A note on: The University Camarade II

The future is in good hands if this event is any indication. Though ostensibly about pairing students across the country, and allowing them to experiment / collaborate / create new friendships, what it is really about is giving a platform to younger poets who might be locked into the boundaries that come with being a 'creative writing' student or in a university. It's just a way to discover people, to see them shine, and they were really remarkable on this occasion, all 22 poets, from all over the UK. A really resonant evening, all the videos are here www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade worth watching.

A note on: New poets published on 3am magazine this summer

The submissions for 3am magazine have opened once again, from September 1st until January 1st, and the work coming has been the best I've ever seen in my five plus years in the magazine. Completely anecdotal, probably representative of nothing in the wider scope of literary trends, but finally a huge portion of the work, maybe 25% is innovative, interesting, original and a pleasure to read. I've decided to go with this and take more poets on than before, really try and build the magazine's poetry into something dynamic and energetic over the summer and in the coming months too. http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/index/poetry/

Some exciting work published recently:

Maren Nygard http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/marennygard/
Jerome Rothenberg http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/jeromerothenberg/
Paul Leyden http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/paulleyden/
Sarah James http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/sarahjames/
Freya Harwood Bond http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/freyaharwoodbond/
Charlie Baylis http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/charliebaylis/
Pam Brown http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/pambrown/
Kathryn Maris http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/kathrynmaris/
Erik Kennedy http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/erikkennedy/
Alex Houen http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/letter-to-a-neighbour-other-poems/
Mischa Foster Poole http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/unboxing-teardown-other-poems/

Plenty more to come and here's every poet I’ve published as poetry editor http://www.stevenjfowler.com/3ammagazine

A note on: The Norwich Camarade at Writers Centre Norwich - Dec 10th 2015

I couldn't have had a better time visiting Writer's Centre Norwich to organise and curate a Camarade featuring poets living in the area. Jonathan Morley and Philip Langeskov of UEA helped put it all together and it was grand to discover lots of young new poets from the creative writing program there, alongside some very well known poets associated with the city, and those leaning towards the more experimental who often aren't. It was a perfect mix, to show that difference in mode compliments, and that we are all speaking the same language with different accents. 

We ended up drawing in 130 people to watch, on a cold, raining thursday night in Norwich and everyone seem very happy. An utterly stressless and joyful evening for me, another very pleasing experience travelling with Camarade. All the ten performances from twenty poets available here www.theenemiesproject.com/norwichcamarade

Upcoming: November 2015 - Events, Performances & Projects

My 'A Language Art' course runs on Monday nights throughout November with sesssions exploring the intersections of avant-garde poetry and modern art in the galleries of Tate Modern and in the Tate stores.

November Wednesday 4th - Pugilistica at Apiary Studios
A chance for me to launch my book Fights, in it's 2nd edition from Veer Books, alongside some amazing journalists, novelists, poets and art historians, all exploring the literature of boxing. www.theenemiesproject.com/pugilistica

November Thursday 5th - Mondo: global avant-garde poetry at Poetry School
A new course at the Poetry School, this time exploring avant-garde movements from Japan, Nigeria, Canada, Brazil and Syria / Iraq. Still a place or two left! Book here

November Friday 6th - Symposium: Pulling Together/Pulling Apart: Forces in Creative Collaboration, OVADA, Oxford
Thanks to artists Brook and Black, I'll have the chance to discuss collaboration at OVADA, alongside Tamarin Norwood and others http://www.ovada.org.uk/arkitektoniske-kramper/

November Saturday 7th - Nemici: an Italian Enemies project at the Rich Mix
A really ambitious Enemies project I'm curating with ten Italian artists and poets visiting London, each writing new collaborations with British poets. I'll be presenting a new work with Alessandro Burbank. Should be special www.theenemiesproject.com/nemici

November Friday 13th - A World without Words IV at the Frontline Club
The fourth event in the series curated by Lotje Sodderland, Thomas Duggan and myself, exploring neuroscience, aphasia, the brain and art, this time at the incredible Frontline Club. With a talk by Barry Smith and anthropological short films from Vincent Moon. http://www.frontlineclub.com/screening-and-discussion-a-world-without-words/

