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

Published: Puebla Songs in Boto-Cor-De-Rosa Livros, Brazil

Sarah Rebecca Kersley, a British poet, quite remarkably, has started a bookshop and cafe in Bahia in Brazil with a focus on the contemporary and curation by Brazilian contemporary literature professor and critic Milena Britto, and adjoining the shop, has a beautiful online journal that publishes work in Portuguese, Spanish and English, and fortunately for me, the journal has now published one of my poems - Puebla Songs, part of a series I've written about violence and south america, written from a position of ignorance, but while I was travelling in the region.

Visit the poem here http://www.livrariabotocorderosa.com/index.php/2016/09/15/puebla-songs-sj-fowler/ and submit to the magazine too.

A note on: a World without Words V - January 9th

The last event of the first (and I hope not last) year of a World without Words, which has been curated by Lotje Sodderland, Thomas Duggan and myself. We returned to Apiary Studios, where we began, and hosted artists Sarah Kelly, Christian Patracchini, who both offered powerful, intimate performances, alongside neuroscientist Daniel Margulies, curator and art historian Elena Agudio, and resilience therapist Gillian Bridge. Once again we were fortunate to have a great turnout and feel gratified that our open, eclectic, immersive curatorial approach, to let discussion and performance sit by side by side, to allow technical information blend with avant garde art, seemed to effect people in the best possible way. www.aworldwithoutwords.com

A note on: Launching Fights 2nd edition for Pugilistica at Apiary Studios

There are occasional nights when the feeling one might be seeking in writing and reading and organising comes together into one satisfying whole. This is one of the most distinct experiences of satisfaction I've had in sometime, in no small part because I was surrounded by many of my most generous friends but also because some of the most extraordinary boxing writers contributed and seemed genuinely enthused by the mixing of modes and forms towards the same goal - that is the celebration of the sport of boxing, in all its paradoxes and contradictions.

Veer books did a great job with the 2nd edition of Fights, it's a far better book, slimmer and more powerful. Every speaker (you can see all their readings by following the link below) presented fantastic work, from fiction to journalism, poetry to art history. Everyone enjoyed the others contributions, in the contrast, in the varied specialisms, so the strength of each art came to the fore. I'm sure this won't be the last event celebrating boxing that we'll do. All the videos are here www.theenemiesproject.com/pugilistica

And the new book is available here http://www.veerbooks.com/filter/veer-books/SJ-Fowler-fights-2nd-edition and my new webpage dedicated to it: www.stevenjfowlers.com/fights

FIGHTS: a book of boxing poetry

Fights, published by Veer Books, is a book of modernist and experimental poems, broken into cycles, each celebrating / reflecting on the life of a 20th century boxer, from Jack Dempsey to Antonio Margarito, from Yuriorkis Gamboa to Edwin Valero. 

Originally published in 2011, a new 2nd edition, extensively revised and featuring an introductory essay, remarking on the changing nature of the sport of boxing, in light of studios into brain injury in the sport and on the changing fate of the boxers featured within, was published nearly five years from original publication, in October 2015.

Each cycle within Fights uses a methodology that somehow represents the character of the boxer in question. The book employs a significant use of concrete poetry, collage, sound poetry, typographical experimentation and found text.

Fights was launched at Birkbeck college, University of London, in 2011, alongside new readings and talks from Kasia Boddy, Lynda Nead, Patrick Coyle and Tim Atkins. In it's second edition, Fights was launched at Apiary Studios in November 2015 alongside new readings and talks from Don McRae, Sarah Victoria Turner, Oliver Goldstein, Anna Whitwham and others.

  • New functions for the jaw. Poetic histories from all possible angles, and then some. Its about time boxing - the basis of all sport - was understood from the viewpoint of the poetic mind. Slam it into your mouth and read it out LOUD. Sean Bonney
     
  • ‘... a new beginning and one that is so much the swiftest, the widest, balanced. One hesitates to use the word pure, but’ A dazzling, visceral, proficient, kinetic work. Fights runs its combinations in formal excitement and trenchgut force.                                                                                           Maggie O’Sullivan

