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 : The end of Fiender in Malmo

A final event in the Fiender project, a Swedish collaborative enterprise that Harry Man and I put together, 12 poets presented new collaborations in Malmo, one of the most interesting cities in Sweden. The event was really thanks to Kristian Carlsson, whom I had met in Georgia in 2016, a remarkable activist and publisher living in the city, he was our key co curator.

We took over the Poet on the Corner shopfront venue for one night and poets from Mexico, Iran, Uruguay, American, England and Sweden trod the boards, a signifier of Malmo’s international character. It was an intimate, gentle, often quiet, even timid, Camarade, but as ever, meeting the poets and discovering new spaces, especially alongside old friends like Harry and JT Welsch, was rewarding. My collaboration with Iranian poet Naeimeh Doostdar was a literary work, quite careful, but opening into some interesting textual spaces at times. We always seemed at a remove from each other, no matter what I tried to do to allow her the space to define the context and content it always seemed gentle, generous but not really collaborative. A rare thing for me nowadays, and a lot to take from it, certain barriers can’t be crossed quickly, these things are miniature friendships and that takes time. So Naeimeh and I got on well, but it was merely a beginning.

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Malmo is an interesting place but it didn’t reveal itself immediately, felt metaphorically connected to the limitations of the event and my collaboration. It appeared obvious or residential on its surface, but clearly promised a great deal. This is attractive in a sense, enticing if not immediately gratifying. Certainly finishing another rare visit to Sweden, where I have blood ties and a quarter of me is actually from, sat around a dinner table with friends old and new, is something to prize.

< 2016

A thank you to everyone who has made my 2016 a remarkable series of encounters, adventures and collaborations. Whatever the wider context of the adversarial world, I have been immensely fortunate to engage in the many things below. Happy new year.

Performances at festivals beyond my home island, including (these links include travelogues and videos) 
Hay Festival: Arequipa, Peru
Times Lit Fest: Bombay, India
Dhaka Lit Fest and teaching Chittagong for British Council, Bangladesh
10tal’s Stockholm International Poetry Festival, Sweden
Airwaves Festival: Reykjavik, Iceland
Bjornson Festival: Molde, Norway
Poetry International Vlieland, Holland
Krokodil Festival: Belgrade, Serbia
TextWorld at Forumstadt Park: Graz, Austria
Milosz Festival: Krakow, Poland
Tbilisi International Literature Festival, Georgia
CCTSS Festival: Beijing, China
Iskele Poetry Festival, Cyprus
El Tercer Lugar, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ovinir and the Library of Water: Iceland

Commissions, projects and residencies

States of Mind at Wellcome Collection: curating and speaking at three events in July for the major exhibition on consciousness. The events were remarkable explorations of neuroscience and art involving Barry Smith, Srivas Chennu, Daniel Margulies & many others. www.stevenjfowler.com/statesofmind

BBC Radio 3's The VerbThe Worm in its Core commissioned as a new text in response to Hearing the Voice - a project which explores, and demystifies, auditory verbal hallucinations. www.stevenjfowler.com/theverb

The Soundings project: working with Wellcome Library via Hubbub group, new sound and conceptual collaborative performances with Phil Minton, Sharon Gal, Tamarin Norwood and Patrick Coyle, all documented by Ed Prosser. www.stevenjfowler.com/soundings


Jerwood Open Forest: collaborating with David Rickard for his ‘Returnings’, a proposed sculptural installation in Kielder Forest. Work with David was exhibited at Jerwood Space in Southwark as part of the project. www.stevenjfowler.com/returnings

Hubbub –The first ever Hub residency at Wellcome Collection, amongst many collaborations I co-curated a project entitled Respites for people claiming benefits and appeared on the Anatomy of Rest BBC Radio program with Claudia Hammond. www.stevenjfowler.com/hubbub


J&L Gibbons residency: a third year in residence with the groundbreaking landscape architects, included the Shifting Ground publication www.stevenjfowler.com/gibbonsresidency

The Singing Bridge: new texts for Claudia Molitor's audio installation on Waterloo Bridge as part of Totally Thames festival. www.stevenjfowler.com/singingbridge


Manners Maketh Man for Forum Stadtpark: new video poem installation commission exhibited in Graz. www.stevenjfowler.com/graz

Lunalia: An entire lunar cycle, one month, in sound collaboration with the brilliant Maja Jantar, responding to the moon through aberrant auditory artworks www.stevenjfowler.com/lunalia/ 

StAnza Festival, Scotland: New book destruction performances and workshop with Camarade for wonderful poetry festival in St Andrews. www.stevenjfowler.com/stanza

Publications:

House of Mouse: a new collaborative poetry collection with Prudence Chamberlain published by Knives Forks & Spoons press. The project also included a series of performances and magazine publications. www.stevenjfowler.com/houseofmouse

Tractography: a new limited edition pamphlet with poems about neuroscience from Pyramid Editions. Launched at the Proud Archivist in London.