November Saturday 14th - EVP Sessions at Shoreditch Town Hall
Electronic Voice Phenomena hits London once again, I'll be presenting a new commission in full skeleton embodiment, exploring disembodied voice http://shoreditchtownhall.com/theatre-performance/whats-on/event/theEVPsessions

November Sunday 15th - Globe Road walking tour for the Globe Road Festival
Happy to be leading a Sunday morning stroll up Globe Road in the company of Gareth Evans, Elaine Mitchener and the Bohman brothers www.theenemiesproject.com/globeroad

November Wednesday 18th - Soundings III with Maja Jantar at St Johns on Bethnal Green
So excited to collaborate with the incredible Maja Jantar for a new performance as part of the Soundings project with Hubbub at Wellcome Collection responding to prompts from the Wellcome Library. St Johns on Bethnal Green is an amazing venue too. www.stevenjfowler.com/soundings

November Friday 20th - The European Camarade at Freeword Centre
A mini festival of European poetry in collaboration, so pleased to have the chance to curate this night and present a new collaboration with Endre Ruset. Some of these poets are doing the most exciting work in their nations, not to be missed www.theenemiesproject.com/europeancamarade

bpichol.jpg



A note on: The Enemies project: Croatia - Zagreb, Grožnjan & the Wood Poets

The purpose of the Enemies project is to not only create the collaborations and the readings which accompany them across countries and generations and so on, but to also always acknowledge the context of how these things actually happen. That is they are created by people, and they really only work when generously founded. And this generosity tends to come from, or lead to, friendships. This is why I continue to do the Enemies project at such a pace, because, fundamentally, it is a way for me to know people from around the world, far beyond my own country, and for those people to become friends. This project in Croatia was so resonant because it was so personable, the character of the travel and the readings resembled the character of those Croatian poets who are so generous and open and enthusiastic – Tomica Bajsic, Damir Sodan and Maja Klaric. The Enemies project Croatia began, in friendship, in 2012, and since we have exchanged events and ideas, culminating in readings in London in July 2014, followed by this mini-tour of Croatia in August 2014. I was joined by Sandeep Parmar and James Byrne in Croatia, greater friends for it, and together, we were completely indebted to the Croats for an extraordinary week in Zagreb and Istria..

Day One: An eye bleed flight into Zagreb to discover a heatwave in the normally hot Croatian August, passing 35 degrees. Some time to explore the city again. A brutal run in the heat to Maksimovic park. Damir arrived and we all met together for the first time, James, Sandeep, Tomica, Damir and I, and we visited a gallery in Zagreb, run by an artist collective, in order to begin a discussion about collaborating with three young Croatian artists towards the publication of an innovative book that might lie somewhere between abstract art and poetry. Certainly a way for the collaborations between this brilliant generation of Croatian poets and those of us based in the UK to continue on in years to come. An evening in Zagreb, as ever, warm spirited and funny, the hospitality of Tomica, his family, Damir and the Croatian poets that keeps me coming back to this city.

Day Two: A massive bus ride, Zagreb to Rijeka on the coast with a quick stop over, and then on windier roads to Buje. 36 degrees outside. The time flew by when we were all in conversation. Then a minibus to Groznjan itself. An incredible place, mesmerising. High atop the seemingly endless forests of Istria. A walled town, tiny really, but a 1000 years old, and recently famous for its music, classical piano and drums can be heard from upstairs windows as you walk the cobbled sloping streets, yet it's quiet even in August, in the peak tourist month, as its hard to find, or reach, it seems. We have a few hours to relax and then again we are travelling, to the excuse we have to come here, to the Wood Poets reading, organised by Maja Klaric and her partner, the Forest Festival of Groznjan. We park up and follow candles through a small wood into a clearing where perhaps a hundred people congregate around a bonfire, with small torches littered around the landscape. It is lovingly put together, and immediately friendly. We meet poets from Hungary and Italy, and lots of local writers. There is music from Italy, percussion on something that looks like a barbecue. Readings follow that. I read some poems from my book {Enthusiasm}, maybe a bit harsh for the hippy vibe, but people are nice about them. James, Sandeep, Damir, Tomica read beautifully, the bonfire gets primed after each reading so it shoots up a flame when you’re done. After an hour goes by and no one else will read in English I retreat to the edge of the gathering, lie down in a field and listen to Italian and Croatian voices way past midnight, seeing the stars clearly in the sky for the first time in a year at least. The music follows, we don’t get back to Groznjan until 2am or so.

