Vlak and Richard Makin launches

DATE: Sunday, 24 May
TIME: 19:00–22:00
VENUE: Power Lunches
ADDRESS: 446 Kingsland Road, Hackney, London, E8 4AE

An evening of readings/performances hosted by VLAK magazine to mark the launch of VLAK 5, featuring Lou Rowan, Stewart Home, Jim Ruland, Ulli Freer, Becky Cremin, Sean Bonney, Will Rowe, Louis Armand, David Vichnar, Nat Raha, Tim Atkins, Jeff Hilson and more.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Launch of Richard Makin’s new novel, MOURNING (published by Equus Press, 2015).

The Notecards

seekers of lice writes and prints The Notecards.

Rebecca Cremin and Ryan Ormonde of press free press each receive a set of The Notecards from seekers of lice in the post.

Rebecca Cremin of press free press receives the metronome from seekers of lice in the post.

Ryan Ormonde of press free press receives the folding ruler from seekers of lice in the post.

Identical costumes are chosen.

The Notecards are performed in the Reading Room of Arnolfini in Bristol as part of ’4 Days’ and in association with VerySmallKitchen on 26/4/2013.

The Notecards wait to be performed again.

Two London events

Tuesday, 18 June: 7.00 at the Daniel Blau Gallery, Hoxton Square, London E:  Amid the Ruins. Kristen Kreider & James Leary, Allen Fisher, Becky Cremin and Stephen Willey. FREE

Wednesday, 19 June: 6.00 at the University of London Senate House: Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar. Richard Parker: ‘Ezra Pound: Belated Modernism and objectivist Verse’. All Welcome.

Poets for Pussy Riot – the videos

A week after the news that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich of the Russian punk collective, Pussy Riot, were sentenced to two years in prison, over 30 contemporary poets came together at the Rich mix arts centre in Brick Lane, London for a unique evening of readings intended as an act of solidarity through the medium of poetry, and a celebration of the courage and spirit of fellow writers of this generation.

Films of the event are now online, including this collaborative piece by recent Other Room readers Becky Cremin and Ryan Ormonde. The full list as follows:

Becky Cremin & Ryan Ormonde – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7cmQ0lnoa4

4somes: Veer Books Launch

Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 8:00pm.

Poetry Library, Level 5, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London SE1 8XX
Veer Books will launch a new series of variously named publications featuring work by younger innovative writers, four at a time, called ‘VierSomes’ (or ‘4somes’ or ‘Quartets’ …)

This event will launch the series with readings from some of the featured authors:

Becky Cremin, Amy Evans, Edward Hardy, Danny Hayward, Frances Kruk, slmendoza, Nat Raha

Admission free but space is limited – to book a place guests must email specialedition@poetrylibrary.org.uk

PolyPly 20: Re-Flux

POLYply > 20 RE-FLUX
Allen Fisher, Sarah Hughes & Kostis Kilymis ‘Her Regime’ group performance and film work conceived and directed by Becky Cremin, Nisha Ramayya and Prudence Chamberlain
Thursday 14 June, 7pm The Centre for Creative Collaboration 16 Acton Street, London WC1X 9NG
Free entry. All welcome. Last POLYply till September.

Becky Cremin: a preview

Becky Cremin will read at the next Other Room on Thursday 17th April. For a flavour of her work, see this film of her reading with Ryan Ormonde at Openned, her page at Veer, her blog, Perform-A-Text and her other blog  Revelation Nation. Check out also the press free press project.

The other readers will be Tony Lopez and Elena Rivera. You can find a preview of Tony’s work here, with a preview of Elena to follow next week. Please note the change of location for this event owing to the closure of our usual venue. The reading on 19th April will be in the Basement Bar of the Deaf Institute, just off Oxford Road, Manchester.

The Other Room 4th birthday – Lopez, Cremin, Claire, Rivera

Our 4th birthday takes place with one stonking event on Thursday 19th April, 2012, 7 pm. Aside from the 3 fabulous performances on the night, other highlights will include a video from sound poet Paula Claire, the launch of The Other Room anthology 2011-12 and jelly and ice cream (or something like that).

The event as ever is free entry and is at our temporary home, The Deaf Institute in the Basement bar (arrive early to get a seat). The Deaf Institute is located in central Manchester, just off Oxford Road.



Previews of all our performers will follow shortly. You can book a ticket via Eventbrite. This will let us know you are coming and put you on our mailing list. Eventbrite will also give you updates and reminders relating to this event.

We hope to see you there.

The Other Room – future events

For your diary our next scheduled events are as follows:

October 26th 2011, 7.00 @ Old Abbey Inn, Manchester, The Other Room with Jennifer Cooke, Colin Herd & Steven Fowler
February 29th 2012, 7.00 @ Old Abbey Inn, Manchester, The Other Room with Andrea Brady, nick-e melville & Tim Allen
April 19th 2012, 7.00 @ Old Abbey Inn, Manchester, The Other Room 4th birthday with Tony Lopez, Paula Claire, Becky Cremin & Elena Rivera

Counting Backwards reviewed

On my way to Fuel Cafe in Withington, the venue for this event, I discovered a man asleep in a standing position. I waited some time before stepping in, wondering if the event had already begun with a Fluxus style intervention. Eventually, I realised that this was not the case. This was just life in the malfunctioning space station that is Manchester with its crew of maddened droids plotting an inexorable course towards the heart of the sun.