40 Feet: a new collaborative publication with David Berridge published by Knives Forks & Spoons press. Launched at Essex Book Festival. www.stevenjfowler.com/40feet

& poems and artworks were published this year in magazines including Poetry Magazine, Gorse, Test Centre, Poetry Wales, Oxford Poetry, Poems in Which, Revolve:R, Queens Mob Teahouse, Berfrois, The Clearing, Karawa (Germany), Wazo (Spain), Boto Cor De Rosa (Brazil), Enchanting Verses (India) as well as anthologies including Long White Thread for John Berger (Smokestack) and Hwaet: 20 years of Ledbury Festival (Bloodaxe).Exhibitions:

The Night-Time Economy with Kate Mercer: Extended exhibitions of photography and poetry in both Newport's Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre and London's Rich Mix exploring the often fractious energy and environment of Newport, Wales' nightclubs and pubs. Supported by Arts Council Wales. www.stevenjfowler.com/nighttimeeconomy

Rest and its discontents at Mile End Art Pavilion: an exhibition to close the Hubbub residency at Wellcome Collection, featured a video work with excerpts from Soundings project

Conceptual Poetics exhibition at Saison Poetry Library: Performance works included in this group exhibition 

Curatorial:

English PEN Modern Literature Festival: a privilege to curate a new festival where 30 English writers celebrated 30 writers at risk, currently supported by English PEN, and to celebrate Khadija Ismayilova with a new work www.stevenjfowler.com/englishpen

The first ever European Poetry Night: part of the European Literature Festival with over 20 poets from across the continent, included a new performance with Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttirwww.theenemiesproject.com/epn

The University Camarade: from my ongoing lectureship at Kingston University a new event to create collaboration between creative writing students across the UK.www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade

South West Poetry Tour: co- curated a five date tour across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset with Camilla Nelson. Over 70 poets involved, new collaborations with Matti Spence, Annabel Banks, JR Carpenter and John Hall. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/southwest

Kakania: Two remarkable events in Berlin and one in London, including a symposium, Kakania celebrated Habsburg Vienna in experimental style with dozens of new commissions. Supported by Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin and Austrian Cultural Forum London. www.kakania.co.ukwww.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniaberlin


A World without Worlds: curated with Lotje Sodderland, this event series exploring neuroaesthetics, neuroscience, the brain and language closed at Apiary Studios www.theenemiesproject.com/aworldwithoutwords

With the Enemies Project I also curated or co-curated collaborative events for the Rich Mix Anniversary celebrations, UNESCO Edinburgh City of Literature, The Essex Book Festival, Apiary Studios, the Poetry School Camarade and Ovinir: Icelandic Enemies, Mtrebi: Georgian Enemies and Enemigos: Argentinian Enemies.

Performance:

Celebrating Cesar Vallejo at Hay Arequipa: a new experimental performance in Peru, evoking the great poet. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlL4sH28gjo

Celebrating Aleksandr Wat at Milosz Festival: a newly commissioned collaboration with Weronika Lewandowska and Tom Jenks, loosely based on Wat's Moj Wiek or My Century www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWR-FPmTahI

Celebrating Jerome Rothenberg at Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, Birkbeck: A new performance celebrating the great American poet to mark his visit to London.www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD-rn0E-9JQ&t=15s

Praxis at Parasol Unit: a new conceptual performance with Maja Jantar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCW9cJ-Itfo&t=537s

Other new live work included for the The The the reading series, Lexicon at Marsden Woo Gallery and at the Library of Water. Iceland.