Reading at Kettle's Yard, before Gaudier-Brzeska

What a remarkable experience, to read at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, this past May 13th, to share a panel with Dr. Sarah Victoria Turner and Professor Lyn Nead, to read before the original The Wrestlers relief by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and to be welcomed to speak about my first love, wrestling, the sport, as a lifestyle and practise. I had long looked forward to this event, building as it did from my previous collaboration with Sarah for the tate online, where I had the chance to write original poems in response to the relief. www.stevenjfowler.com/thewrestlers

I was given such a generous welcome by Dr.Jenny Powell, who had curated the exhibition of Gaudier-Brzeska’s work, and everytime I see Lyn, who is as an extraordinary thinker as she is a person, we are talking about our shared love of fight sports. Our wide ranging discussion covered the specifics of the relief itself but also wider historical context, with Sarah leading the way with an insightful talk. I mainly focused on the actual technique being shown in the relief and had a small impromptu demonstration on myself, before ending the night with a reading in the galleries themselves. A really memorable night.

Kettle's Yard: May 13th - on Henri Gaudier-Brzeska's the Wrestler's

So delighted to be reading & talking at the beautiful Kettle's Yard, alongside Sarah Victoria Turner and Lynda Nead, about the Wrestlers, the relief by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, that has been a real inspiration for me since I wrote about it a few years ago. May 13th in Cambridge.
http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/events/modern-art-dance/

"An evening talk and performance exploring Gaudier-Brzeska and modern artists’ engagement with wrestling and sport. Join Gaudier-Brzeska expert, Dr Sarah Victoria Turner (Paul Mellon Centre) and poet and trained wrestler Steven Fowler. Art historian Professor Lynda Nead (Birkbeck) will chair the event. A viewing of the exhibition and glass of wine will follow the talk."

Glitter is a Gender anthology

An anthology that is lean, powerful and full of brilliant poets and poetry, Sophie Mayer and Sarah Crewe have put together this lovely book from Contraband press with great care and skill. I thoroughly recommend it and Im really happy to be a part of it.
My poem in the book is called Muyock
 a poem for Tiphaine Mancaux

if you weep, I think that
others might cry
                Larry Eigner

i.             danslenorddelafrance

rejoice, y th’ living
 ababy
      on m knees
           theearth bere
 ft breaks
       intodryred      mud
        heavy w birds         & gherman picks
sorriy id mean a lovtap  bt the avantage tend
      to be blunt is u neverve to worriy i she’s concealing
   for you    for shed say    if she did
     at th momenthr was wonder
  bt she is muscld like litl rok                  ifever th ws retroactive resistant
                              so said the mdwif   ‘J'espère que je ne vous ai pas dérangé’
with the RIB DIG
  the haus o de maus  flexes i nous

a new review of Enemies by Sarah Gonnet

Nice to still be getting reviews for Enemies nearly six months after it came out, a testament to the book, or to the publisher perhaps. Either way, lovely to read this write up from Sarah Gonnet, she goes into a few areas others haven't, most specifically the humour of the book, as quoted below http://imaseriousjournalistyouknow.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/enemies-the-selected-collaborations-of-s-j-fowler/  
"Although it sounds like ‘Enemies’ is so overcrowded that it couldn’t possibly have any space left for a sense of humour; the collection is actually incredibly funny in parts. Overall it certainly empahsises an absurdist perspective on modern life and art. Questions and statements are often made and asked that unsettle the mind in a humorously absurdist way. For example: “Why should I be proud of reading many books from which I have derived little learning but much distress of mind?” and “It is a buffoon who calls Walt Whitman rubbish because he made some of it up”.
Many of the pieces have their own linguistic logic. Some also have blog-like spelling mistakes and some are delivered in a raw stream of coinciouness. These bouts of spontaneous expression can become uncensored rambling; but mostly they have a purpose. The pieces either highlight the degeneration of language due to technology, or examine abstract expression with words (as opposed to paint).
Several of my favourite lines from the collection are in the poem “1000 Proverbs” (written in collaboration with Tom Jenks). This list of nonsensical proverbs includes lines such as: “A cat in a warehouse is worth two in a call centre”; “We are all as individual as individual fruit pies” and “People who live with pandas should not build with bamboo.” As the collection draws to a close it begins to rely more and more on fast paced humour such as this."

