Rich Mix: Associate Artist

I'm very proud to be an Associate Artist with Rich Mix, a remarkable independent arts venue, institution and charity, based just off Brick Lane in East London, known for its mission to be the place where all of the communities of the world, living in London, come together to make and experience art. Rich Mix has generously supported my poetry, theatre, performance art, exhibitions and curatorial practises since 2010, hosting dozens of events. 

at Rich Mix in 2017...

The most remarkable year of collaboration between myself and the Rich Mix lies ahead, with nearly a dozen events, including Swedish Enemies on January 28th, the second English PEN Modern Literature Festival, the second University Camarade and special commission for the Rich Mix's season to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution which includes a new play entitled Mayakovsky.


The Nighttime Economy: an exhibition in Rich Mix Cafe Gallery July 17th to 30th 2016

A new exhibition in collaboration with photographer Kate Mercer exploring the often fractious energy and environment of Newport, Wales' nightclubs and pubs.

"Conceived and created in close collaboration between photographer Kate Mercer and poet & artist SJ Fowler, this exhibition will play off the complimentary possibilities for expressive abstraction in both visual and linguistic mediums, all centred around the complexity, energy and intensity of Newport on Friday and Saturday nights."

Great readings from visiting poets including Nia Davies, Marcus Slease and Ghazal Mosadeq, and more information on the exhibition in general, in both its London and Newport guises, can be found here http://www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy


The Poetry School Camarade - July 17th

Some of London's most interesting literary & avant-garde poets, all associated with the Poetry School, presented brand new collaborative works in pairs, premiered for the night. www.poetryschool.com

Grand to collaborate again with Prudence Chamberlain and launch our new collaborative poetry collection The House of Mouse. Visit http://www.theenemiesproject.com/poetryschoolcamarade for all the videos.


 The first ever European Poetry Night - May 14th 2016

The first ever European Poetry Night as part of European Literature Festival in 2016.

An amazing evening with some of the most exciting contemporary poets from all over Europe, as over 20 poets travelled to London to share brand new collaborative poems, premiered on the night and written for the occasion, in pairs, across languages, styles & nations. These are the best and brightest, from Iceland to Turkey, from Ireland to Russia, from France to Slovakia – a unique evening of modern literature which will show the power of 21st century poetry in the literary and avant-garde traditions, and the possibilities of collaboration, to bring out that power. It was a unique live experience to well over a 100 in attendance. Curated by SJ Fowler. Visit http://www.theenemiesproject.com/epn for all the videos and more information


Rich Mix 10 Year Anniversary Camarade - May 2nd 2016

Lovely to be invited to present a Camarade event, where poets write new collaborations in pairs, to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Rich Mix as part of the festival of events and general festivities put on for the occasion. I owe Rich Mix so much, and without it, there'd be no Camarade and Enemies project I think. The event was wonderful, with 10 new works, all of which complimented in their difference and compelled in different ways. Great to get such a nice audience too, on a rainy bank holiday Monday at 6pm. A grand birthday for us all. All the videos www.theenemiesproject.com/richmixcamarade


The University Camarade - April 23rd 2016

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 againwww.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade


The English PEN Modern Literature Festival - April 2nd 2016

An amazing one day festival, where nearly 30 English writers celebrated 30 writers at risk currently supported by English PEN with brand new poetry and performance artworks. Videos of every performance along with articles about the festival's aftermath and organisation are available here www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen


January Saturday 30th 2016 - Ovinir: an Icelandic Enemies project

A hugely successful event, with over 120 in attendance for a standing room only evening, featuring four visiting Icelandic poets and a host of locals collaborating too. www.stevenjfowler.com/iceland

I had the pleasure of collaborating with Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir. A work full of raw energy, a desire to confront, to amuse, to inculcate awkwardness alongside humour. A product too, as often the best collaborations are, of a growing friendship, and an immediate kinship between Asta and I, one felt from the first moment we met, owed to the project. We created a kind of performance triptych, from the invasive performance, to the poem and song, to the metadialogue and humour valve. I've rarely been so satisfied with a live work, all owed to Asta's brilliance.


November Saturday 7th 2015 - Nemici: an Italian project

Featuring multiple newly commissioned collaborations, premiered on the night, with both visiting poets and those local to London.

I collaborated with Alessandro Burbank for the event, performing a new work that explored inter-language mishearing, Italian enthusiasm and the camera as a fourth wall.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://theenemiesproject.com/nemici


Dagestan - a play: October 16th & 17th 2015

A scratch performance of my debut play, Dagestan, produced by Penned in the Margins, directed by Russell Bender and starring Robin Berry, Maya Wasowicz, Steve North and Gareth Tempest. 

