Simon Taylor – Prospectus

if p then q is very pleased to announce the publication of Prospectus by Simon Taylor.

prospectus sample

Part Cindy Sherman part HR, Prospectus is a beautiful square format book which consists of a selection of colour photographs and descriptive texts for that all important ‘about me’ page.

Prospectus front cover flattened

Simon Taylor is one half of Joy as Tiresome Vandalism whose works are the books aRb and Absolute Elsewhere and the card game What’s the Best? He has also designed book covers for if p then q and posters for The Other Room poetry series. A sketchbook of his work and images from Prospectus can be found at Instagram –

You can buy at the if p then q website – LINK

Sad Press Summer Bundle


1. Karl M.V. Waugh, Obsessed by Proportions
2. Tom Jenks, An Anatomy of Melancholy
3. Anne-Laure Coxam, Toolbox Therapy
4. R.K., Killing the Cop in Your Head
5. Sally-Shakti Willow & Joe Evans, The Unfinished Dream
6. Eley Williams, Frit

Your friends are all telling you this is normal and fine and even a gesture of friendship but you’re not so sure. Anyway you may have them ALL for £30 (c.$1.07) including P&P at, & they will be posted to you as they’re published between now and December.

PS: Review copies of individual titles available on request. Or we’ll do you the bundle for 0.07 BTC or 3 Echos ( get in touch & we’ll figure that out. We do also still have copies available of Jennifer Cooke’s Apocalypse Dreams (£5 incl. P&P,, & back catalogue PDFs are available by donation (scroll down).

The Start of Sentences

James Davies’ experiences of reading Robert Grenier’s Sentences in Bury’s Text Art Archive:

I don’t want to go into individual poems so much here as to explain the joy of reading Sentences as archived material, in the archive, and the processes of reading the poems in accordance with the way Sentences is catalogued. The copy of Sentences at Bury, “The Bury Sentences” as I now call it, is a like a “bootleg” record — just as cool as the original but with minor differences to interest the aficionado. I’ll explain why.

LINK for more.

The Other Room website rebooted!

The Other Room website has been running the whole duration we’ve been running our nights and has started to bulge and bulge. So we decided to do a bit of a spring clean in order to make it easier to navigate. We’ve also tidied up all those inevitable missed links which Mick Weller celebrates HERE.

If you’re old or new to the site have a look around our massive archive of blog/news posts, video archive from most of our readings, video and print interviews, book reviews, reviews of our events, poster archive and photos. Don’t forget of course to check out our upcoming events and annual anthology.

James, Scott & Tom



The Other Room: a review

“Our eighth birthday event was initially billed as a sound art night, but as it turned out, two of our performers decided to deliver their poetry, setting up some delicious counterpoints for the evening. In time-honoured fashion we had to have a gimmick – on this occasion it was a complete copy of the annual anthology turned page by page into paper aeroplanes which got fired at various points during the evening at an increasingly wary audience.”

Scott Thurston’s thoughts on our eighth birthday event. Read them in full here.

derek beaulieu: The Unbearable Contact with Poets


if p then q is very pleased to announce a new publication of reviews, essays and interviews by poet derek beaulieu. The edition is available at a snip of £5 or as a free pdf edition.

The Unbearable Contact with Poets, derek beaulieu’s second selection of essays and reviews, is essential reading. A keen and shrewd essayist, he marks himself out as one of the key commentators on contemporary concrete and conceptual poetry. The selection includes a substantial review of concrete poetry by women, an exploration into concrete and conceptual poetic representations of the holocaust, alongside interviews with Tony Trehy, Natalie Simpson and Gregory Betts, as well as lots more. The edition is available as a free pdf and as a perfect bound copy.

derek beaulieu is author of eight books of poetry (including a volume of his selected poetry entitled Please, No More Poetry), four volumes of conceptual fiction (most recently the short fiction collection Local Colour: ghosts, variations), 2 collections of critical writing and over 175 chapbooks, derek beaulieu’s work is consistently praised as some of the most radical and challenging in contemporary Canadian writing.

LINK to book’s page

The Other Room reviewed

Thanks to all who came to our seventh birthday event on 30th April, which was, in the words, of Judy Gordon, a night of “meltdowns, anthropomorphic puzzles, and other surprises”. Thanks to Judy and Write Out Loud for this review, which you can read in full here.

The Other Room reviewed in Corridor 8

“When a poetry evening attracts as varied an audience as this, aged from twenty-odd to fifty-something, and with latecomers crowding in at the back, you know something interesting is going on. The Other Room is free, and held in the marvellous wood-panelled, high-ceilinged performance space at the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street, Manchester, so its location is ideal. But the surprise lies in the number of poets who have so far taken part, and the health of the stylistic field it specialises in, which is defined as “experimental”.”

