of nature? Following Cage’s own creative innovations in the poem-essay form and his use of the ancient Chinese text, the I Ching to shape his music and writing, this book outlines a new critical language that reconfigures writing and silence.

Interrogating Cage’s ‘green-Zen’ in the light of contemporary psychoanalysis and cultural critique as well as his own later turn towards anarchist politics, John Cage and Buddhist Ecopoetics provides readers with a critically performative site for the Zen-inspired “nothing” which resides at the heart of Cage’s poetics, and which so clearly intersects with his ecological writing."

Enemies: mini-lecture poetics

There is a profound, calming and inspiring core of poets and writers active in London right now. There is no way to see the current scene as anything but expansive and exciting. The hope with this event was that the form, which was intended as non-academic, personal and informal, would showcase the people behind the poetry and allow a wider audience access to discussions which were fascinating but also gentle in their direction and scope. So it proved to be, with the audience sat on the floor around Tim Atkins, Peter, Jaeger, James Wilkes and Marcus Slease in turn. The feeling afterward was one of real community, and that was well appreciated when it really seemed, because the Voice art event was so spectacular and memorable, that there might be a quiet shadow over things.