Enemies Slovakia videos

The Wrestlers for the Tate

Happy to say my commission for the Tate has now been published online, as part of their In Focus series and thanks to the amazing work of Dr Sarah Victoria Turner, who has curated an extensive response to the 1914 Henri Gaudier-Brzeska plaster relief The Wrestlers, of which my work is only a small part.

There are ten poems, 9 for each cast of the relief and 1 for the original, as well as two short essays, one on the wrestling depicted in the piece and another on Ezra Pound, who was a close friend of Gaudier-Brzeska and a conduit between his work and my response.


Sarah Turner’s remarkable work on this project is immense, well worth checking out

The large plaster relief Wrestlers was made in London by the French artist Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891–1915) at a time when he was forging a reputation as one of the most radical and innovative sculptors of his generation. Gaudier-Brzeska was killed fighting in the First World War, and his achievements slipped from view in subsequent decades. In the mid-1960s, however, curator Jim Ede had the relief cast in an edition of nine to help make Gaudier-Brzeska’s work better known, and he gave a cast to Tate.

This project explores the circumstances of the making of the relief and the posthumous cast. Drawing on material in the Tate Archive and early twentieth-century sports periodicals, it includes previously unexamined material about Gaudier-Brzeska’s interest in wrestling and asks new questions about representations of sport and physicality in modern art and poetry at the beginning of the twentieth century.”

Sarah Kelly - Ways of Describing cuts as Pulped paper sculpture

Dear friend, poet & paper maker, Sarah Kelly has turned her skills to our collaborative book http://www.knivesforksandspoonspress.co.uk/waysofdescribing.html and pulped it. This is the essence of the poets practise as artist, which I suppose I am currently exploring in sound and performance, returning back to materiality, interrogating the ground on which language sits. As ever Sarah's foray is authentic, gentle and beautiful.

reading with Sarah Kelly - Ways of Describing Cuts

hhoooo at the 77th edition of the longstanding London reading series the Blue Bus, on June 18th 2013, at the Lamb put in Bloomsbury, myself and Sarah Kelly launched our collaborative book 'Ways of Decribing Cut's published by Knives forks and spoons press with this full reading of the text, accompanied by a buddha box. http://www.knivesforksandspoonspress.co.uk/waysofdescribing.html" writing with Sarah was joyful, her gentility and technique brings me away from myself into new arenas, and to revisit this work at least 18 months after we finished it, now she's back from Buenos Aires, and to find it fresh and communicative was lovely. i enjoyed reading with her. our buddha box vedic meditation accompaniment was supplied by david kelly. it's a beautiful object, and feeling pale in the face of clean readings this was the right, respectful way to contextualise this work at a place like the blue bus. it was a long, boiling hot night, i couldnt really sit in the reading, before we read last, and be still with the happening, sometimes i really feel ill at ease in such a room, words just sewering me, but alls well that ends well

The Blue Bus - reading with Sarah Kelly - June 18th, Bloomsbury

The Blue Bus is pleased to present a reading by matt martin, Nicolas Spicer and Sarah Kelly, with S J Fowler, on Tuesday 18th June, from 7.30 at The Lamb (in the upstairs room), 94 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1. This is the seventy-seventh event in THE BLUE BUS series. Admissions: £5 / £3 (concessions).

Sarah Kelly is recently back in the UK after a couple of years living in Argentina. She has contributed to the anthologies 'Better than Language' (Ganzfeld Press) and 'Dear World...' (Bloodaxe), alongside many magazines. She is the author of two chapbooks, 'locklines' (KFS) and 'Ways of Describing Cuts' (KFS), the latter a collaboration with Steven Fowler who will be joining her to read some extracts. Examples of her current work, exploring text and handmade paper, were displayed at the 'Visual Poetics' exhibition (Poetry Library).

S J Fowler, who will be reading alongside Sarah Kelly in the second half of this event, is a poet and artist living in London. He's published four collections of poetry including Fights (Veer books) and Minimum Security Prison Dentistry (AAA press), and has collections forthcoming from Penned in the Margins and Egg Box Publishing. He has been commissioned by the Tate, the London Sinfonietta and Mercy and has read and exhibited across Europe. He curates the Enemies project, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, and Maintenant, a series of reading and interviews focusing on contemporary European poetics and collaboration. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, Birkbeck College and is an employee of the British Museum.www.sjfowlerpoetry.com www.blutkitt.blogspot.com www.weareenemies.com

Forthcoming events will include Johan de Wit and Antony John (16th July), Chris McCabe, Andrew Taylor and David Miller (20th August), Simon Smith, Anthony Mellors and David Rees (17th September), Laurie Duggan, Andrew Spragg and Peter Philpott (15th October), and Richard Berengarten, Cristina Viti and Michael Zand (19thNovember).