IMG_20150808_015128.jpg

Day Three: Morning in Groznjan, people are remarkably friendly, I go into a restaurant below where Im staying and they give me free coffee and food just because we talked while I ate, waving me away. There’s a reading in the centre of the town, all of the performers from the Wood poets the night before coming to join us underneath the Fonticus Gallery. There’s more music, some slightly strange audience participation, which I escape, and then a chance to read again and listen further. Great to hear Marco Fazzini read, he seems to have had and extraordinary life in writing. At the start of the poetry Tomica, Damir, Maja, James, Sandeep and I read our six way poem. Each of us provided a single line, then added a line to each other’s, making six poems written by six poets. Each of us then read one single six line poem. 

Dinner on the town, long afternoon conversation with James, Sandeep, Marco and the vast table of local poets and friends. Late afternoon I disappear into the hills outside the town for a few hours, first walking and exploring, then with a route, a chance to do some hill running. It’s not so hot so not so arduous as in Zagreb, but the chance to have the heightened experience of exercising surrounded by the immense panorama of these hills, olive trees lining them, a view unto the horizon, is exhilarating. We spend a long evening with pizza talking, to each other and the poets we've been lucky enough to meet in Istria. We return the next day, a bus ride down out of the hills, back to Zagreb and then London. An amazing, all too brief window into a truly beautiful place all excused by the chance of us all happening to write poetry, and more decisively, being open and enthusiastic to the friendships that can arise in that shared practise.

More on www.stevenjfowler.com/croatia

Blog #6: Gelynion in Hay-on-Wye at the Hay Festival: May 29th

Hay Day 1: The grand drive to Hay, making out east from Bangor, trailing the north coast of Wales, adjacent to it in fact, the modern motorway plunked between sea and mountains. This is where my parents came to holiday when they were kids, in the 50s, nipping to Llandudno from Liverpool. We stopped in Conwy. Joe was attached by a diving seagull. It tore his lamb sandwich from his novelist’s grip, but then he met a pug puppy, gurning, and karma has rebalanced. I discovered a tack shop or four, and bought a wraparound lobster bracelet. A defining object from some power from thereon in, many a famous writer has their wrist Llobstered (with an emphasis on the Ll being the top-of-the-mouth Welsh pronunciation).

With Joe shaking from the bird attack, Nia drove us back into England before we turned straight south. The day was a beautiful one and I was aware of the rarity of the occasion, the privilege, to be talking with these poets who had become friends, to be hearing about their work and the history of the places we passed, thanks to Eurig, whose erudition and knowledge of his nation’s history is quite remarkable. We stopped in at the most isolated café in the Shropshire hills, who offered dishes which (for real) advertised ‘a free phonecall to the hospital’, such was there fat content, admittedly.

We made it to Hay by the later afternoon, and having never been before I will admit to it being a very special experience for me. We were treated pretty remarkably well, with the staff being really hospitable and helpful, giving us access to the spaces for the readers and artists, and tickets to other events. We got to see Gareth Thomas give a brilliant talk, utterly immediate and unpretentious, before we got to see Tinariwen live in the big tent. I’ve loved their music for a long time. We headed into Hereford, where we were staying in the 11th century Green Dragon hotel, late, but happy. 

