Words on the Move


Words on the Move: A Day of Talks and Performances across Languages, a collaboration between the Stories in Transit project, the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre (CPRC) at Birkbeck and www.watadd.com.

1 November, Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square (1-7pm)

Book your place for free via Eventbrite

Animating Questions
1. Can culture, and specifically storytelling (in any form) provide shelter for people who have lost their homes? Can a tale become a home? Can a poem? Can a memory of literature and the process of making it over and over again build ‘a country of words’ (Mahmoud Darwish)? Can narratives build a place of belonging for those without a nation?

2. How do experiences of conflict and forced migration place pressure on narrative form? How might artists and writers respond or register these pressures in their creative work? What are the possibilities for creative collaboration in this context?

3. What methods and processes can be developed together to allow the unfolding and generation of stories? What role can imaginary narrative and non-narrative form play in contemporary conditions? In what ways can the ancient human capacity to tell and pass on stories help in the present crisis?

4. What are the best uses of contemporary media for supporting exchanges of stories across borders and to ease and/or explore communications between languages and cultures? How might we talk about and make texts that work across multiple languages (including non-verbal languages such as dance, music and visual art)?

1pm — Professor Marina Warner (Birkbeck) Introductory Remarks

1:15pm — Dr Steve Willey (Birkbeck) ‘Multi-Lingual Workshops’

1:30pm — Keynote Address, Dr Caroline Bergvall ‘Methods of Engagement’

2:30pm — Dr Camilla Nelson, (Schumacher College) ‘Performative Reflections on “Reading Movement” in Palestine’

4pm — Paula Claire, ‘Yet More War…and Peace’ (performance inviting creative response)

5pm — Dr Atef Alshaer, (University of Westminster) ‘Individual and Collective Voices in the Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish’

5:30pm — Fuensanta Zamrana Ruiz ’The Language of Violins: Teaching at the Baremboim-Said Foundation’

6pm — Roundtable, Chair: Professor Matthew Reynolds (St Anne’s College, Oxford University)

Professor Marina Warner, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London and a Professorial Research Fellow, SOAS, 2014-2017

Dr Steve Willey, Lecturer in Creative and Critical Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, and Director of the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre

Veer Reading & Launch

Reading, and double launch: Peter Jaeger, Steve McCaffery, Karen Mac Cormack.

Wednesday 12th November 2014, 7.45 pm

Room 153, Malet Street Main Building, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX.

All welcome – free entry.

Featuring the launch of Peter Jaeger’s 540493390 (research) and Steve McCaffery’s TATTERDAMALION (both new from Veer).

Robert Fitterman, Marc Atkins and Rod Mengham

Thursday 13th March, 7.30 pm, Room 151, Malet Street Main Building, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX. Click here for a map link

The CPRC Birkbeck welcomes Robert Fitterman, Marc Atkins and Rod Mengham.

All welcome – free entry Featuring the launch of Robert Fitterman’s JUST ANOTHER SOFT MACHINE and Marc Atkins & Rod Mengham’s STILL moving (both new from Veer)
PLUSthe launch of Robert Fitterman’s No Wait. Yep. Definitely Still Hate Myself (new from Ugly Duckling Presse)
AND the launch of the U.S. edition of Robert Fitterman’s Holocaust Museum (new from Counterpath) (originally published by Veer in 2011)

Veer Publication 059 [ISBN: 978-1-907088-66-7]A handbook of some ways contemporary poets use radical appropriation. The question is, how the meaning of anything readable changes when it’s moved into a new framing. Fitterman explores the terrain of quotation/conceptual writing.
A6 size. 34 pages. March 2014.STILL moving
Veer Publication 058 [ISBN: 978-1-907088-64-3]
’For Rod Mengham and Marc Atkins, cracking mirrors and counter-mirrors are not only a frontier between two worlds, they represent a systematic quest for desire, a haunted visual trope leaping towards an elsewhere as threatening as it is seducing, setting out to explore “the rear view of historical convergence”, carefully recording instances in which the conjunctions, collisions and chiaroscuro of memory and fantasy take us beyond the scope of the thinkable and the imaginable.’ (Michel Delville)
Design by Vaughan Oliver and Marc Atkins.A4 landscape size. 80 pages. Colour and B&W. March 2014.No Wait. Yep. Definitely Still Hate Myself is book-length poem that loosely borrows the poetic form and sentiment of James Schuyler’s The Morning of the Poem. In my version, the articulations of sadness and loneliness are culled from online sources and carefully woven together through a single speaker. To some degree, I have realized the poem as an essay on contemporary poetics–an essay that aims to problematize and highlight the expanded fields of subjectivity, personal expression, the mediated self, and even verse form itself as it migrates from screen to page.
‘Holocaust Museum reframes the captions of holocaust photographs from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. These captions—without their photographic images—are arranged loosely in the order or narrative constructed by the museum. There are many purposes to this project but the genesis is in articulating a cultural shift from image to text. The subject, this particular holocaust, was chosen because the images are shared in our collective memory—by presenting only the text, the reader is, hopefully, consigned into a more complicit experience.’
Nick Thurston