Articles:

If you're down this far, you are a good egg. I’m grateful to have worked with so many generous folk in 2016. There is more to come in 2017. Hope your year starts brightly, Steven

A note on: Bombay: The Times Lit Fest - December 2nd to 6th 2016

Nearly a week in the extraordinary environment of the Times Lit Fest in Mumbai, exploring the city, meeting authors from all over India and the world, and reading my poems. Undoubtedly one of the most lush festivals I have attended, known for its generous treatment of invited authors, and so it was, in the most grand of hotels, flown in great comfort, a sanitised version of India as my first experience of the country I have wanted to visit for so very long. I had a truly memorable time, sharing the stage with friends like Ranjit Hoskote, so many stimulated conversations, so much new literature to discover and some really intense and brilliant days going into Bombay itself, meeting the people who make the city what it is, unique.

You can read the entire travelogue here www.stevenjfowler.com/india

A note on: Soundings #6 with Sharon Gal

The Soundings project comes to an end for the time being this October with the 7th instalment and the end of the Hubbub residency and I've had an extraordinary time collaborating with 6 artists so far, the latest being Sharon Gal, a major figure on the London experimental music scene since the late 80s.

This is a work I'm very proud of. Sharon's work has been a real influence on me, so it was brilliant to work so closely with her developing a series of performances, embedded in some unusual and industrial / suburban hidden spots of west london, for film. Again working with Ed Prosser, who has filmed most of soundings to great effect, we spent a brilliant day roaming from Kilburn to Kensal, along the grand union canal and into wormwood scrubs, playing with soundscapes, found sounds and instruments. We utilised the possibilities of film, performing in scenes of a sort, to create something original in the edit. Such a privilege to have this opportunity, and once again responding to materials given by Wellcome Library in response to prompts given by Hubbub curators.

A note on: poems in Gorse no.6

So happy to be in the latest issue of Gorse, simply one of the most brilliant journals in Europe. My poems are from my Estates series. http://gorse.ie/book/no-6/

You can get a subscription to the magazine here http://gorse.ie/book/one-year-subscription/

"Introducing gorse no. 6, with original essays  by Dylan Brennan, Liam Cagney, Dominique Cleary, Lauren Elkin, Oliver Farry, Daniel Fraser, Thomas McNally, Joanna Walsh; Irish by Simon Ó Faoláin & Colm Ó Ceallacháin; new fiction from Gavin Corbett, Lauren de Sa Naylor, John Holten, Bridget Penney, David Rose; poetry by SJ Fowler, Aodhán McCardle, Julie Morrissy, and Chus Pato, translated by Keith Payne; plus Rob Doyle interviews Geoff Dyer."

A note on: Praxis at Parasol Unit - collaborating with Maja Jantar: July 15th

One of the most generous and definitive collaborative relationships that I have, working with Maja Jantar. She's so brilliant, and such a pleasure to work with, this collaboration, so full of play, of song, of physicality and intensity, really is the kind of work I want to do. Really great to do it with such a lovely audience at Parasol Unit and with the curatorial support of Simon Pomery and Lala Thorpe. A memorable experience.

A note on: The The the, reading in Peckham - July 5th 2016

A really great job done by Mischa Foster Poole curating this reading series in Peckham. I had a great experience reading alongside Jen Calleja, Isabel Galleymore and some strong open mic poets. Completely relaxed and open vibe, everyone was really friendly and my reading, trying out some brand new poems I've written in the last month, when travelling, and then finishing with an interactive, conceptual twist, playing Jacques Brel while inviting people to write farewell messages to their own continent, seemed well received. 

Published: The House of Mouse by Prudence Chamberlain & I - Knives Forks & Spoons press: July 2016

To be launched as part of The Poetry School Camarade on July 17th 2016 at Rich Mix &The CapLet 1st year anniversary reading on August 10th at St Margaret's House, both near Bethnal Green.

I'm always interested in collaborating as a form of learning, growing as a poet and a person through the intelligence and idiosyncrasies of my collaborator. This book, and my ongoing collaborative work with Prudence Chamberlain, is a great example of that. These poems are unique for me, drawing me into new ways of writing, and this is such a beautiful book, dotted with new artworks by a variety of visual artists. Hopefully the humour, the intensity and the style will show through to readers too.

From the publisher: "Discursive, playful, obscene and satirical, The House of Mouse is a collection of ten poetic collaborations written by British poets SJ Fowler and Prudence Chamberlain - each responding to a famed cartoon, each uncovering the bizarre overt and covert symbols and signs of these pervasive animations. 
 
Dotted with original illustrations by contemporary artists like Lizzy Stewart and Duncan Marchbank, this unique collaborative collection aims to show that maybe the only thing stranger than corporate cartoon animals is avant-garde poetry."