Hay day 2With our final performance in Wales being a completely different format from the other events we prepared accordingly, and excerpted our 15, ten minute, core poet collaborations into 3 minute bursts. We rehearsed them in order, so that as one poet pair finished the other would stand up to follow it. 15 works, over 40 minutes, all showing the way in which the unique structure of Gelynion, and it’s rare atmosphere of generosity and creativity, has created such different and complimentary works. We spent hours hewing the works down, retrying them, building on the many performances in Wales, the rare second chance and we even stepped through the whole show, which would finish with a reading of the pamphlet produced by Hazard Press and a Q&A.

I had some really interesting and lovely conversations during the day, there is always the rare chance to meet people you admire at things like Hay, not that I’d really know, but speaking to Helen McDonald, David Mitchell, and lots of old friends from the Norwich Writers Centre and the British Council made the experience more homely than I’d imagined. I also always find these kind of enterprises, which are quite ambitious and labyrinthine, tend to be run by younger people with necessary senses of humour, and I could have a laugh with my Llobster.

Our performance was a real joy, such a privilege to be working with Rhys, Zoe, Joe, Eurig, and Nia, and I took the time to thank them properly. We all hit our marks and added new strings to our previous collaborative bows. The event was schedule opposite some huge events and so our attendance wasn’t great, but that was a consequence of other factors and didn’t detract from the intensity of the experience, and the growing realisation that this project has been very very special. A rare and important tour, Gelynion had clearly left its mark on Wales, and the poets who had participated. It has to be said, as we chatted with the manager of the Poetry Bookshop in Hay (where I bought 1st edition Tom Raworth and Anselm Hollo books), who had heard of our tour and Enemies in general, that we realised just how much it now felt that Wales was waiting for something like Gelynion, and for me, just how energetic, positive and humble the poets involved were. Everyone gave their all and some real friendships were made, and some real ground broken.

new poets on 3am magazine

Camaradefest II - the videos

Camaradefest, in its second incarnation, was extraordinary. A collective generosity permeated throughout the day, made it feel fresh and easy and I'm very much glad we did it. 100 poets, hundreds upon hundreds watching throughout the day. It was busy and full of exchange and the poetry was fantastic.  Still processing, more on this later. Here's the videos, yours to enjoy.
Ross Sutherland & Thomas Bunstead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSfp_P2wB5w
John Clegg & Holly Corfield Carr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuL3kMUCI6M
Sarah Dawson & Robin Boothroyd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58JLMgIxRO4
Jonah Wilberg & Lucy Furlong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rHChB8cTJY
Vera Chok & Sophie Herxheimer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdJYSwlciNg
Paul Hawkins & Mali Clements https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM3AlEVbqis
Angus Sinclair & Laura Elliott https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCbVgf0Pcfw
George Szirtes & Carol Watts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlIBnKsGFUo
Mike Saunders & Emilia Weber https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3XPPcYSQ4A
Tamar Yoseloff & Claire Crowther https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENbSrOlgBxk
Andy Spragg & Emma Hammond https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkwJ7CbBuuU
Alan Halsey & Geraldine Monk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydgyFD5sv0s
Tim Allen & Richard Barrett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v825a2R7yIQ
Prudence Chamberlain & Eley Williams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNRA4TDSEvM
Hannah Silva & Andra Simons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIKR-YM1SkU
James Byrne & Sandeep Parmar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSCVJBizFTg
Vicky Sparrow & Dave Spittle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vOqM7Sdeiw
Agnes Lehoczky & Astrid Alben https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi46d4s6vD0
Francine Elena & Emily Hasler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT0Y68Do3BI
Ollie Evans & Becky Varley Winter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df-6ErFrzXw
Rebecca Tamas & Martin Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9e6ZPVujMM
Sarah Kelly & Seekers of Lice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHazjqVrKSQ
Jow Lindsay & Anne Laure Coxam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_KgpEhXFWc
James Wilkes & Ariadne Radi Cor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glPqBljn4iM
Sophie Collins & Livia Franchini https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haBN_nHCqKU
Nikolai Duffy & Rhys Trimble https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrltmSLikyk
Ryan Van Winkle & Ghazal Mosadeq https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4UYVkYypUw
Calum Rodger & Anthony Autumn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k9t_pUykBg
Cristine Brache & Holly Childs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9QLUlMq5CQ
Lila Matsumoto & Samantha Walton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX5mQzy020o
James Davies & Philip Terry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z67_iVlMSmA
Nathan Jones & Christodoulos Makris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtIFvHzvCQs
Zuzana Husarova & Olga Pek https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC1CEhq9oGA
David Berridge & Stephen Emmerson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxKhFGoIWQw
Alison Gibb & Kimberley Campanello https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcUWdWHaQBE
Sean Bonney & nick-e melville https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gBRH1iQ8ds
Sam Riviere & Crispin Best https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZfKMgNFdJg
Holly Pester & Emma Bennett Camaradefest II - Holly Pester & Emma Bennett

