European Literature Night: Edinburgh – May 14th: the full whack

European Literature Night 2015 will be a unique evening of live contemporary literature in Edinburgh, with over 30 poets performing at five events, from a dozen European nations, all on one night. www.theenemiesproject.com/el

Part of the continent-wide European Literature Night program, held in 75 cities during mid-May, and supported by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature trust, our program brings together some of the most forceful European avant-garde, literary and sound poets, to share their work, to read alongside and to collaborate with a swathe of Edinburgh’s equally brilliant poetry scene.

Four simultaneous events take place in the early evening of Thursday May 14th, around 6pm, with solo readings, before all poets and audiences will congregate at Summerhall for the epic finale of the night, with 11 pairs of poets presenting brand new Camarade collaborations, starting around 8pm

Every event is free of charge, so join us at The Fruitmarket Gallery, The Saltire Society, The Sutton Gallery and The Forest before seeing the night in at Summerhall, with poets from France, Spain, Iceland, Austria, Germany, Sweden and of course, Scotland. 


European Literature Camarade! Summerhall - 8pm doors for an 8.30pm start - Free entry. In the Demonstration room http://www.summerhall.co.uk/2015/unesco-european-literature-night-edinburgh/ 

Following the amazing success of the Auld Enemies project in Summerhall in 2014, we return to the Demonstration room for the grand finale of this ambitious evening. Brand new collaborative work will be presented by pairs of poets from across the continent. Featuring:

Colin Herd & Iain Morrison
Ryan Van Winkle & Calum Rodger
Graeme Smith & Andres Anwandter
nick-e melville & Anne Laure Coxam
Valgerður Þórodds & Katy Hastie
Esther Strauss & Ann Cotten
SJ Fowler & Jorg Piringer
Max Hofler & Robert Herbert McClean
Eduard Escoffet & Martin Bakero

JL Williams & Jessica Johannesson Gaitán 

The Saltire Society Caesura on Sound poetry: supported by the Scottish Poetry Library
6pm - Free Entry https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/connect/events/caesura-31-spl-saltire-society Enjoy some of Europe's most dynamic and pioneering sound poets, coming together for one night to present their innovative musique concrete, from Paris, Barcelona and Vienna. Featuring Eduard Escoffet (Barcelona), Martin Bakero (Paris) Jorg Piringer (Vienna) & curated by Graeme Smith (Edinburgh) as part of the Caesura series. 

The Sutton gallery on 20th century art:
6pm - Free entry http://www.thesuttongallery.com Join us for performance art from Esther Strauss (Vienna), readings from Tomasz Mielcarek (Poland), Robert Herbert McClean (Belfast), and the launch of Colin Herd & SJ Fowler's collaborative book Oberwildling: on the life of Oskar Kokoscka, published by the Austrian Cultural Forum all in the environs of one of Edinburgh's most beautiful galleries.

The Fruitmarket Gallery on Possibilities of the Object:
6pm - Free entry http://www.cityofliterature.com/event/european-literature-night-fruitmarket-gallery/ 
At one of Edinburgh's cultural hubs, The Fruitmarket Gallery, hear readings from Valgerður Þórodds (Reykjavik), Max Hofler (Graz), nick-e melville (Edinburgh), Jean-François Krebs (Paris/Edinburgh) and Iain Morrison (Edinburgh), all responding to the exhibition on display. 

The Forest Café on Activism / Craftivism
6pm - Free entry http://www.cityofliterature.com/event/european-literature-night-the-forest-on-activism-craftivism/ At an Edinburgh staple, join Ryan Van Winkle and other Scottish poets, alongside Austrian Ann Cotten, for readings on the theme of activism. Featuring Thomas MacColl, Ed Smith, Rachel McCrum & Ryan Van Winkle (Edinburgh), Katy Hastie & Calum Rodger (Glasgow) & Ann Cotten (Berlin) 

European Literature Night is supported by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Scottish Poetry Library & many others.


Poetry at Little Sparta - May 15th 2015 

"Set in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, Little Sparta is Ian Hamilton Finlay’s greatest work of art. Imbued with a high idea content, the garden is created from the artistic fusion of poetic and sculptural elements with those of the natural landscape which is shaped and changed to become an inherent part of the concepts realised at Little Sparta.” http://www.littlesparta.org.uk 

The day following European Literature Night, we will be presenting this unique poetry event at Little Sparta. The performances will begin at 2.30pm and finish 4.30pm, taking the form of a series of short readings given as a tour of the gardens. This will be a unique mini-festival poetry celebration of one of the most extraordinary landscapes in Britain with an amazing array of contemporary European poets.