Read more of this review by Bob Dickinson of our November event featuring Karen Mac Cormack, Steve McCaffery and Claire Potter at the Corridor 8 site.


Collage has a long history in avant garde practice, from Picasso, Braque and Schwitters in the visual arts to Cage, Mac Low and Pound in literature. Marjorie Perloff, whilst noting its experimental origins, is dismissive of its current value: “What was once a revolutionary technique is now the staple of advertising and greeting cards.” Part of the reason for this it is now, in the digital age, so much easier to do. Cut and paste has replaced scissors and glue and the internet gives us all the library of Babel in our pocket. It is true, as Perloff notes, that some examples of collage are unambitious and uninteresting. It is also, true, however, that a lot depends on who is doing the collaging. nick-e melville’s work is very far from being a Hallmark message or a commercial break. Rather it is a sustained detournement of the tricks and tropes of advanced capitalism. It is a work of deconstruction in that it picks apart the smoothed texts of reification and commerce that are forever around us, but it is also a work of construction, taking these threads and fragments and weaving them together into a giant magpie’s nest. ALERT STATE IS HEIGHTENED is as dense as a cubed car in a scrapyard and as heavy as the Death Star. This is a text made of texts, artificial in its conception and execution, yet as authentic an expression of individuality as you are likely to find.

Read more.

BABA, Lucy Harvest Clarke

“There is much else to admire in this work which is deeply engaged in poetic tradition at the same time as it radically reinvents it; offering a precise, completely integrated diction that is expressive without becoming sentimental or egotistical, and intelligently discriminating without becoming abstract. Harvest Clarke’s achievement here certainly puts her in the top flight of lyric poets working in the UK today, and her work deserves the widest possible audience.”

Scott Thurston reviews BABA by Lucy Harvest Clarke at Stride.

Holly Pester – Bark Leather book review

Holly Pester, Bark Leather, Veer, £5

Holly Pester’s poetry is somewhere in the tradition of Edward Lear, Gertrude Stein, Harold Pinter, Monty Pynthon and Holly Pester.  If you’ve seen Holly Pester leather her poems you can hear her bark in lots of Holly Pester.

This book, from Veer, by Holly Pester, Bark Leather, has a cover image of, what else, but a leather-tree, barking out the word, or sound, ‘leather’ with an all scrunched up face. Bark and leather are of course almost the same things. Read any online dictionary and you will see that both come from the trees since you can peel them both off. And of course cow is as dog is: three letters long, ‘o’ in position 2 and ‘c’ comes before ‘d’. Keep thinking.

The opening poem, Digg Beff, is enough for the purposes of this review to demonstrate how good this collection had on me. If you are ready to join in then bark out loudly and quickly ‘Dig Beff, Dug Bet, Duck Break, dark bed, dit belly, drag bull. Point and flak.’


until they sort of deteriorate and sort of come back up into sight again.

If you look up these string of words quoted from Digg Beff on Wikipedia or even Yahoo Answers you will find that they form an etymological chain spanning the Vikings (Dig Beff) to The Superbowl (drag bull). If you enter them into search engines such as Youtube, where glitching is strictly forbidden, it berates you when it says: ‘An error has occurred, please try again later.’ This makes you feel some bit good ‘cause the world again has fissures.

Bark Leather contains super 8 poems which will made you laugh and will made you cry. The poems are perfect for writing aloud with your friend and include tongue twisters, homophonic plumbing and oven seal shanties.

Talk proper Holly. Twice nightly. Barking.

Jade Massive

if p then q reviews round up

if p then q books operate in an interesting corner of the poetry publishing spectrum, embracing a range of experimental and ‘sound-based’ writers of differing persuasions and distinctions.

Steve Spence reviews books by David Berridge, Geof Huth, Derek Henderson, Tim Atkins, Holly Pester and P. Inman

Read more HERE

Book review: averbaldraftsone&otherstories by Bruno Neiva


Bruno Neiva

The Knives Forks and Spoons Press (2013)

This sumptuous, sensuous, colour drenched book is, before content is addressed or even thought of, a delight to look at: rich red, mustard yellow and scorched orange abound, like looking at the world through technicolour goggles. As always with Knives Forks and Spoons, the production values are high. Neiva describes the work as illustrating his shift away from asemic practice, which can be described, albeit somewhat imperfectly, as writing without semantic content, and towards averbal practice, which we can assume means writing without words. This is not strictly true, as words do appear in averbaldraftsone&otherstrories, but they do not function as signs or signifiers. Rather they are simply part of the palate. This is language as material, forcing us to abandon our habitual linguistic norms and approach language as we would an image. Each page is as vibrant and vivid as the panel of a fresco.