One of the texts, Bambi, was published by the online poetry journal Country Music, edited by Scott Abels, in March 2016 is available to read below. http://countrymusicpoetry.org/index.php?pr=chamberlain-fowler

Published: Two ekphrastic cinematic poems on Queen Mob's Tea House

Very pleased to have two new poems up on Queen Mob's Tea House, edited by Erik Kennedy, on the poetry front. My kind of publication. The poems are both ekphrastic, if that term applies to films as well as artworks. I assume it does. Two films that I feel are somehow bound, Snowpiercer and Yojimbo. Certainly my poems about them are bound. I doubt itll happen but if the poems make you watch the films, then that's a result http://queenmobs.com/2016/06/poems-sj-fowler/

A note on: Summer performances in Europe 2016 - a tour of sorts

 

I am really lucky to have the chance to visit various European nations across May and June through a series of festivals and commissions. By chance, they've aligned around each other and allowed me good time to travel between countries and make a tour of it. More details on the below soon.

May 16th to 23rd – Tbilisi: Mtrebi: a Georgian Enemies project as part of the 2nd International Tbilisi literature festival with Eley Williams, Luke Kennard & co

May 27th – Istanbul: a reading at the DamDayiz Cultural centre with Efe Duyan & others

May 29th – Venice: a reading with Alessandro Burbank, Alessandro Mistrorigo & others

June 10th to 14th – Krakow: a commissioned collaborative performance from UNESCO City of Literature for the Milosz Festival with Tom Jenks, Weronika Lewandowska & Leszek Onak, responding to Aleksandr Wat's 'My Century'

June 16th to 18th – GrazForumstadtpark Conference curated by Max Hofler on poetry & politics

June 18th to 24th Omnibus Tour through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia

June 25th - Belgrade: Krokodil Festival 

A note on: The first European Poetry Night

Obviously a fair sized undertaking, with 24 poets from 19 countries, but a wonderful event to celebrate the first European Poetry Night. Very easy to work with Jon Slack and the folk at European Literature Festival, revamped for this year, and we managed to get around 150 people into Rich Mix on a balmy night. The great joy of balancing all this curatorial work, all the small details of travel, tech, order etc... is that I'm surrounded by friends from all over the world, from Billy Ramsell who drove me around Ireland, to Sasha Filyuta who introduced me to Berlin, from Alessandro Burbank who made me love the backstreets of Venice, to Efe Duyan who took me for a coffee in Istanbul before I'd published a book. And new friends made too, Niilaas Holmberg, who sang in Sami and Ulrike Ulrich, Swiss by way of Germany now in residence in London. It felt like a real collective effort, an example of community and collaboration at its best. Their performances were uniformly good and all complimented each other in their differences. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/epn

Working with Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir is an amazing experience. She is masterful - so funny, so innovative, a great improviser, and so much fun to play with. Both of us seek out strong concepts and have a certain sense of humour and really we achieved something on this night. I couldn't believe the audience would believe as they did in our concept, and we really ran hard into making them believe once we sensed their absolute awkward excruciating silence. A beautiful thing. I did feel a tiny bit guilty that some friends bought it too, but the notion of truthfulness has been such a concern of mine this year, this collaboration felt like the apex of that. I hope to work with her again and again into the future.

2016 so far: Beijing, Buenos Aires, Tractography & more

A rundown of recent publications, programmes, projects and performances from 2016 so far. 

Commission: BBC Radio 3’s The Verb
The Worm in its Core was commissioned as a new poem / performance by Radio 3's The Verb in response to Hearing the Voice - a project which explores, and demystifies auditory verbal hallucinations. www.stevenjfowler.com/theverb

Commission: Forumstadtpark Graz - Glory Hole
Manners Maketh Man was commissioned by the Forumstadtpark in Graz as part of their public art series Glory Hole, projected onto a screen in the city centre.  http://www.stevenjfowler.com/blog/gloryhole

Buenos Aires: Enemigos with El Tercer Lugar
One of the most extraordinary Enemies Projects so far, a week of collaborations and performances in Argentina; new collaborations with Julián López, Anahí Mallol, Camilo Sanchez, Leonce Lupette & Patrick Coyle. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/argentina

Beijing: CCTSS Conference & Festival
A poetry readings held in Beijing to mark the Chinese Culture Translation and Studies Support (CCTSS) global literary conference featuring poets from across the world http://www.stevenjfowler.com/beijing

Tractography, published by Pyramid Editions
A limited edition pamphlet of 50, the first of a new series of poems exploring neuroscience.