Camaradefest : October 25th : the full lineup

Camaradefest
100 poets. 50 pairs. one day.
october saturday 25th
the rich mix arts centre : main space
12 noon til late : free entry
Starting at 12 noon and running all day, Camaradefest will present 50 brand new collaborative works involving 100 poets working in pairs. A unique one day festival of collaborative poetry. There will a book table to browse and chat with the poets, & lengthy intermissions between each of the five sessions in which to do so. Please come, stay the day and find below the remarkable lineup of poets, writers and textual artists. Everything is free to attend, bring friends, spread the word.http://weareenemies.com/camaradefestii.html
12noon
John Clegg & Holly Corfield Carr
Nick Murray & Aki Schilz
Sarah Dawson & Robin Boothroyd
Jonah Wilberg & Lucy Furlong
Vera Chok & Sophie Herxheimer
Jon Stone & Harry Wooler
Paul Hawkins & TBA
Cali Dux & Simon Pomery
Angus Sinclair & Laura Elliott
Ross Sutherland & TBA
2pm
George Szirtes & Carol Watts
Gareth Rees & Gary Budden
Robert Kiely & Doug Jones
Mike Saunders & Emilia Weber
Tamar Yoseloff & Claire Crowther
Andy Spragg & Emma Hammond
Alan Halsey & Geraldine Monk
Nia Davies & Sarah Howe
Tim Allen & Richard Barrett
Prudence Chamberlain & Eley Williams
4pm
Hannah Silva & Andra Symons
Harry Man & Kirsten Irving
Vicky Sparrow & Dave Spittle
Agnes Lehoczky & Astrid Alben
Isobel Dixon & Claire Trevien
Edmund Hardy & Amy Cutler
Ollie Evans & Becky Varley Winter
Rebecca Tamas & Martin Jackson
Sarah Kelly & TBA
Jow Lindsay & Anne Laure Coxam
7pm
Colin Herd & Iain Morrison
Marcus Slease & JT Welsch
James Wilkes & Ariadne Radi Cor
Billy Ramsell & TBA
Sophie Collins & Livia Franchini
Nikolai Duffy & Rhys Trimble
Ryan Van Winkle & TBA
Calum Rodger & Anthony Autumn
Cristine Brache & Holly Childs
Lila Matsumoto & Samantha Walton
9pm
James Davies & Philip Terry
Nathan Jones & Christodoulos Makris
Zuzana Husarova & Olga Pek
Alison Gibb & Kimberley Campanello
Sean Bonney & nick-e melville
Luke Allan & Graeme Smith
Sam Riviere & Crispin Best
James Byrne & Sandeep Parmar
Tim Atkins & Jeff Hilson
Holly Pester & Emma Bennett