An article I wrote for the Rich Mix blog on the play and it's purpose http://richmixlondon.tumblr.com/post/131017660468

More information here http://www.stevenjfowler.com/dagestan


July Friday 31st 2015 - Croatian Enemies project 

Featuring multiple newly commissioned collaborations, premiered on the night, with both visiting poets and those local to London.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/croatia


June Friday 5th 2015 - Gelynion: a Welsh Enemies project

Closing out the Gelynion tour of Wales, an event in London.

I collaborated with Nia Davies, Zoe Skoulding, Eurig Salisbury, Joe Dunthorne and Rhys Trimble for the event, reading excerpts from our various on tour collaborations.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/gelynion

Supported by Arts Council Wales.


May Friday 8th 2015 - Fiende: an Austrian Enemies project

Featuring multiple newly commissioned collaborations, premiered on the night, with both visiting poets and those local to London.

I collaborated with Jorg Piringer for the event, performing a new work mourning the 2015 election results via Shakespeare and newspaper destruction.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/feinde

Supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum.


April Tuesday 14th 2015 - Enemigos: a Mexican Enemies project

Featuring multiple newly commissioned collaborations, premiered on the night, with both visiting poets and those local to London.

I collaborated with Amanda de la Garza for the event, performing a new work via video and book eating.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/enemigos

Supported by British Council, Conaculta and the London Bookfair


March Saturday 28th - Wrogowie: a Polish Enemies project

Wrogowie: Celebrating the modern tradition of Polish & British experimental poetry, an exchange between the increasingly familial nations of Poland and England. I collaborated with Milosz Biedrzycki for the event, performing a new work that celebrated our shared friend Tomaz Salamun with a choral reading involving the audience.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/wrogowie

Supported by the Polish Cultural Institute, London.


November 25th 2014 : Kakania

Kakania, in it's first year, saw 5 events, over forty new commissions, two original publications and an array of contemporary artists. It aimed to not just to evoke the Habsburg era, but to envelope it, to transpose it. To relive it in new colours. Kakania in it's first incarnation began in November 2014 at the Rich Mix. It was new artists making new work, paying their debt to that remarkable period of Austrian history in the writing, performance and artworks they were, and are, making.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/kakania-events


October 31st 2014 : Day of the Deaded

This event celebrated Día de Muertos in London; and featured a series of original commissions intended to gather friends to remember the dead in an evening of colour, sound, performance and poetry where our squeamish fear of endless nothing was inverted, and the celebrations of doom provoked, excited and enticed. 

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/enemigos


October 25th 2014 : Camaradefest II

Camaradefest presents 50 brand new collaborative works involving 100 poets working in pairs over one day. A unique festival of collaborative poetry, Camaradefest is a showcase of the breadth and depth of 21st century literary and avant garde poetry and the potential of collaboration in the poetic arts. Camaradefest began at 12 noon and finished late into the night at the Rich Mix Arts Centre in Brick Lane, London, and brought together poets from around the world. Free to attend, it brought over 500 people in attendance.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/camaradefest


September 28th 2014 : MOPHA: a collective

How would you describe the space around a horse? Or lift a watermelon with your voice? This experimental variety show is the result of 5 artists and poets approaching the edges of language through miniature plays, live sound effects, language games and improvisation. Expect bad jokes, fractured speech, aberrant theatre and words under pressure.

Mopha is an art-performance-poetry collective formed by Patrick Coyle, Emma Bennett, SJ Fowler, James Wilkes and Tamarin Norwood. Mopha pools and mutates the live practices of six adept performers with backgrounds in poetry, sound art, live art and sculpture to create collaborative, site-responsive performances. http://mopha.weebly.com/


September 27th 2014 : Yes But Are We Enemies?: an Irish Enemies project 

Closing out the Yes but are we Enemies? tour of Ireland.

I collaborated with Christodoulos Makris for the event, performing a new work that explored found text and the fourth wall.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/ybawe

Supported by Arts Council Ireland and Arts Council Northern Ireland.


July 26th 2014 : Auld Enemies: a Scottish Enemies project

Closing out the Auld Enemies tour of Scotland.

I collaborated with Ryan Van Winkle, Colin Herd, Ross Sutherland and nick-e melville for the event, reading a selection from our various on tour collaborations.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/auldenemies

Supported by Creative Scotland.