Forty Feet, published by Knives Forks & Spoons press
A new collaborative poetry collection written with David Berridge, 40 Feet is a poem in dialogue. 40 poems as 40 moments, 40 fragments, 40 conversation starters / enders. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/40feet

The Night-Time Economy Exhibition in Newport
A new collaborative exhibition in Newport with the photographer Kate Mercer, images & poetry exploring the often fractious energy of Newport's nightlife http://www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

Lexicon: performance at Marsden Woo Gallery
Responding to the work of artist and sculptor Alida Sayer at the remarkable London gallery Marsden Woo http://www.theenemiesproject.com/lexicon

StAnza Festival
One of the UK's principle poetry festivals, a great week reading, talking, curating and collaborating in St.Andrews http://www.stevenjfowler.com/stanza

Cyprus: The Iskele Poetry Festival
A memorable week in Northern Cyprus reading at the 18th Iskele-Kibatek poetry festival http://www.stevenjfowler.com/iskele

The English PEN Modern Literature Festival
An amazing experience curating nearly 30 authors responding with new works to writers-at-risk supported by English PEN. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen Including my poems and performance for Khadija Ismayilova and appearing on BBC Azeri world service.

Reykjavik, The Library of Water and Ovinir: Icelandic Enemies
Ambitious Enemies Project collaborations in Iceland, a new self-drowning performance in the Library of Water in Stykkishólmur, and a remarkable London reading to a nearly 200 strong crowd. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/iceland

Kakania at Austrian Cultural Forum
A symposium and six new commissions at the Austrian Cultural Forum – contemporary artists responding to figures of Habsburg Vienna. All performances and my own on the great Robert Musil.

The Essex Book Festival
Great to curate a Camarade with 18 poets and one family performing new works for the day, from the Colchester area & beyond. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/essex Including my collaboration with David Berridge

& new poetry has appeared in Gorse magazinePoetry WalesKarawa (new translations into German), Poems in WhichBlack Market ReviewCountry MusicFor Every Year and Wazogate. Thanks to all the editors. And to everyone who has read this far down. Happy Springtime to you all, Steven

A note on: Upcoming performances & events in March and April

March 3rd: Praxis at Parasol Unit, London
Performing a new work responding to Julian Charriere's amazing exhibition, alongside Maja Jantar, Sharon Gal, Simon Pomery and others. http://parasol-unit.org/poetry-innovations-praxis

March 5th & 6th: Stanza Festival, St.Andrews, Scotland
On a panel exploring poetry and the body, responding to a film about bp nichol, and leading a workshop about collaboration, alongside two performances. http://stanzapoetry.org/festival/poets-artists/fowler

March 18th: Soundings IV with Tamarin Norwood
A performance work for video, situated in Wellcome Library itself, responding to materials given by the librarians for the artist Tamarin Norwood and I to respond to. http://www.stevenjfowler.com/soundings

March 20th: The Essex Book Festival, First site Gallery, Colchester
Curating a Camarade with 10 pairs of poets for the festival, and reading with David Berridge, to launch our book, 40 feet, from Knives forks and spoons press. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/essex

March 24th to 26th: The Iskele Kibatek International Poetry Festival in Cyprus
Part of the 7th Annual Iskele Municipality Culture and Art Days, this festival sees poets from around Europe present their work, including Nurduran Duman and Jennifer Williams.

March 31st: Kakania returns at Austrian Cultural Forum, London
Kakania in London once again, with new commissions in the evening and a symposium of new presentations in the day. New work from Steve Beresford, Diane Silverthorne, Declan Ryan & more. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/kakania2016

April 2nd: The English PEN Modern Literature Festival - Rich Mix, London
30 English writers celebrate 30 writers at risk currently supported by English PEN with brand new works of literature. 2pm til late, all over one day. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen

April 6th: The Night-time Economy Exhibition opening - The Riverfront, Newport, Wales
A new exhibition between myself and the photographer Kate Mercer, poetry and photography exploring the fractious energy of Newport's nightlife. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

April 23rd: The University Camarade
Curating a Camarade which pairs 20 students from creative writing departments of 5 different universities to create 10 new works in pairs. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade

< 2015

As the year dies off, it's a chance to reflect on a really remarkable 12 months past and say a few thank you's to those who  have been so generous as to make everything that transpired, mentioned below, so remarkable. Here is 2015 in review:

  • a launch for my latest book {Enthusiasm} this June past, published by the amazing Test Centre press. Gratitude to Jess Chandler & Will Shutes. A discerning review here by Richard Marshall.

