Experimental poetry in Manchester

Archive for Craig Dworkin

Craig Dworkin back in the archive

This went offline for a while, but is now playable again: Craig Dworkin’s remote reading in December 2009.

No Medium – Craig Dworkin

In No Medium, Craig Dworkin looks at works that are blank, erased, clear, or silent, writing critically and substantively about works for which there would seem to be not only nothing to see but nothing to say. Examined closely, these ostensibly contentless works of art, literature, and music point to a new understanding of media and the limits of the artistic object.

Dworkin considers works predicated on blank sheets of paper, from a fictional collection of poems in Jean Cocteau’s Orphée to the actual publication of a ream of typing paper as a book of poetry; he compares Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased De Kooning Drawing to the artist Nick Thurston’s erased copy of Maurice Blanchot’s The Space of Literature (in which only Thurston’s marginalia were visible); and he scrutinizes the sexual politics of photographic representation and the implications of obscured or obliterated subjects of photographs. Reexamining the famous case of John Cage’s 4’33”, Dworkin links Cage’s composition to Rauschenberg’s White Paintings, Ken Friedman’s Zen for Record (and Nam June Paik’s Zen for Film), and other works, offering also a “guide to further listening” that surveys more than 100 scores and recordings of “silent” music.

Dworkin argues that we should understand media not as blank, base things but as social events, and that there is no medium, understood in isolation, but only and always a plurality of media: interpretive activities taking place in socially inscribed space.

More here.

Craig Dworkin’s Motes reviewed by Vanessa Place at The Constant Critic

Motes is a perfect little book of poetry. “Little” book, not by way of diminution, but as large praise, for Dworkin’s work here is of a piece, and each small piece is prism-pure in its exactitude. ‘


Motes by Craig Dworkin

Other Room reader Craig Dworkin’s new book is out now from Roof books and is a continuation of his COPYS project which featured in Matchbox and The Other Room Anthology 2.

LINK to Roof

An interview with Craig Dworkin

Even when those texts look indistinguishable from the work that is included

Craig Dworkin talks about Against Expression, an anthology of conceptual writing in Jacket magazine.

Craig Dworkin at Birkbeck

A talk by Craig Dworkin, ‘The Logic of Format: Prose into Poetry’
Introduced by Peter Jaeger

Thursday 22 September, 7pm
Keynes Library, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1


The London Art Book Fair

The London Art Book Fair takes place 23rd-25th September at The Whitechapel Art Gallery.

Events include a discussion by Kenneth Goldsmith & Craig Dworkin alongside a performance by Vanessa Place.

A full programme can be found at

COPYS By Craig Dworkin

‘My idea for these poems is that they be like cigarettes. On the one hand, briefly intense and repaying as much focused contemplation as you want to give them — each is in fact composed according to a rigorous and elided formal logic — but then also, at the very same time, merely discardable amusements: quickly read and easily forgotten, thrown away without a second thought as soon as they are finished.’ — Craig Dworkin

Originally published in the UK by Matchbox in May 2007, No press is proud to return this rarely-seen edition to print.

Published in a limited edition of 50 copies (25 of which are for sale) each copy consists of 34 loose cards in a hand-typed envelope.

Copies are available for $8.00 each (including postage).

To order, please contact derek beaulieu.

Review: A Perverse Library

“Conceptual writing is not easy to grasp, or to read. It is not about pleasure, or narrative. It brings together conceptual art and language. The excitement is intellectual rather than aesthetic, and it can be witty. It might be a transcription of a year of weather reports by Kenneth Goldsmith, or John Baldessari’s repetition of the sentence: “I will not make anymore boring art”.

Read more at The Independent

The Other Room Anthology 2009/10

A wonderful thing which is now going to press after finding the bugs in the proof.

Keep your eyes peeled.

Features readers from April 2009-Feb 2010: Tim Atktins, Phil Davenport, Lisa Samuels, Allen Fisher, Alex Davies, Matt Dalby, P. Inman, Tina Darragh, Sean Bonney, Frances Kruk, Craig Dworkin, Michael Haslam, James Davies, Tony Trehy, Nick Thurston, Sophie Robinson, Steve Waling, Rob Holloway, Holly Pester.

More details soon when it’s printed.

Jaime Birch – review of The Other Room 11

Thanks are due to Jaime Birch for reviewing last weeks reading with Michael Haslam and Craig Dworkin:

The 11th reading in The Other Room series was just super – one of my favourites, I think. Craig Dworkin, the first reader, couldn’t be with us in the flesh, and so he’d had himself recorded, reading three pieces of his work. We were shown this film of his during the first part of the evening via a projector. It was great. The video is posted on the site’s home page and, enjoyable as it is to watch on the computer, it was better on the night, on the big screen. We felt like Craig was with us somehow. We gave him a round of applause when he’d finished. If you weren’t there, you should have been. It was very cool and jazzy. It was, for me, all about wry, funky translations of existing texts. Craig said it was ‘conceptual’. It was good fun.

Michael Haslam read next and he too was really good. His poetry seemed more warm and humane than some of the more fragmented, ‘experimental’ stuff that you often find at The Other Room. His poems seemed to have clearer narratives and characters. And he read with gusto; a real celebration of the spoken and written word.

Before he started to read, Michael talked a little bit about how he didn’t really feel like an experimental poet – ‘It may not be clear why I should be (if I am) linked with avantgardists and experimenters. The answer is, historical accident, or, like finding a place to live—having found a loose net of congenial spiritual company, I see no good reason to forgo it.’ (quoted from the internet, not the reading). On the actual night of the reading he said something about all poems being an experiment. I agree with him – the term ‘experimental’ is problematic for me too.
I liked his style. I would’ve bought one of his books had I not been broke as a joke.

So yes, the evening was brill. You, yes You, must come to the next one. Oh yeah, one more thing – poetry readings can sometimes be quite intimidating to walk into on you own can’t they? (yes) Well not at The Other Room! – I’m a girl, from Bolton, and I went there by myself. I was warmly welcomed, to be sure. There were quite a few young ladies there actually; more than usual. Anyway – Come to the next reading and join in the fun, I expect it will be bob on.

Craig Dworkin – The Other Room

The film of Craig Dworkin’s remote reading for The Other Room on 7th October 2009 is now online for your edification and delight.

Click here to open the film in a bigger screen.

The Other Room – tomorrow


Craig Dworkin and Michael Haslam at The Old Abbey Inn, 61 Pencroft Way, on Manchester Science Park, M15 6AY. 7 pm start, free entry.

Craig Dworkin resources

Some more resources from October video reader Craig Dworkin. Click on the links below.

Penn sound Page

Ubu Anthology of Conceptual Writing online

Reading at Arizona Conceptual Poetry conference

Craig Dworkin, Smokes


One of Craig Dworkin’s many excellent books, which is a free pdf on ubu (see link below). Some part of inspiration for the Matchbox project.


October and December Other Room readings

Readers announced for the final two 2009 readings:

October 7th: Michael Haslam / Craig Dworkin (video link)
December 2nd: Sophie Robinson / Nick Thurston

if p then q issue 3

if p then q
 issue three is a special poster set commissioned by The Text Festival
 It comprises five colour posters in a postal tube by:

Anne Charnock
raig Dworkin
Geof Huth
P. Inman
Tom Jenks

Anne Charnock’s Uncertainty Series No. 10 is pictured here.


Price is £5 + postage.


Available to buy HERE or at Bury Art Gallery.


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