Yes But Are We Enemies? diary #5 - Dublin : the end of our Ireland

One of the best Enemies events I've ever been a part of. Hard to describe just how intense, and how brilliant this event felt. Very much, it would seem to me, to be a culmination of a variety of circumstance. The first being the underappreciation of the strength of the Irish avant garde. Here poets of that ilk came together, from Cork to Derry, from Dublin and beyond to share a series of works so radically different in their experimentation, but all wonderful in their power and authenticity, that it became undeniable there is an amazing thing happening right now in Ireland. From audiovisual collaboration, to performance art, to found text, to multivocal readings, the event did what we initially planned this tour might do, and it gave a home, and created a platform for really diverse writers to prove us right. It was also in the Writers Centre, a beautiful place, but known perhaps for its formality, and we crammed it, filled most of the two rooms, and somehow used the ornate nature of the surroundings to intensify the intimacy of the works. We also preceded it with a Q&A, which became, in a gentle way, a discussion with a hypothesis, about collaboration and the Irish tradition. Had the following hours poetry been a damp squib, we might have appeared foolish, but seeing its fire and its clear success as an enterprise, all the more it was as though we had convinced the audience about the salience of our ideas. And finally, it was the last Irish date for us six travelling, and assorted others, and it felt like a goodbye of sorts, because it was. I had such a wonderful time reading with Billy and the others, and really felt as relaxed as I can remember feeling at such an occasion. The videos below bear this out. 

Anamaria Crowe Serrano & Alan Jude Moore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtF-GGgfZug
Michael Shanks & Cal Doyle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1C9NnKwxnU
Aodan McCardle & Ailbhe Hines https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHwymwq82uI
Sam Riviere & Ailbhe Darcy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofoUxakKZ8A
Christodoulos Makris & Patrick Coyle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPhuZ7INV-0


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

Poets recently published on 3am magazine

The editorial duties at 3am remain something I am very privileged to have, very proud I am to be associated with the magazine. That being said, as I've always said, the thing is tempered by reality. 30 subs a day on average, many of which are resolutely in their derivation. Yet, though I have slowed in my responding to them, it is worth it when I claw out some genuine brilliance from people from all over the world. Here are the recent few: http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/index/poetry/

Christodoulos Makris - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/chances-are/
Nikki Lee Birdsey - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/nikkilee-birdsey/
Steve Komarnyckyj - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/steve-komarnyckyj/
Alex MacDonald - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/alex-macdonald-everything-is-fine/
Lauren Hilger - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/lauren-hilger/
Daisy Lafarge - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/daisy-lafarge/
Prudence Chamberlain - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/steubenville-other-poems/
Alison Gibb - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/alison-gibb/
Andy Spragg - http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/andy-spragg/



Vanguard: a course for the Poetry School

I’m really pleased to announce a new course I’ll be teaching for the Poetry School during their upcoming Autumn term - Vanguard http://www.poetryschool.com/courses-workshops/face-to-face/vanguard.php The course will be held on Thursday evenings at the Poetry School, in Lambeth, London. Here’s the info:
 
“Explore the expansive modern tradition of British experimental poetry, as SJ Fowler presents a necessarily idiosyncratic insight into the vibrant innovative poetries which have sought originality in the UK over the last 50 years.
 
Five bi-weekly sessions will explore the distinctive qualities of the British avant garde and chart a course through an enormous field of writing. Not formed by generation, region or faction, Vanguard explores characteristics that are possessed by, but in no way encompass, the work of many great British poets. These are qualities, and poets, chosen through the acknowledged limits of Steven's knowledge and interests, & representative of that alone.
Week 1 : October 23rd : Rapidity
Exploring immediacy, alertness; quickness; celerity, concision. Scalpel cuts at smugness / pomposity, seeking the fragmentary whole.
Drawing from the work of Tom Raworth, Maggie O'Sullivan, Denise Riley, Barry MacSweeney, Andy Spragg, Frances Kruk & others
Week 2 : November 6th : Proximity
Nearness in place, time, order, occurrence, or relation. Imbued with situation / location / historicity.
Drawing from the work of Iain Sinclair, Bill Griffiths, Geraldine Monk, Lee Harwood, Carol Watts, Roy Fisher & others
Week 3 : November 20th : Sonority
Excavations in sound, the condition of being resonant, multi & non lingual / vocal. Performativities. Technologies.
Drawing from the work of Caroline Bergvall, Bob Cobbing, Phil Minton, Hannah Silva, James Wilkes, Zoe Skoulding & others.
Week 4 : December 4th : JocosityUmour. Disjunction, juxtaposition, reappropriation - deftness, humour as disturbance, sublimation. Humour as a liferaft.
Drawing from the work of Tim Atkins, Holly Pester, Jeff Hilson, Philip Terry, Robert Sheppard, Tom Jenks & others.
Week 5 : December 18th : Destability
Undermining the oppressive in language / politics, situating complicity, interrogation / rejection of subjectivity. Externality and the refraction of worlds of language as a mode.
Drawing from the work of Veronica Forrest-Thomson, JH Prynne, Allen Fisher, Sean Bonney, Emily Critchley, Keston Sutherland & others.
During the course the onus will be on how these qualities in modern British poetry can enrich writing practise, rather than dense historical analysis, and how experimentation emerges from necessary innovations that are required for a poet to be truly contemporary in a rapidly changing society. Vanguard is a chance for students to diversify from singular, retrograde modes of writing and provides an all too rare insight into a world of poetry that is a profound part of our literary culture and heritage.”
 