Marc Atkins is an English artist, photographer, filmmaker and writer. Marc has lived and worked for many years in London, but has also spend extended periods of time in Rome, Detroit, New York, Warsaw and Paris. Previous publications include The Prism Walls (Contraband), Logic of the Stairwell (Shearsman), The Teratologists(panoptika), Thirteen (Do-Not Press), Warszawa [texts by T. Pióro & A. Sosnowski] (Wig-press), Faces of Mathematics (panoptika), and Liquid City [text by Iain Sinclair] (Reaktion). Atkins has presented his work and ideas on the image at venues such as the Royal Academy, Royal College of Art, UEL School of Architecture, Instytut Mikołowski, Poland, The Photographers Gallery, and the University of Liège.
Robert Fitterman is the author of 14 books of poetry including No Wait, Yep. Definitely Still Hate Myself (Ugly Duckling Press, 2014), Rob’s Word Shop (Ugly Duckling Press, forthcoming, 2015), Holocaust Museum (Counterpath, 2013, and Veer [London] 2012), now we are friends (Truck Books, 2010), Rob the Plagiarist (Roof Books, 2009), war, the musical (Subpress, 2006), and Notes On Conceptualisms, co-authored with Vanessa Place (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009). His long poemMetropolis, has been published in 4 separate volumes. He teaches writing and poetry at New York University and at the Bard College, Milton Avery School of Graduate Studies. His writing can be found at his website: http://homepages.nyu.edu/~rmf1/
Rod Mengham is Reader in Modern English Literature at Cambridge University and Curator of Works of Art at Jesus College, Cambridge. He has published monographs and edited collections of essays on nineteenth and twentieth century fiction, violence and avant-garde art, the 1940s, contemporary poetry; anthologiesAltered State: the New Polish Poetry [ed. Mengham, Pioro, Szymor] (2003), Vanishing Points: New Modernist Poems [ed. Kinsella, Mengham](2005); poetry, includingUnsung: New and Selected Poems, (2001), Diving Tower (2006), Parleys and Skirmishes (2007), Bell Book (2012) and The Understory (2014). He has also curated numerous exhibitions, most recently ‘Sculpture in the Close 2013’ [Miroslaw Balka, Theaster Gates, Harland Miller, Damian Ortega, Doris Salcedo].

Susana Gardner at Birkbeck

Birkbeck Contemporary Poetics Research Centre warmly welcomes Susana Gardner.

Susana will be reading in the gallery housing the exhibition Intellectual Tactility, curated by Holly Pester.

Tuesday 9 July, Peltz Room, (immediate left in the entrance to) 43 Gordon Square, London WC1, 7-9.

Free and all welcome!

Susana Gardner is the author of the full-length poetry collections HERSO (Black Radish Books, 2011) and [ LAPSED INSEL WEARY ] (The Tangent Press, 2008). Her third book, CADDISH, Black Radish Books, 2013 is just out. She has published several chapbooks, including Hyper-Phantasie Constructs (Dusie Kollektiv, 2010) and Herso (University of Theory and Memorabilia Press, 2009). Her poetry has appeared in many online and print publications including Jacket, How2, Puerto Del Sol, and Cambridge Literary Review among others. Her work has also been featured in several anthologies, including 131.839 slög með bilum (131,839 keystrokes with spaces) (Ntamo, Finland, 2007) and NOT FOR MOTHERS ONLY: CONTEMPORARY POEMS ON CHILD-GETTING AND CHILD-REARING (Fence Books, United States, 2007). She lives in Zürich, Switzerland, where she also edits and curates the online poetics journal and experimental kollektiv press, Dusie. http://blackradishbooks.com/authors/susana-gardner/


Thursday 29 March 2012
Room B20, Birkbeck main building on Torrington Square, London WC1

“I lost my mother tongue more than thirty years ago and am still searching for it.”

Hungarian visual poet MÁRTON KOPPÁNY talks about his work, and projects images. Introduced by Holly Pester.

Upcoming polyvocal explorations

A double bill – talk and performances – of polyvocalia at Birkbeck. Monday 20 June. Free and all

6pm, 43 Gordon Square, Room 124
Cris Cheek, ‘Before I am Anything Else: provisional transatlantic communities in polyvocal poetic

& then around the corner…
7.15pm, 32 Tavistock Square
Lawrence Upton, Chris Goode, Cris Cheek, Holly Pester & others revisit work by Sumner, bpnichol,
Basinski, Cobbing, MacLow & other scores, poems and possibilities


The culmination of work from our Voiceworks project, a six-month collaboration between poets via Birkbeck Poetics Centre and composers and singers from Guildhall School of Music & Drama, is taking place at 6pm at Wigmore Hall on Thursday 20 May, free to attend and also live streamed for the first time on the internet. Full details of this and the upcoming new website voiceworks.org.uk which is launched at the same time is at: LINK

Voiceworks 2010 participants are:

Francisco Coll Garcia, Albert Pellicer, Iria Perestrelo

Antonia Barnett-McIntosh, Emma Bennett, Adam Crockatt

David Moore, Ben Gwalchmai, Luke Tracey

Raymond Yiu, Kim Patrick, Luis Gomes, Clément Dionet

Patrick Brennan, James Wilkes, Robert Elibay-Hartog

Nick Scott, Frances Kruk, Lucy Hall

Matthew Mendez, Holly Pester, Victor Sicard

Come along in person or virtually. It lasts 45 minutes.

Via Carol Watts