  • debut solo exhibition, Mahu, took place across June and July, at the Hardy Tree Gallery in Kings Cross, a book handwritten onto the walls, with 11 events across the run. Thanks to Cameron Maxwell & Amalie Russell, and the over 50 poets and writers who contributed.

  • Throughout 2015, I was in residence with Hubbub group at Wellcome Collection, sharing the space with neuroscientists, social scientists and other researchers. I launched my Soundings project with Hubbub and Wellcome Library, performing with Emma Bennett, Dylan Nyoukis & Maja Jantar. Thanks to James Wilkes, Kimberley Staines & many others.

  • a debut play, Dagestan, was produced to scratch at the Rich Mix Theatre, thanks to an amazing cast, director Russell Bender and producer Tom Chivers, of Penned in the Margins.

  • I performed a new commission for Tate Modern in June, and then taught a course for the institution in November. Thanks to Joseph Kendra & Marianne Mulvey, and everyone who attended.

  • Really wonderful to join the faculty at Kingston University, as a lecturer in the Creative Writing department.

    With The Enemies Project, I had the pleasure of curating multiple international collaborative projects:

  • Gelynion, with Nia Davies, thanks to Arts Council Wales. Remarkable events from Newport to Bangor, finishing at Hay-on-Wye Festival.

  • Feinde, with Austrian poets, thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum, including multiple events & an exhibition celebrating concrete poetry.

  • Croatia, with Tomica Bajsic & co, thanks to Croatian PEN and others, a wonderful mini-tour of Croatia and an event in London.

  • Enemigos, with Mexican poets, thanks to British Council, Conaculta and the London bookfair.

  • Wrogowie, with Polish poets, thanks to Polish Institute London.

  • Nemici, with Italian poets from across Europe.

  • Kakania, celebrating Habsburg Austrian culture, supported by Austrian Cultural Forum, saw memorable events in the Freud Museum, the Horse Hospital and the ACF, with over 40 new commissions. It also produced two books – an anthology of the project’s work and a new collaborative collection written by Colin Herd and I, about the life of Oskar Kokoschka.

  • a launch of the 2nd edition of my book Fights, published by Veer Books, at Apiary Studios in October. Big thanks to the publishing committee at Veer and the authors who celebrated the sport of boxing with me on the night.

  • A World without Words, curated with Lotje Sodderland and Thomas Duggan, saw 4 events in 2015, including at Somerset House and the Frontline Club. A remarkable success exploring the human brain, language, neuroscience & art with some amazing thinkers, not least Lotje & Tom.

  • I spoke at the School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University, Berlin, thanks to Daniel Margulies, and became a Salzburg Global Fellow, for a conference on creativity and the brain. also attended the International Literature Showcase in Norwich thanks to the British Council and Writer’s Centre Norwich, and contributed to a panel on technology and literature.

  • attended the Berlin Poetry Festival in June and curated a Camarade with Lettretage while visiting the city. The same organisation kindly hosted me for their Literary Activists Conference in February.

  • attended Festina Lente in Paris in March, hosted by Martin Bakero and collaborated with the brilliant Zuzana Husarova.

  • curated many stand alone events, including the European Camarade, which brought together 18 poets from across the continent, the Norwich Camarade, thanks to Writer’s Centre Norwich and UEA, Global Cities for Southbank Centre & the London Literature Festival, European Literature Night in Edinburgh and a Cemetery Romance, thanks to Czech Centre London. Pleased to be a part of the Globe Road Festival too, leading an artists tour of the road.

  • had the privilege of being hosted by Edge Hill University, thanks to James Byrne, and co-curate a Camarade in Liverpool, which included a launch of my collaborative book with Tom Jenks, 1000 Proverbs, from Knives forks & spoons press.

  • amongst readings / performances: at Whitechapel Gallery for the launch of the New Concrete, edited by Victoria Bean & Chris McCabe, at the Stoke Newington Literature Festival & at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, on Henri Gaudier-Brzeska’s The Wrestlers, thanks to Sarah Victoria Turner & co.

