A note on: Globe Road Festival Walking Tour - November 15th 2015

A really open, generous, honest and fascinating morning, walking the length of Globe road in East London, from Mile End Road to Bethnal Green. I was so pleased to be leading the walking tour for the Globe Road Festival with Gareth Evans, Elaine Mitchener, Adam Bohman as the commissioned artists, each presenting extraordinary and varied works, from Adam's hand written scores of found language, to Gareth's lyrical poem, to Elaine's heartfelt conceptual poem, read just a stone's throw from her childhood home. The many people in tow, kindly sharing their morning with us, followed on into York Hall, for a small reading kindly arranged by Jonathan Mann, where Richard Scott and Stephen Watts also read. You can find out all the details and watch all the performances here http://www.theenemiesproject.com/globeroad 

"A unique live walking tour performance experience, as part of the Globe Road Festival, the Enemies project presents a stroll down Globe Road itself, in the company of poets, sound artists and vanguardists. Stopping four times, at designated places on Globe Road, the artists will present a talk or performance completely original to the walk, in response to Globe Road. With their own lives entwined to the history and culture of this stretch of East London, this will be an original outdoor insight into the most interesting and often underground avant garde artists of contemporary London."

Enemies Slovakia videos

The Enemies project presents Slovakian poetry!

The Enemies project presents contemporary collaboration w/Slovakian poetry
November Saturday 16th 2013 - the Rich Mix arts centre  - 7.30pm - free entry

Martin Solotruk & Mark Waldron
Peter Milcak & Stephen Watts
Eva Luka & Sarah Hesketh

+ Francesca Lisette / Doug Jones / Pascal O'Laughlin / Louis Armand / David Vichnar / Jeff Hilson / JT Welsch / Chrys Salt / Saradha Soobrayen

Ushering in the second beginning of the Enemies project, with a focus on international collaboration and new innovative forms of exchange, we present an event featuring three of the most dynamic poets on the contemporary Slovakian scene. Peter Milcak, Eva Luka and Martin Solotruk will be reading from their own works as well as premiering new collaborations with British poets Stephen Watts, Sarah Hesketh and Mark Waldron in what should be a unique and engaging insight in the finest contemporary European literary and avant garde poetics.

In addition, this evening will feature readings to celebrate the new VLAK magazine (Louis Armand & David Vichnar), and new publications from Veer books (Francesca Lisette & Doug Jones) and AAA publishing (Pascal O'Laughlin) as well as original work from Jeff Hilson, JT Welsch, Chrys Salt and Saradha Soobrayen. www.vlakmagazine.comwww.veerbooks.com / www.anythinganymoreanywhere.com
This event was made possible by the generosity of the Centre for Information on Literature in Slovakia http://www.litcentrum.sk/en/ in cooperation with Embassy of the Slovak Republic in London

Will Rowe - the pre-eminent British Vanguard critic of the latter 20th century

I have the great privilege of being associated with Will Rowe in a number of ways. He edited my book Fights for Veer, he was pivotal in my early involvement with the Writers forum and he is my doctoral supervisor. I am perhaps biased when calling him the most considerable scholar of the avant garde in this country of the last half century, eye to eye with Eric Mottram. As Stephen Watts said so eloquently at this event, held for Will's retirement, and absolutely packed to the rafters with admirers, friends, colleagues, well wishers and some of the best poets of his generation and the two or three following, Will is the consummate witness - never disturbing the integrity of his subjects, the great avant gardists of our time, but complimenting them, growing an understanding of their work and their selves, always alongside. Integrity is the word I would associate with Will, integrity and responsibility. Will's vast career is a testament to a life spent in pursuit of an ideal, and one which has been wholly successful. It is humbling to be before it, so very much aware my own piffling journey is just
beginning. This was a great evening. A day of talks were rounded off with a three hour reading session which featured some of the finest and warmest and most intense readings I've witnessed. Often I believe the London avant garde community has elements of stand offishness which can create unfortunately tapered atmospheres, but not on this day, so far away was that feeling of defence. This was all about celebration, about a genuine feeling of respect. Sean Bonney, Martin Bakero, Carol Watts were just a few whose variant styles and performances genuinely captivated everyone. It was delightful to see people come from around the globe to celebrate Will and his work, and all the more so that we could all share it in one place at one time, in an environment that truly represented his achievement. 

cobalt by claudiu komartin

I bumped into the remarkable poet and translator Stephen watts with his friend, the Romanian poet Claudiu Komartin and they were kind enough to give me a lovely pamphlet, beautifully crafted, called Cobalt, by Claudiu, brilliantly translated by Stephen. Really worth looking at the new Modern Poetry in Translation for more of their recent work too.