A note on: A performance for Jerome Rothenberg

What an immense pleasure this was. To have the chance to celebrate Jerome Rothenberg, his influence on me, and on so many people, it was a beautiful night all told. 

The event was held at Birkbeck College, London, hosted by the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre (www.bbk.ac.uk/cprc) on October 17th 2016. Organised by the centre's director, Dr. Steve Willey.

For my performance I carefully selected poems taken from Rothenberg's 1974 collection Poland/1931 and 1978 collection Seneca Journal and after much deliberation, I interspersed them with my own poems that responded / related to these works as influences. In the live performance, the poems were glued to paper to form two long poems, and then illustrated. Then for the last few minutes, wonderfully, Jerome joined me in the painting.

I had the pleasure to then spend a day with Jerome and his wife Diane in London and really feel inspired and humbled by their extraordinary lifetime of travelling, writing and following a path any of us would be lucky to follow. 

A note on: in the Conceptual Poetics exhibition at Saison Poetry Library

A series of videos from the Enemies project video library have been included in this extraordinary exhibition running at Southbank Centre in London, at the Saison Poetry Library. It includes my performance with Amanda de la Garza and a series of brilliant publishers, who make up the heart of the exhibition, with whom I've been working with for years. A must see, go visit it while you still can! (Photographs of the exhibition below generously provided by Pascal O'Loughlin)

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/conceptual-poetics-1001501

Will Alexander reading at Birkbeck, London - Dec 2nd

Birkbeck Contemporary Poetics Research Centre is delighted to welcome Will Alexander. A rare chance to hear him read in London. Monday 2 December, Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square, WC1, 7pm. All welcome.
 
Los Angeles poet Will Alexander works in multiple genres: the novel, essay, aphorism, play, philosophy, visual art, and music (as pianist). His influences range from poetic practitioners, such as Aimé Césaire, Bob Kaufman, Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud, and Philip Lamantia, to the encompassing paradigm of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga, and the Egyptian worldview as understood by Cheikh Anta Diop and R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz. His work explores the fields of art, physics, botany, history, astronomy, architecture, and poetics, amongst others. Alexander’s books include Kaleidoscopic Omniscience, Asia and Haiti, The Sri Lankan Loxodrome, Compression and Purity, Sunrise In Armageddon, Diary As Sin, Inside the Earthquake Palace, Towards The Primeval Lightning Field, and Mirach Speaks To His Grammatical Transparents. His collected essays, Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat (Essay Press, 2013) received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. 
 
 

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: Contemporary Poetics Research Centre

Really hot, really well attended - a beautiful atmosphere of exchange. The reading celebrated the groundbreaking Contemporary Poetics Research Centre at Birkbeck College, University of London, a rare academic entity which facilitates the research and understanding of innovative and dynamic poetry happening in the present day. http://www.bbk.ac.uk/cprc/ 

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.