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.

Penned in the Margins 2015 program

really pleased & proud to feature in this wonderful program for Penned in the Margins.
http://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/
index.php/2015/04/beyond-the-book-announcing-our-2015-programme/
 my production is in October, visit the page and read the program to find out what it is! Wonderful company Im in too, with Hannah Silva's amazing show Schlock! and Ryan Van Winkle's new book the Good Dark

 

the Auld Fold! 1st publication of 2015

As part of Kathrine Sowerby's beautiful Four Fold publication series, five of the core touring poets also produced this collaborative poem that was published in January 2015 as the Auld Fold, featuring nick-e melville, Colin Herd, Ryan Van Winkle, Ross Sutherland and SJ Fowler. https://fourdotfold.wordpress.com/

Zimzalla exhibition closing readings

This was a really wonderful evening in the Hardy Tree gallery, just a few days after the mass of the Camaradefest, this was an intimate way to unwind and share work with many who had travelled to London for the fest. Also a proper way to say goodbye to the brilliant but brief Zimzalla exhibition, which Tom Jenks has put a lot into and the Enemies project is proud to represent.
Zuzana Husarova & Olga Pek (Tryie collective) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B4JvHiwg54
Kim Campanello https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-yjF49erKI
Lucy Harvest Clarke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX1nsbQFQ04
Iain Morrison https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQTX6CKWTgI
Ryan Van Winkle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UouHrENNFFw
Tom Jenks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzZwQkgcwPk
Christodoulos Makris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s09hcNNSDq8

Auld Enemies in London

It all ends up in London, and so we reconvened at the Rich Mix Arts Centre to invite new pairs of poets, screen some of Ross Sutherland's amazing documentary he made during our Scotland tour and share excerpts of the core poet's collaborations. A lovely evening to come together so soon, to reminiscence {already} and share our experience with friends and the like.  Auld Enemies London
Ross Sutherland & Colin Herd & Ryan Van Winkle & nick-e melville & SJ Fowler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSUC5L742SQ
Emily Berry & John Clegg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJeKEFHrpUA
Vahni Capildeo & Jeremy Noel-Tod https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfA6MIC94mo
Tim Atkins & Jeff Hilson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi6wp_2wLFQ
Nick Murray & Eley Williams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9RD4-hGK84
Kirsty Irving & Harry Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VP91dLg1qk

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

Reel Iraq: Kurdistan diary #7

Up for reading, the reading, the grand reading. Travelled half way around the world. Not that this is the work really, not that anyone really believes that, but it is like fighting, in its model, that all the funds, all the time, builds for one payoff and you get a little belly rumble at that pressure, that it is to erupt in one moment, and one has to keep nerve. Well I didn't, Dan and Ryan did, and did so beautiful. It was great. The event was very well attended, the room packed out, the work we delivered was really strong, a lovely moment for the Reel people to be very proud of themselves I think. Zhawen and I read one poem, and the relevant translations. I gave a little waffle about the people of Iraq Id met being more important than the poetry, and being ashamed of the privilege I enjoy, all the stuff writing this blog has made me confront. You can see for yourself below of course, in the vid. I also slipped in a few inside jokes, a few kippers in there. The Q and A was great, unvideod, went full wild west, with long didactic speeches in place of questions and some genuine feeling against the freedom of our translations, or what we all know to be transliterations from the off. I had fun answering one and then rocking back and letting the communication communicate. Good vibes afterward, high energy and engagement. The Reel project is amazingly well conceived and run, and this is the result, an event that would be powerful in any festival, in any context in the world.
Finally I had a chance to go back into Erbil and explore the city properly, and buy some weird trinkets. I returned to the bazaar, found some pretty nifty glowing sponge elephants and some camo tshirts, and lots of dried plum sugar sheets, before making my way out into one of the really beautiful parks of the city. If some of Erbil's regeneration is Dubai-esque, to its detriment, its parks are really wonderfully rendered. Music blaring from public speaker systems, immaculate gardens, sculptures. It looked like archival footage from the 70s in the middle east, families on display, picniccing, hobknobbing.
Ryan & the former writer's union president during the Ba'ath parties evil rule
I returned to the Charmander hotel, had a final brutal sweatlodge gym session and then got one of the creepiest thai massages in the world, before dragging the others from the seemingly endless procession of rigmarole at the closing event out into the city for the last time. Started to feel a bit exhausted at this point, and the night became a blur, eating out and visiting the tea house beneath the citadel. The next twenty four hours were and are a blur. Saying goodbye, knowing that in the moment of its happening this week will seem like a concentrated hallucination, that I drifted upon its regiment, its intensity, its privilege, and never had the time to properly reflect upon it, and all the better for that, for it isnt the norm. And yet still, knowing Ill never be back here most likely, that this has happened at the best time it couldve in my life, young enough to enjoy it fully, and be free to enjoy things in their moment and limitation and place in a way i never could when i was younger, and yet old enough to appreciate it too, that all of it is made by its transitory nature. Nothing in Iraq was overdone. Sad to say goodbye to all, but especially heartfelt was my goodbye to Hoshang. The man is all power to this place and its people. I walked Vicki back to the hotel at midnight, slept for an hour, and then spent the next day, sleepless, that dried fruit brain sick feeling crammed into tiny bucket seats on Turkish airlines, trying not to vetch myself, before haunting the gatwick express, actually feeling ok in London, aside from the overbearing psychological wave of unhappiness that always hits me when I return to the city from elsewhere and haven't adjusted to the currency of banal depression. Hammersmith v Erbil. Then I got norovirus and have lost the last two days to fever, and worse. All the better, Iraq feels a different life away, as it was.
here is our party in Erbil (as inflatable donkeys)