 


June 28th 2014 : Illuminations #2: Tim Atkins 

Bringing to light the work of poets and artists from generations present or past that seem to be fundamentally overlooked, out of sync with their talent or influence, or in order to reinvent their legacy in the present moment, the Illuminations series brings together contemporaries to celebrate the work of single individuals or movements.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/illuminations


May 10th 2014 : Kiddy Kamarade: a children's Enemies project 

Kiddy Kamarade saw a child friendly collaborative poetry event, where our carousel of poets, provided ideas and inspiration for making word-art between parents and children, as well as children and children. It was a chance for kids and familities to try out our imaginative techniques -- and have a chance to show off what they created! Activities included arts and crafts, performance/story-telling/charades, music and movement, and the afternoon concluded with some collaborative performances by adults and children.

More information available here - http://www.theenemiesproject.com/kiddykamarade


March 15th 2014 : Fjender: a Danish Enemies Project 

Featuring multiple newly commissioned collaborations, premiered on the night, with both visiting poets and those local to London.

I collaborated with Morten Sondergaard for the event, reading a brand new work exploring pharmaceuticals and altered states.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: www.theenemiesproject.com/fjender

Supported by the Danish Embassy in London and the Danish Literature Agency.


February 8th 2014 : Wrogowie: a Polish Enemies project

Wrogowie: Celebrating the modern tradition of Polish & British experimental poetry, an exchange between the increasingly familial nations of Poland and England. I collaborated with Piotr Gwiazda for the event, reading an original work made of found quotes, on death and moths.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/wrogowie 

Supported by the Polish Cultural Institute, London.


November 16th 2013 : Enemies: Slovakia

Featuring multiple newly commissioned collaborations, premiered on the night, with both visiting poets and those local to London.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/slovakia

Supported by The Centre for Information on Literature (www.litcentrum.sk) 


October 26th 2013 : Camaradefest

Camaradefest presents 50 brand new collaborative works involving 100 poets working in pairs over one day. A unique festival of collaborative poetry, Camaradefest is a showcase of the breadth and depth of 21st century literary and avant garde poetry and the potential of collaboration in the poetic arts. Camaradefest began at 12 noon and finished late into the night at the Rich Mix Arts Centre in Brick Lane, London, and brought together poets from around the world. Free to attend, it brought over 500 people in attendance.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/camaradefest


October 21st 2013 : Exhibition - Gilles de Rais & the Estates of Westeros

"Modernist art meets avant-garde poetry. SJ Fowler, Ben Morris and David Kelly invert the myth of Gilles de Rais through Jimmy Saville, and turn the fantasy of Westeros into a housing estate, in an exhibition which explores the groundbreaking possibilities of collaboration, when allied to experimental publishing practises. Released in 2013 as books-in-boxes by Like This press, the visually stunning illustrations and line drawings are exceptional examples of successful aesthetic fusion through concept, even in fundamentally different mediums."


May 30th 2013 : Enemigos: London to Mexico city

Featuring multiple collaborations, all drawn from the Enemigos anthology, new works by poets from Mexico City and London.

I collaborated with Noelia Diaz for the event, who helped me read my work with Amanda de la Garza, from the Enemigos anthology.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/enemigos


May 18th 2013 : Electronic Voice Phenomena

EVP is a commission from Mercy and Penned in the Margins for a unique touring show of avant garde performance, music and poetry that was followed up with individual performance commissions, spanning May 2013 to November 2015. http://www.electronicvoicephenomena.net/

There was a tour of the UK in May 2013, nine dates in all, finishing at the Rich Mix, which was memorable www.stevenjfowler.com/evp


March 22nd 2013 : Reel Iraq poetry

An event I curated in support of Highlights Arts. 

"Marking a decade since the invasion, Reel Iraq will celebrate the resilience and diversity of the arts of the country with film, music and poetry from Iraq. Join us for a rare opportunity to hear Iraqi poets presenting new translations of their works, alongside a host of UK poets reading specially commissioned new works hand-picked by Maintenant. Supported by the British Council, Cultures of Resistance, the International Arab Charity and others.


February 9th 2013 : Camarade IV

A huge Camarade with a few hundred people in attendance and inspiring performances all round. A very happy way to begin the Enemies Project relationship with the Jerwood Charitable Foundation., with an atmosphere of pluralism and ingenuity, a program that everyone was so enthusiastic about.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: www.theenemiesproject.com/camarade


August 29th 2012 : Poets for Pussy Riot

An event protest the imprisonment of Pussy Riot in Russia. An event that featured an extraordinary amount of poets, all of whom presented new works in response to the call and hundreds of people in attendance, showing the depth of feeling on this issue for the London poetry and art community surrounding the Enemies project and the other partners in this venture.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: http://www.theenemiesproject.com/pussyriot


July 7th 2012 : Camarade III

The third instalment of the Camarade series featured original poetry read by collaborating pairs of European poets.  