The book raises interesting questions of context and the effect of context upon perception. At the end of the book is a list of where many of these pieces were exhibited in galleries. What difference would it make to see them hung on a wall, rather than presented on a page, to encounter them as visual art rather than poetry? The experience cannot but be different, for here we are studying the representation of the thing rather than the thing itself. We could think of this book as simply a catalogue, like a series of photographs of oil paintings or marble sculptures that might be sold as a memento of an exhibition, but this would be to miss the point. By presenting the work on a poetry imprint without any of the conventional surrounding text commonly found in an exhibition catalogue, this is a book that demands to be experienced as a book, a demand furthered by the presence of the word stories in the title.  When we pick up a book we are primed to expect text, but here there is, for the most part, no text. The reader is straight away thrown off centre by the realisation that they are not really a reader at all. To engage with this book, the reader cannot simply passively receive, but must instead actively engage. These pieces do not offer obvious meaning and so the reader must make their own meaning, if indeed it is meaning that they want. To read the work, we must also read the frame around the work.

Although the pieces presented here could be described as visual poetry, they cannot be located in the canonical lineage of the form – Gombringer, the de Campos brothers, Noigandres etc. – all of whom were largely typographical and worked, in the main, directly on paper. Neiva’s work, although no less visually striking, does not have the same basis. Many of the pieces here are constructed using found material, particularly the sequence &otherstories that comprises the second part of the book and was made using materials found in the vicinity of a packaging warehouse. The most obvious reference point is Kurt Schwitters, particularly the smaller collages he made shortly after coming to Britain in the 1940s, constructed from bus tickets, scraps of newspaper and other ephemera. As with Schwitters, the apparent disorder and randomness is deceptive. This is no magpie’s nest. The material here is crisp and cleanly presented on the page according to its own internal geometry. Neiva speaks elsewhere of working according to constraints, and in averbaldraftsone&otherstrories we can see that in action in two ways. Firstly, there is no clutter. Neiva has used his materials economically and with precision. Each image is sparely arranged, like an abstract painting. Secondly, each piece seems to have built according to the limits of what was to hand, Neiva restricting himself to assembly and arrangement. Here, the environment itself has become a constraint. Like a woodsman taking only the timber he can find on the forest floor to build with, so Neiva constructs the poems in the &otherstories sequence from what the world presents him with. His is a heuristic poetics. In a time of superabundance of content and previously undreamt of freedom in the manipulation of material, Neiva’s disciplined, almost ascetic approach is an interesting counterpoint, a subtle refusal of capitalism and consumerism.

The pieces in the first part of the book, whilst consistent with Neiva’s rigorous methodology, are slightly different in character. Here, we see more authorial intervention. Text is more prevalent. Materials are marked and indented and carry the trace of human activity. Still, however, we see the same attention to the character of materials, the same radical sensitivity. Constraint based work often contains one non-constrained element, what Magne and others associated with Oulipo called the clinamen. Here, Neiva breaks the spell of averbaldraftsone&otherstrories only once by placing an uncaptioned monochrome photograph of a group of men in suits, some carrying straw boater hats, in the middle of the first section of the book. The image is annotated with gnomic glyphs that may have been added by Neiva, or may have already been on the image. The presence of this spectral image has the effect of bringing the reader up short: a break in transmission, a subliminal frame. Neiva does not explain it, as he does not explain anything. No authorial guidance is offered by him throughout the book. Each of these images stands alone, allowing us to make of them what we will and to make our own connections.

averbaldraftsone&otherstrories is an example, if examples are needed, of the importance of publishers such as Knives Forks and Spoons who make it their business to get behind experimental work and give it the attention it deserves. A mainstream publisher would simply not touch a book as cryptic and tangential as this. This enigmatic, angular, elegant, paradoxical work, so Spartan in its aesthetic, yet so luxuriant in its realisation refines our ideas of what visual poetry can be.

Sarah Crewe’s flick invicta reviewed by Tom Jenks

“This short book by Sarah Crewe, published by Peter Hughes’ always interesting Oystercatcher Press, poses many questions. The first is: what exactly is it? Is it a long poem, a sequence of poems or a collection of discrete pieces? Reading flick invicta, the reader is repeatedly presented with these questions and is always looking for connections, for a way of navigating the text and understanding its internal wiring. Content is constantly framed and reframed. Perhaps the most pertinent analogy is that of a Venn diagram with many circles of context, voice, syntax and style. Where these circles intersect is where the poetry happens.”

Read more. Buy a copy at the Oystercatcher site.