Culture Laser podcast on Camarade

The Camaradefest was a unique one day explosion of dynamic collaboration in contemporary avant garde and literary poetics. 100 poets aligned in 50 pairs, each writing an original collaborative work, written specifically for the festival and premiered on the day. We feature 4 of the pairs - Marcus Slease & Claire Potter, Stephen Watts & Will Rowe, Julia Bird & Sarah Hesketh, Ghazal Mosadeq & Ricardo Marques - and discuss the thinking behind the process with SJ Fowler. http://www.weareenemies.com/camaradefest.html This episode includes electro-acoustic collaborative works from the EP 'Eye' from Bark Torch. More info at: 

new poets published on 3am - Goring / Van Winkle / Connolly / Niven

an exceptional group this, all of whom I admire, all of whom work their ways their way.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/and-you-know-how-they-can-let-you-down-these-people-other-poems/ Penny Goring lives in a block of flats in London. She wrote The Zoom Zoom (eight cuts gallery press, 2011). Her work has been published in HOUSEFIRE. The Guardian calls Penny ‘a lively and original new voice in poetry’.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/new-york-poems/ Alex Niven is originally from Northumberland and now lives in Leytonstone in East London. His poetry has been published in Ash, Etcetera, North-East Passage, and the Oxonian Review, and his poem ‘The Beehive’ recently provided the epigraph to Owen Hatherley’s architectural survey A New Kind of Bleak. He is currently working on a combined work of poetry and criticism for Zero Books, and a book about Oasis’s Definitely Maybe for the 33 1/3 series (Continuum).

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/stephen-connolly/ Stephen Connolly is 24 and from Belfast. Both a graduate and current student of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, he is in the second year of doctoral research looking at the innovation of traditional set forms in the work of Paul Muldoon. He runs The Lifeboatreading series and is an editorial assistant for The Yellow Nib.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/van-winkle-there-is-no-library-for-what-i-know-of-books/ Ryan Van Winkle is Poet in Residence at Edinburgh City Libraries following a successful run as the Scottish Poetry Library’s first-ever Reader in Residence. He remains the host of the SPL’s weekly poetry podcast as well as The Multi-Coloured Culture Laser Podcast (link). Ryan has been invited to read internationally at The Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Sofia Poetics, The Edinburgh International Book Festival, and Shakespeare & Co. in Paris. His first collection, Tomorrow, We Will Live Here, was published by Salt in 2010 and won the Crashaw Prize. 

Sarah Zakzouk on Reel Iraq poetry

http://www.reorientmag.com/2013/04/reel-iraq/ "Reel Words, an evening of poetry in translation, was but a small element of the Reel Festivals lineup. This year’s festival, Reel Iraq, was comprised of a series of cultural events marking the ten-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by US and UK forces. Dubbed ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, America and Britain’s stated mission was to liberate the Iraqi people from despotism, and disarm Saddam Hussein  of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’. Serving as a poignant reminder of the consequences of the invasion, Reel Iraq brought the nation’s cultural sphere to the forefront, exploring Iraqi contributions to art, culture, and creative expression in the UK, during a time of conflict and unrest. Featuring film, art exhibitions, poetry readings, and concerts, as well as panel discussions with audiences across the UK, the festival not only celebrated cultural diversity, but also provided a forum for people to reflect on the suffering and hardship endured by the people of Iraq during the past decade.

Hosted by Ryan Van Winkle, Reel Festival’s’ Literary Coordinator, in collaboration with Maintenant and 3AM Magazine, the Reel Words event was an evening of poise, impact, and eloquence. Introducing the readers of the evening, 3AM’s Poetry Editor, Steven Fowler, emphasised the theme of the evening as a reminder to people of the ongoing events in Iraq, and spoke about the cyclical nature of news stories presented via Western media. ‘It might have been our country, our culture that was invaded … this [event] is about peoples’ lives’, he remarked, as he asked the audience to compare the situation in Iraq with that of the UK.
The first half of the night played host to a variety of poets. Particularly outstanding was Patrick Coyle, who read a poem entitled Kirsty Wark’s Questions to Tony Blair, Reversed. Dictating a series of events backwards, Coyle counted down as the narrative progressed in Kirsty’s dialogue with Blair. Images were confused, and the narration distorted, as he disoriented minds with his verse in reverse. Highly engaging, his careful intonation lending itself to the backwardness of the text, the audience was still able to make sense of his words in their chaotic format....."