This episode, however, proved to be a wholly appropriate entree. Just as I was pondering the question of where life ends and art begins, Counting Backwards reminded me that there is no distinction. The three performers were radically different from one another in aims and execution but shared the same aesthetic. Each occupied and interacted with the space so that audience members, ambient sound, shadows, angles, contingency, chance became part of the performance.

The evening began with Jennifer McDonald and Louise Woodcock. Aside from their performance, which I will talk about in a moment, they were visually brilliant, wearing identically cut dresses, Louise’s blue, Jennifer’s green. Side by side, they looked like panels from a Mondrian painting or a technicolour version of the twins from The Shining. Their performance was centred on two large, white semi-ovoid structures, one held by each woman. These were beautiful objects, like the hatched eggs of the roc, the giant bird from the tales of Marco Polo and Sinbad. These structures were brushed with fingers, scraped with what looked like a bone, drawn on with pencil in a way which suggested automatic or spirit writing and otherwise manipulated until, in a Gustav Metzger style peak of frenzy, they were shattered. The sounds were remarkable, suggesting themselves, shifting, mutating and layering and drifting away before they could be fully identified. I heard the creaking of haunted timbers, the wailing of a Poltergeist, primal simian howls. The fragments were then allowed to fall and this too was beautiful: the tinkle of glass, the slip of skree. The structures were then partially re-assembled with masking tape, held to microphones to create feedback and destroyed again. At the end of the performance, as the two women stood amongst the fragments, the loft-like upstairs space of Fuel became a Francesca Woodman photograph. Then they swept up.

Second to perform was Becky Cremin, a performance accompanied by a projection of stills showing her in a variety of London locations over a period of twelve hours with a red scarf or thick ribbon issuing from her mouth like a blood trail or inner daemon made manifest. The absence of a screen, Becky’s images projecting deliberately upon a corner space disrupted by pictures and posters hung or stuck to the walls, made them still more striking, focussing attention on what could not be seen as well as what could. This complemented Becky’s performance which was all about deliberate effacement, disjunction and the creation of lacunae as she moved around the room and out of the room, selecting seeming unsystematically from her own text which she had stuck onto the walls. Out in the passageway her voice echoed like that of Banquo’s ghost. In the room it had the beauty of a scrambled channel. Becky returned after the interval with a second piece where she read from her Knives, Forks and Spoons press collection Cutting Movement. Here, sound and image shadowed one another even more closely with a projection showing hands tearing, folding and crumpling the book while Becky did the same, cramming the pieces into her mouth, spitting them out, reading all the while, allowing her voice to be broken down, muffled, reduced to non-verbal gutturals and plosives. Her performance inspired an outbreak of origami in the room. I bought the last copy of her book from the stall. Tempted sorely otherwise as I was, I read it rather that ate it.

Last to perform was Karen Constance and Dylan Nyoukis, collectively Blood Stereo. They sat behind a table strewn with all manner of equipment, objects and artefacts, like the workbench of a mad scientist, the instrument panel of Tarkovsky’s Solaris or the contents of a Joseph Cornell box. I make no claim to know how any of it worked, which object made which sound, whether all objects were used or how they were sequenced. I can only report from a purely aural perspective and say that they made simply extraordinary sounds and, as with Jennifer MacDonald and Louise Woodcock, too numerous and molten to fully categorise. The whole performance resembled nothing so much as an exorcism in reverse, with spirits building to a cacophony rather than being banished, sweeping in with the mist from the marsh. Other impressions: the wail of a muezzin; the white noise of Eraserhead; fractured chimes; warped music boxes; the howl of tormented wookies; the underwater warbling of the birds silhouetted on the windows behind them.

More was promised after a second interval, but this did not transpire, a conclusion to the evening as apt as its opening. Counting Backwards is not about polish, product or consumption. It is far more interested in process and the opening out of that process beyond the performers and into the environment. It affirms the idea that creativity is not the quasi-mystical province of the “artist”, rather a continuous interaction, an eternal feedback loop between the individual and the world. I have been to such evenings where I have come away feeling nothing except that I had spent a few hours somewhere. After Counting Backwards I felt that I had been somewhere. Richard Barrett, Matt Dalby and Gary Fisher must be congratulated on this series. Long may it unfold.

More about Counting Backwards here.

Tom Jenks

Openned presents ‘basemeta’

In the basement of the Foundry, Old Street, London, from 18:30 to 23:30 on the 25th of March 2009, poets Becky Cremin and Ryan Ormonde documented the entire Openned poetry reading from before it started to well after it had finished. This reading was the eighteenth in the series. From this they produced a document called basemeta.

In some of the recordings of the 18th Openned night you can catch occasional glimpses of them or hear the gentle tap of typewriter keys as they produced the documentation.

basemeta was performed at the next Openned night and their performance of this document can be viewed here. However, the documentation also stands as a poem in its own right and is an excellent piece of work and is available here for free and will be permanently available from our Nights Documentation page.

Click HERE to link to blog entry for free downloadable pdf and links to visual material