Readings & acoustic sound performances from Andres Andwandtner, Martin Bakero, Eduard Escoffet, Graeme Smith, Calum Rodger, Ryan Van Winkle, SJ Fowler, Colin Herd, Iain Morrison, Esther Strauss, Katy Hastie, Robert Herbert McClean, nick-e melville, Valgerður Þórodds & more.

Please note entrance to the garden is £10 and if you can't make your own way, you can join the poets on a pre-booked coach to the location by emailing me at steven@sjfowlerpoetry.com. The coach will meet at 1pm in Edinburgh city centre, at Waterloo place, and depart Little Sparta at 5pm. All are welcome. Thanks to the Little Sparta Trust, Calum Gardner & Graeme Smith.

Auld Enemies diary - Kirkwall

After a day of exploring the sights of the Shetland mainland we boarded another ferry south, much more comfortable a journey this time, to Kirkwall in Orkney. We stayed in more wonderfully comfy B&Bs and I went on a night walk just after arriving late, taking in the pedestrian town centre and the awesome St Magnus Cathedral. We met Ross' friend Amy Liptrot, a brilliant writer who is from and has lived on the island for the last few years after being in London and Edinburgh. To have someone show such generosity in showing us the epic stones of Brodcar, the archaeological dig nearby and a trip up to the Kitchener monument and the nearby Puffin cliffs, places we never would have got to in one day by ourselves, carless, really transformed the experience of the place. An amazing beauty the island possesses was given context by Amy and her knowledge and her experience of the place, her closeness to it. We caught her just before she was apart to depart too. The reading itself was another intimate and pleasant affair, the very generous Pam Beasant hosting and contributing, and we did a round robin reading of sorts, with only 4 of us remaining. After departing the library we all flopped into a local chinese, that looked like a shipping container with a sign, and reflected on a really brilliant, unexpectedly touching, week or so on tour together. Sad to see it come to a close in Scotland, we said our goodbyes that night. 

Auld Enemies Kirkwall
nick-e melville & Colin Herd & Ross Sutherland & I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkVfrWtSLMQ
Rosie Alexander & Rosemary Merriman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C0NqXaSLHI
Pam Beasant & Lydia Harris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjKp7E7aXXg

Auld Enemies diary - Lerwick

We got the ferry from Aberdeen overnight to Lerwick, on the auld Northlink. Scots drinking like Vikings as we swanned in the Magnus lounge watching the world cup final. It was a singular experience, something intense and enjoyable, if occasionally stressful, about sea travel. We laughed a lot, the spirit of the tour has been defined by a real closeness, more than I could've imagined, that has been expressed through dark, biting humour. Colin and nick-e are extraordinarily dry. Most of us had cabin bunks, I could hear the sea and the engine as I scratched out a few hours sleep. We docked in Lerwick and then headed to our venue, the Mareel, an amazingly modern and beautiful arts centre, very plush. 

At this point nick-e got really ill and we had quite unforgettable drama at how serious this was and felt and could've been. Again a powerful realisation of how big this experience is, how close to so many important things, like friendship through creativity, going out of your comfort zone etc... nick-e stayed in overnight at hospital and missed the reading, which felt an afternote to me, of course, but was really well received and enjoyable and friendly. Ross was amazing on the night, lifted everyone up with his positive energy and indomitable professionalism, and Ryan and Colin too showed out just how resilient and genuine they are. The local poets were really talented, different to us, but all the more welcome to that, and the island felt like another world, as much for the way we arrived and experienced our first hours, as it's unique character.
Auld Enemies Lerwick
Ross Sutherland & Ryan Van Winkle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIz_GmfchMk
Nat Hall & James Sinclair https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVrGiJIVErQ
Colin Herd & I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv_o3xH7yUE
Laurajayne Friedlander https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_uFxkRzZy0
Donald Murray https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoL4oheG8vU

Auld Enemies diary - Dundee

The beginning of the tour. Ross Sutherland & I up from London, Ross trapped by a lovely old Scottish gent / spider for hours out of lovely politeness, while I wrote. Dundee in blazing sun, looking beautiful. Into the Art College to read, the Duncan of Jordanstone building, reading in the foyet, walled by massive windows, a lovely space. Two local pairs of poets, and the wonderful Richard Watt, and the hospitality and immediately apparent generosity and professionalism of Peggy Hughes. Reading with Ryan Van Winkle myself, our Burbs, written over the last few years, the span of our friendship, since meeting in Sofia Bulgaria. And Colin Herd and Ross stealing the show, with their rave poem, washing over the gentile audience. A good beginning, back to Edinburgh in the car, with Colin, all at ease already, and beautiful countryside between the cities.
Auld Enemies: Dundee
William Letford & nick-e melville https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9nguF0rryY
Andy Jackson & Lindsay McGregor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKnLOyDcAes
Ryan Van Winkle & SJ Fowler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acEzvn2oOw8
Jim Stewart & Dawn Wood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qWcQDijin8
Richard Watt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJizJchW6F4
Colin Herd & Ross Sutherland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnP3q4tGV6k