Sarah Lester's article on Electric Dada

http://www.electronicvoicephenomena.net/index.php/the-voices-in-the-radio-sj-fowlers-electric-dada/ ....... click to read the full whack

As the centenary of Cabaret Voltaire looms ever closer, poet SJ Fowler has been adopting Dadaist methodologies as a way of questioning our own preconceived notions. Drawing on Dada’s own sense of terror and menace, Fowler’s “Electric Dada” asks the audience to consider what it might actually mean to make contact with the dead. Or, rather, what it might mean for the dead to contact us. Far from hearing the comforting voices of our dearly departed, Fowler conjures up a profoundly more painful and unsettling affair. “Death has a language”, he sinisterly declares onstage, then, without waiting for an invitation, continues: “I will give you that sound.”

As Dadaists superceded formal language to engage with subjects that could not be understood outside of the abstract or the absurd, Fowler’s own sound poetry urges the listener to make their own connections between word, sound and meaning.   Transcending a language concerning death that is overfamiliar to us, Fowler’s ritual-esque vocalisations evoke magical incantations and otherworldly seances in words from a language of his own invention.  Fragmentary phrases, fields of invented words can bypass the author’s own associations and trigger new ones in the listener – it’s a Dadaist technique that was deployed in an attempt to overcome the subjective (bourgeois) ego.

If art appeals to civilised sensibilities and genteel good manners, Dada is the opposite. Dada – anti-art – was intended to offend. The performance experiments at Cabaret Voltaire (and beyond) did not lend themselves to polite rounds of applause, rather they stood for a rigorous critique of prevalent systems. Even so, when Fowler outlines the specific details of an artist’s exemplary suicide case for the benefit of all those in the audience who have refrained from committing suicide “for fear of making a mess” there’s no riot exactly, but there’s more than a ripple of nervous laughter. Like the audience of Henning’s performance of Totentanz, we’re not quite sure how to react.

Sarah Zakzouk on Reel Iraq poetry

http://www.reorientmag.com/2013/04/reel-iraq/ "Reel Words, an evening of poetry in translation, was but a small element of the Reel Festivals lineup. This year’s festival, Reel Iraq, was comprised of a series of cultural events marking the ten-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by US and UK forces. Dubbed ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, America and Britain’s stated mission was to liberate the Iraqi people from despotism, and disarm Saddam Hussein  of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’. Serving as a poignant reminder of the consequences of the invasion, Reel Iraq brought the nation’s cultural sphere to the forefront, exploring Iraqi contributions to art, culture, and creative expression in the UK, during a time of conflict and unrest. Featuring film, art exhibitions, poetry readings, and concerts, as well as panel discussions with audiences across the UK, the festival not only celebrated cultural diversity, but also provided a forum for people to reflect on the suffering and hardship endured by the people of Iraq during the past decade.

Hosted by Ryan Van Winkle, Reel Festival’s’ Literary Coordinator, in collaboration with Maintenant and 3AM Magazine, the Reel Words event was an evening of poise, impact, and eloquence. Introducing the readers of the evening, 3AM’s Poetry Editor, Steven Fowler, emphasised the theme of the evening as a reminder to people of the ongoing events in Iraq, and spoke about the cyclical nature of news stories presented via Western media. ‘It might have been our country, our culture that was invaded … this [event] is about peoples’ lives’, he remarked, as he asked the audience to compare the situation in Iraq with that of the UK.
The first half of the night played host to a variety of poets. Particularly outstanding was Patrick Coyle, who read a poem entitled Kirsty Wark’s Questions to Tony Blair, Reversed. Dictating a series of events backwards, Coyle counted down as the narrative progressed in Kirsty’s dialogue with Blair. Images were confused, and the narration distorted, as he disoriented minds with his verse in reverse. Highly engaging, his careful intonation lending itself to the backwardness of the text, the audience was still able to make sense of his words in their chaotic format....."