I will organise a post-course reading for students on this course, and they will have the opportunity to attend a series of experimental poetry events during its duration, including Camaradefest II, to be held at the Rich Mix Arts Centre on Saturday October 25th, which will feature 100 poets in 50 pairs presenting 50 brand new collaborative works in one day.
 
Vanguard follows on from my Maintenant course http://www.poetryschool.com/courses-workshops/face-to-face/maintenant.php which explored post-war European avant garde poetry, which I’m happy to say was a grand success, due almost entirely to extraordinary group of students, who can be seen reading original work they collaborated to write during the course here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07uFwjvBHNg
 
As part of next year’s Poetry School Spring term I’m delighted that Maintenant will happen again, in its entirety, but as an interactive program of teaching this time, so anyone can join in, even if they live outside of London. You can read more about that course by clicking the link above and reading this interview, with Sarah Dawson http://campus.poetryschool.com/maintenant-interview-s-j-fowler/ More news on that next year.
 

Wordpharmacy readings at the Hardy Tree gallery

The second part of Fjender was as satisfying as the first. Where the event at the rich mix had the energy and the speed of the best of the kind of events I try to experiment with, this, at the Hardy Tree gallery, had all the familiarity, community and intimacy I hope my events always have. It was a genuinely considered and friendly and engaged reading, with the British poets writing new work that responded to Morten Sondergaard's remarkable Wordpharmacy installation and exhibition. Morten is such a sweet man, so so remarkably nice, it was a proud moment to see him touched by the efforts of the readers and the audience, those 50 or so bodies packed into the intimate space. The evening was defined by a series of intense and rewarding conversations with other poets for me, and a lot of whom Id not had read before expressed the feeling that they felt welcome and that there was a noticeable lack of standoffishness or posturing, which is what I want to always be the case. All 8 readings were wonderful, huge thanks to those who made it what it was, and who did so collectively and generously 
David Berridge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb0DUkjvGLo
Claire Trevien https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peVSIUyhu28
Alison Gibb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYa-TltihTA
Andy Spragg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35v4Rp_LvGY
Prudence Chamberlain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Enn-vUR38
Mark Waldron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXozGut3-NE

some brilliant new poets up on 3am magazine

Poets as Saints - Erkembode exhibition reading


Sarah Kelly - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylug5cVA81I
Marcus Slease - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3073DcMsjI0
Tim Atkins - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbpK4XxtZe8
David Berridge - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbGOlqN9dgk
Held at the Hardy Tree gallery in Kings X, London on November 23rd 2013, for the Erkembode: not just another saint exhibition, a series of poetry readings from contemporary British vanguard poets who have collaborated or worked closely with the artist David Kelly www.erkembode.com including poetry from Marcus Slease, Holly Pester, SJ Fowler, David Berridge, Robert Kiely, Tim Atkins & Sarah Kelly.

Enemies Slovakia videos