Auld Enemies: July 9th - 26th

7 locales : over 40 poets : a national tour of Scotland
& brand new innovative poetic collaborations : a Scottish Enemies project http://weareenemies.com/auldenemies.html

The Enemies project: Auld Enemies is a transnational poetry collaboration where six poets will work in rolling pairs to produce original works for readings across the breadth of Scotland. Each event will also feature numerous pairs of writers from the region, who will be presenting brand new poetry collaborations as well. Auld Enemies is a groundbreaking exploration of contemporary Scottish poetics through the potential of collaboration.

Auld Enemies will commence with a six date tour of Scotland, taking in Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Lerwick in the Shetlands and finishing with Kirkwall in the Orkneys. It will conclude with an event in London, at the Rich Mix Arts Centre, on July 26th, which will feature many of the new works from the tour, new collaborations and a documentary screening about Auld Enemies.

Auld Enemies is fundamentally about the creation of new collaborative works and the integration of differing poetic communities, and has only been possible through the generosity of a series of organisational partners, first and foremost Creative Scotland, but also the Scottish Poetry Library, Literary Dundee, Summerhall, Shetland Arts, the Orkney Islands Council and Northlink Ferries.

Please find below the schedule and the poet's involved, and if possible, do spread the word, and attend all and any of the events you can:

July 9th - Dundee - 6pm
Duncan of Jordanstone (studio & foyer space) University Of Dundee, Perth Rd, Dundee DD1 4HT (with thanks to Peggy Hughes)

Billy Letford & nick-e melville / Ryan Van Winkle & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & Ross Sutherland
plus AZ Jackson & Lindsay MacGregor / James Stewart & Dawn Wood / Richard Watt & more
July 10th – Glasgow - 8pm
McChulls 40 High Street (http://mcchuills.co.uk/) (with thanks to Henry Bell)

Ross Sutherland & Ryan Van Winkle / Billy Letford & Colin Herd / nick-e melville & SJ Fowler
plus Thomas Betteridge & Neil Davidson / Katy Hastie, Antony Autumn, Iyad Hayatleh & more
July 11th - Edinburgh - 7pm
Summerhall -- Demonstration Room. 1 Summerhall EH9 1PL
 http://www.summerhall.co.uk/ (with thanks to Jen White)

Colin Herd & Iain Morrison / Billy Letford & Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler & Ross Sutherland
nick-e melville & Jane Goldman / Dave Coates & Rachel McCrum / JL Williams & Elspeth Smith / Luke Allan & Graeme Smith / Karen Veitch & Mike Saunders / Ed Smith & Thomas MacColl / Rob McKenzie & more
July 12th - Aberdeen 7pm
Cellar 35, 35 Rosemount Viaduct (http://www.list.co.uk/place/21626-cellar-35/ (with thanks to Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown)

Billy Letford & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle & Colin Herd / Ross Sutherland & nicke melville
Gerard Rochford & Richie Brown / Maureen Ross & more
July 14th – Lerwick, The Shetland Islands- 7pm
At the http://www.mareel.org/ arts centre. ZE1 0WQ (with thanks to Donald Anderson)

Ross Sutherland & nick-e melville / Colin Herd & SJ Fowler / Ryan Van Winkle
Nat Hall & James Sinclair / Donald Murray /  Laurajayne Friedlander & more
July 17th - Kirkwall, The Orkney Islands - 7pm
Kirkwall Library -- 44 Junction Rd, Highlands and Islands, Kirkwall KW15 1AG -- https://www.facebook.com/orkneylibraryandarchive) (with thanks to Pam Beasant)

Ross Sutherland & SJ Fowler / Colin Herd & nick-e melville
Rosemary Merriman, Sylvia Hays, Rosie Alexander, Lydia Harris & more
July 26th - London - 7pm

Ross Sutherland / nick-e melville / Colin Herd / Ryan Van Winkle / SJ Fowler
Emily Berry & John Clegg / Tom Chivers & Roddy Lumsden
Nick Murray & Eley Williams / Vahni Capildeo & Jeremy Noel-Tod
Kirsty Irving & Harry Man / Daisy Lafarge & more