A note on : on Radiostudent in Slovenia

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I am a pesnik. This was sooo fun. I was not honest but I was myself. ToO Much so. Listen to the last 10 minutes if you want a tastie. And my poem at the end, they put violion bowie under it. Amazant.

Apparently this radio has a radical politico history thing, but the intro makes it feel very much what people who have never been to slovenia think what slovennia is.

https://radiostudent.si/kultura/rkhv-intervju/astra-papacrhistodoulou-steven-j-fowler-ignor

This is a curious interview. There was a ghost in the room, A ghost that was once a mushroom. This mushroom, when alive, walked into a pub. Everyone flocked around it. When a bystander asked, why, why? Someone else replied, because its a fungi to be with.

Muanis Sinanovic did the interviewing, he’s a clever complex man, a fine poet, and I was seated next to my friend and other fine poet Astra Papachristodoulos. I decided in the first half to speak quick and economic like and the second half pretend to be a prick because I was a bit tired even though I had no obvious reason to be. Who am I kidding? I was a prick all the time. I love Muanis’ enthusiastic use of the english word Yes. He even says Yea. I also love Astra’s pauses. They are poetically watertight.

also you like slovenian? bio Steven J Fowler je angleški pesnik, gledališčnik ter vizualni in zvočni umetnik. Preveden je bil v 22 jezikov, prejel je nagrade različnih institucij (Arts Council England, Jarwood Charitable Fundation, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Ireland …), sodeloval je s Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, Tate Britain, London Sinfonietta, Wellcome Collection in Liverpool Biennial. Bral je na številnih festivalih po svetu. Je urednik pri portalu 3am magazine in učitelj kreativnega pisanja na Kingston University. Sodeluje še pri številnih drugih projektih.

A note on: English PEN Modern Literature Fest III was a grand night

The third time I have curated this mini-fest alongside / for English PEN, whereby contemporary English writers present works written in tribute to a writer who is part of the Writer's at Risk programme, writers living under oppression around the world. http://www.englishpen.org/ This time we slightly scaled down the rather grand one day festivals of past years, bringing it to Kingston and the historic All Saints Church, as part of my Writers Centre Kingston programme.

8 authors presented pieces of writing, some new, some from past years. The spirit was one of considered celebration, of sadness, in places, of frustration, but moving beyond the somewhat stifling requirement at the heart of the event, asking authors who are generally safe and sound to speak about those who are not, and who are not because they chose, in most cases, to refuse silence. This contradiction has often led to overloading, with writers unable to express themselves, stopped up by a kind of shame. But in a more intimate setting, with a group students, volunteers and local people watching on, this felt more like a community taking note, making sure there was something, instead of nothing, to mark out those suffering were being thought of. All the videos are here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2LmXtC6HArB9k2QSLWQGJA/videos

A real highlight for me this year is that it spawned Kingston University's first Student PEN Centre, led by Alan Boyce. I'm happy to say this relationship will continue and next year's English PEN festival will be just as good I'm sure.

There's a nice report of the event here too, by Tice Cin https://www.englishpen.org/campaigns/english-pen-modern-literature-festival-2018/ 

They event featured MONA ARSHI FOR ZEHRA DOGAN / TONY WHITE FOR AHMED NAJI / HELEN PALMER FOR ME NAM / SARA UPSTONE FOR DAWIT ISAAK / ADAM BARON FOR CAN DÜNDAR & ERDEM GÜL / PRUDENCE CHAMBERLAIN FOR  PATIWAT SARAIYAEM & PORNTHIP MUNKHONG / ELEY WILLIAMS FOR TSERING WOESER / DAVID SPITTLE FOR AHMEDUR RASHID CHOWDHURY

Writers poets, novelists, playwrights and artists come together to continue English PEN's relationship with innovative contemporary literature. Each of the ten British writers will present poetry, text, reportage, performance on the day. The new works celebrate and evidence the struggle of fellow writers around the world, in solidarity.

The event is intended as a call to membership for writers, artists and readers in a time where we face perilous challenges to our freedom of expression and fundamental rights and hard fought liberties, both internationally and here in the UK. As the world changes so remarkably, and so rapidly, and on a global scale, it is vital the political will of our time and this generation of young, dynamic writers is directed purposefully to the work of English PEN, the writer's charity. The hope is this festival, away from creating new members of PEN, begins involvements and connections which will have exponential resonance for decades to come. www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen  Curated by SJ Fowler and Cat Lucas.

Please join English PEN You can join English PEN here http://www.englishpen.org/membership/join/ and if you are a writer, poet, artist, or someone who is passionate about defending our fundamental freedom of expression in the UK and around the world, please take the time to do so and become a part of the future of this extraordinary organisation.

A note on: The University Camarade III was brilliant

A very special evening at the rich mix, the third time ive put this event together, with students from all over the UK. As ever, collaboration absolutely engenders friendships while producing challenging, idiosyncratic poetry. The students involved were universally excellent, brave, bold and the evening left a real impression on the audience, and I think, I hope, on the rest of their poetry / writing / performing lives. I believe sincerely that opportunity is what shapes people's journey and growth, and this event gives people young in their experience a real urge to go into new spaces. 

I was especially content with the showing of my students, who we and are markedly their own, which is all I want from them, to expand and explore their own paths, with some erratic guidance www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade / www.writerscentrekingston.com/richmix

A note on: The University Camarade II

The University Camarade II : February Saturday 25th 2017 - 7.30pm - Free Entrance
Venue 2 : Rich Mix Arts Centre (35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA)
www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade

The second University Camarade presents pairs of creative writing students from seven different Universities in the UK to collaborate on short new works of poetry or text, for performance. The only participants are students, and writing with poets they've never met before, who study within a different institution, this initiative allows them to expand their practise, knowledge and networks, and takes a stand against purported factionalism or department competition. The innovative collaborative methodology also allows them to include experimentation early in their writing careers, and perform to a large audience.

Students have been drawn from the Creative Writing departments of Kingston University, Oxford Brookes, York St John, Kent, Essex, York and Royal Holloway and the project has been curated by SJ Fowler with Kim Campanello, JT Welsch, Dorothy Lehane, Robert Hampson, Prudence Chamberlain, Philip Terry and Niall Munro.

A note on: The University Camarade - April 23rd

A wonderful, positive evening with new collaborations from student, and inherently young, poets, from six universities across the UK. I decided to curate this event for multiple reasons - to show that collaboration is immensely helpful for the development of young poets (into interesting directions anyway), to show that creative writing programs deserve more respect for the quality they can produce, to get past the supposed 'competition' between creative writing departments and to begin to inculcate communities between young writers, or at the very least, to make them feel there are communities out there for them, that people do want to hear and value their more innovative ideas.

The works on display were genuinely brilliant, across the board, the event had been taken so seriously by all 20 poets. Everyone felt it had a been a grand success and will likely happen again www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade