A note on: The Essex Book Festival - Sunday March 20th 2016

About as nice a way as one can spend a Sunday. I had the pleasure, thanks to the generosity of Philip Terry, Ros Green, Jo Nancarrow, those behind the Essex Book Festival and University of Essex, to curate a Camarade event for the festival. I had the chance to bring poets from London and Manchester to Colchester, but also draw on lots of local talent. In the end, the works were held in an amazing venue, a huge auditorium in the Firstsite Gallery, and the performances were really distinct and interesting, all very complimentary, a range of voices and styles. 

It was especially satisfying to see so many poets discover new poets, and to reconnect to those who live in Essex whose work I admire so much like Townley and Bradby, who I had the pleasure to work with in a performance in 2015, who did a brilliant performance with their family, and Isabella Martin, Vicki Weitz, Justin Hopper, Lucy Greeves and many others. All the performances are available here www.theenemiesproject.com/essex

Philip Terry & Tom Jenks on otoliths

Proper pure Enemies! http://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/philip-terry-and-tom-jenks.html

     For J. H. Prynne, in The Pyrenees

Days are a proposition laid by desolate gorges, the body a repulsive looking landlord. Into muscle blood-red capas. The dark clouds and chasms, ancient summit Alps; valleys of a richer southern sunlight. Smell of a Frenchman and orange-peel saturated within the first three-fifths, muted interchange in the iridescence of the descriptions of energy. The usual perfunctory fasces at the scanty distant mountains. Memories of the lonely roads walk by a doughty Colonel. Open terrace twice girdled in soft banditti. Nothing which the Pyrenees, a skyline untrodden by Americans. In our City of the Great Czar chemistry is livid heat reduced to coigns of vantage. Bid on a Biscayan beach, her sweet making ready. Condition of bright awnings, the palest green verandas. Single spark of its sober, unornamental, business government. 

Tapestry for the Goldsmiths prize!

http://www.gold.ac.uk/goldsmiths-prize/shortlist/tapestry/ I called it a few months back, Philip Terry's brilliant novel Tapestry has been nominated for the new, and timely, Goldsmiths prize, which is celebrating innovative fiction. Philip has been an important part of many of my events, met him at the writers forum in 2011, and his novel captures the precision in conceptual innovation that is always a hallmark of his work. So positive to hear his talents are being recognised, and I sincerely hope this spreads his work further into where it should be on the poetry scene here in England. He knowledge of, and use of, Oulipean methodologies is influential in many circles, and it could do with widerning still. This nomination is gratifying for many people who are sorely overlooked in the experimental community too, I just wish, along with Philip, the likes of Jeff Hilson, Carol Watts, Tim Atkins, Peter Jaeger et al would carry more weight with prizes and the like. One at a time! http://www.gold.ac.uk/goldsmiths-prize/ 

Philip Terry's novel 'Tapestry' reviewed in the Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/may/28/tapestry-philip-terry-review So happy to see this, Philip Terry is one of the most inventive and brilliant contemporary British poets. 

"By showing a language in flux,tapestry draws you into its world: that of the creation of the Bayeux tapestry (which, as we are reminded in the book by an exasperated narrator, isn't a tapestry at all, but a work of embroidery) by a group of nuns in the late 11th century at a priory in Kent. (The theory that it was commissioned by Bishop Odo, William the Conqueror's half-brother, and stitched in England, very possibly in Kent, has the full endorsement of Professor Wikipedia.)..."