  • Wonderful to again teach for the Poetry School, sharing my passion for European and world avant-garde movements in the courses Maintenant and Mondo

  • continued in residence with the brilliant J&L Gibbons landscape architects and had the pleasure to share the stage with them at the Garden Museum, London for the Big Tree Debate.

  • Amongst some lovely conversations / interviews documented this year, this one on Sabotage Reviews with Will Barrett really stood out and I was grateful to the response of many to my short article on the passing of Tomaz Salamun. 

  • Poems in Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry Wales, Test Centre, Gorse, Long Poem magazine, Lighthouse & others, thanks to the editors. My work was also included in the Poetry Archive.

    And knowing no one is reading at this point, simply, it was a great pleasure to collaborate in one form or another with so many extraordinary artists in 2015 - Noah Hutton, Rebecca Kamen, Tereza Stehlikova, Endre Ruset, Alessandro Burbank, Joe Dunthorne, Eurig Salisbury, Zoe Skoulding, Rhys Trimble, Daniela Seel, Anna Cady, Amanda de la Garza, Harry Man, Prudence Chamberlain and Tom Jenks among them.

I'm grateful to have met and worked with so many generous people throughout this year. There is more to come in 2016.

A note on: speaking at Humboldt University, school of Mind & Brain, Berlin

An amazing opportunity to speak at Humboldt University Berlin, in the lofty environs of the Mind & Brain school, for an event called, which celebrated the art competition. The event brought together artist Mriganka Madhukaillya, curator Elena Agudio, Daniel Margulies, neuroscientist and head of the Max Planck institute and myself (!) and we each delivered talks that somehow related to art and science interdisciplinary practise and the efficacy of such collaborations. It is the only thing I have developed any expertise on really, the nature of collaboration and through the Enemies project, the Hub residency, the Salzburg Global Seminar and A World Without Words, the neuroaesthetics field, though still often opaque to me, is increasingly of interest. My talk went well, seemed generally uncontroversial, despite my relatively critical stance and in fact seemed to stoke a really positive energy with the scientists who attended. Brilliant for me to be beside such lofty peers and learn from them. 

A note on: Reading at London Literature Festival, Southbank Centre for Moby Dick Live

Great to read one of my favourite chapters of Moby Dick, a book I revisited and closely read just a year ago when meeting Philip Hoare, chapter 110 Queeqeg's Coffin, as part of Southbank Centre's Moby Dick Live event, where the entire novel was read out loud in ten minute chunks for four days for the London Literature Festival. http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/moby-dick-unabridged-1001129

You can read the chapter in question here: http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/42/moby-dick/791/chapter-110-queequeg-in-his-coffin/and it is well worth doing so. I managed to cut together the audio of my reading with images from illustrations of Moby Dick, which can be seen above.

"An awe that cannot be named would steal over you as you sat by the side of this waning savage, and saw as strange things in his face, as any beheld who were bystanders when Zoroaster died. For whatever is truly wondrous and fearful in man, never yet was put into words or books. And the drawing near of Death, which alike levels all, alike impresses all with a last revelation, which only an author from the dead could adequately tell. So that- let us say it again- no dying Chaldee or Greek had higher and holier thoughts than those, whose mysterious shades you saw creeping over the face of poor Queequeg, as he quietly lay in his swaying hammock, and the rolling sea seemed gently rocking him to his final rest, and the ocean’s invisible flood-tide lifted him higher and higher towards his destined heaven." 

A note on: Performing at the Whitechapel Gallery for the New Concrete Launch

A really ambitious program curated by Chris McCabe and Victoria Bean, editors of the anthology the New Concrete, for the launch of the book at the Whitechapel Gallery on July 25th. Over three hours of kinetic poems and performances - screenings, readings and more. It was a really generous, communal atmosphere, good to see old friends and meet quite a few poets I have long admired but had yet to encounter in person.

I really wanted to follow my more conceptual performances at Tate Modern and Cafe Oto recently with something similarly performative and distinct, and thoughts of how one might perform a concrete poem led my to Lego. I had only the specifics of the ideas on the morning of the performance, so after rushing to a Lego shop and dropping more money than Id thought Id need to on the bricks, I had only one chance to practise making the letters, in a coffee shop next to the gallery itself. In the end, it went nicely, I managed to stay within the 4 minute limit.