It featured Iain Sinclair & Tom Chivers / Allen Fisher & Philip Terry / Jeff Hilson & Robert Shepherd / Chris McCabe & Tom Jenks / Tim Atkins & Harry Gilonis / Simon Barraclough & Isobel Dixon / Emma Bennett & Holly Pester

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: www.theenemiesproject.com/camarade


March 31st 2012 : Enemies - a celebration of contemporary avant-garde poetry

A unique celebration of European avant-garde poetry, bringing Sound & Visual poets together from all over the continent in collaborative performances and an ambitious free artfair for a wholly original night of cutting edge contemporary poetry. Free facsimiles of concrete and visual poetry were available from stalls manned by the poets and artists, available for exchanging and collecting completely free, while performances from the world of both poetry and music interspersed the evening.

Performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: www.theenemiesproject.com/camarade


February 11th 2012 : Camarade II

For the first Enemies project event of 2012, 11 pairs of Britain’s most vital poets read original collaborations written specifically, in partnership, for this evening. Featuring Sean Bonney & Keston Sutherland / Chris McCabe & Tom Jenks / Sophie Collins & Sam Riviere / Colin Herd & Patrick Coyle / Maria Fusco & Andrea Brady / Richard Barrett & Nathan Jones / James Davies & Stephen Emmerson / Philip Terry & Jeff Hilson / Tim Atkins & Carrie Etter / Katerina Kashchavtseva & Lucy Harvest Clarke / Peter Jaeger & Marcus Slease

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: www.theenemiesproject.com/camarade


October 13th 2011 : Camarade

The very first ever Camarade event. The 61st took place in January 2016. The Camarade series explores collaboration exclusively between poets, taking the form of events which pair writers to produce and premiere new collaborative poems or artworks, to be performed live. It has been the flagship Enemies project event, with multiple pairs at each reading, sharing their work in short bursts, drawing in large audiences, inculcating an open, communal and engaging aesthetic.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: www.theenemiesproject.com/camarade


June 18th 2011 : Enemies: Slovakia

New commissions and new collaborations from visiting and local poets and artists. Featuring Michael Zand, Ivan Strpka, Marcus Slease, Mila Haugova, Colin Herd, Tamarin Norwood & more.

All the performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: www.theenemiesproject.com/slovakia

Supported by The Centre for Information on Literature (www.litcentrum.sk) 


April 9th 2011 : Enemies: Lithuania

"A poetry event featuring some of the most exciting writers emerging in Europe, challenging the linear notions of poetry as a closed medium, Donatas Petrošius, Gabriele Labanauskaite and Tomas S. Butkus from Lithuania, read in tandem with three of the UK’s most vibrant poets, Chris McCabe, Tim Atkins and Holly Pester."

 


November 27th 2010 : Enemies: Iceland - nýr skáldskapur

Four Icelandic poets collaborated with four British counterparts for another free events in London in November 2011. The events were vastly important for the development of the collaborative nature of the Enemies project, no doubt helped by the brilliance of a new generation of Icelandic poets - Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir and Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl amongst them.

Performances from the event are available, along with further information, here: www.theenemiesproject.com/iceland


September 25th 2010 : Enemies: Norway

The second international Enemies event, it featured new collaborations from Paal Bjelke Andersen & Sean Bonney, Endre Ruset and Sam Riviere, Audun Mortensen & Jeff Hilson, Agnes Lehoczky & Jenny Hval. 

“It is not as though reading or poetry from nations outside of England have great currency or proliferation, but with these readings we aim to introduce the most interesting, vital and incisive poetry being written by a new generation of poets,”


May 29th 2010 : Enemies: Romania

The first ever international Enemies project, featuring contemporary Romanian poetry - Elena Vladareanu, Ruxandra Novac and Adrian Urmanov.

"Challenging, caustic and resolute, their poetry retains the dark humour so prevalent under dictatorship with the utterly modern vernacular of a generation that has come to fruition post-1989. Attacks on misogyny, sexual repression, political idealism and linguistic correctness are interspersed with exactingly crafted free poetry, literary and resounding, distinct for it’s energy and image, and despite a textual tendency to the climactic, this reading will remain very much literary in style. Performing as part of a national tour, this is a chance to see the brightest young talent from a distinct and vivid European poetical tradition."