Michael Zand: The Messier Objects

The Messier Objects are a catalogue of astronomical bodies discovered and published by Charles Messier in 1771. In this new collection of poems, Michael Zand re-frames these objects as totemic symbols that celebrate the creative and social diversity of the human experience. The Messier Objects are thus meditations on the colour and complexity of the universe, and a rejection of a perceived drift towards cultural polarisation, simplification and standardisation. Out now on Shearsman.

A launch will be held at Swedenborg Hall, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH on Monday 12th October at 7.30pm. The event itself is part of the Shearsman series, and Michael will be reading with Abdulkareem Kasid (with John Welch) and Anthony Caleshu. The readings are free to attend and there will be drinks.

Blue Bus – Patricia Farrell, Robert Sheppard, Michael Zand

The Blue Bus is pleased to present a reading of poetry by Patricia Farrell, Robert Sheppard and Michael Zand  on Tuesday 18th August from  7.30 at The Lamb (in the upstairs room), 94 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1. This is the 103rd event in THE BLUE BUS series. Admissions: £5 / £3 (concessions). For future events in the series, please scroll down to the end of this message.

 

‘Patricia Farrell is a poet and visual artist. She co-organised the SubVoicive reading series in the early 80s and was a member of the arts group New River Project.  She has collaborated with other writers, artists and musicians on a range of projects and publications: most notably the poets Robert Sheppard and Joanne Ashcroft, the jeweller and installation artist Jivan Astfalck, on the project B*twixst, and Jennifer Cobbing on the dance piece, A Space Completely Filled with Matter (recently published by Veer Publications as a visual text sequence).  Her work is published in magazines and collections, as well as individual pamphlets: most recently, Seven Bays of Spirituality (Knives Forks and Spoons Press). She completed a PhD thesis in 2011 on poetic artifice in philosophical writing. Her collection, The Zechstein Sea, was published by Shearsman Books in 2013.’

Robert Sheppard has just published Words Out of Time from KFS, his ‘autrebiographies’ and ‘unwritings’. Veer is soon to publish Unfinish, a book of varied prose pieces. And slightly later in the year, Shearsman will publish a Selected Poems of over 30 years of work. Former works include Twentieth Century Blues and Warrant Error, and he is curretly writing more ‘fictional poems’ in collaboration with other poets, in the mode of his 2013 Shearsman book, A Translated Man. See http://www.euoia.weebly.com for more on that. Other projects include a big sonnet and a critical book on form. Living in Liverpool, he is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Edge Hill University and co-runs the Storm and Golden Sky reading series.

Michael Zand is a writer, editor and researcher. He was born in Iran, but has spent most of his life in London, where he is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton. His research interests lie in alternative translations of Middle Eastern poetry, the use of psycho-geography in contemporary literature, and modern readings of the medieval notion of the “Ashik” or wandering poet. His collections include Kval (Arthur Shilling, 2009) and Lion: The Iran Poems (Shearsman, 2010). He was included in the Best Poetry of 2011anthology (Salt, 2011) and won the Roehampton Poetry Performance Prize in 2008. His  collection The Wire and Other Poems was published by Shearsman Books in 2012. Michael has participated in various collaborations with musicians and multi-media artists and read at a wide range of poetry events across Europe. Other projects include an international translation project called Lexico and a contemporary translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam entitled Ruby. In February 2013 his sequence of poems entitled “Pang” was included in an exhibition on “Poets of the Thames” at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading, Berkshire.

Forthcoming events will include Zoë Skoulding, Ian Brinton and Stephen Watts (15th September) Carol Watts, Lucy Harvest Clarke, Tom Jenks and Juliet Troy  (20th October). David Miller, Michael Heller and Jane Augustine (17th November).

James Harvey Memorial reading

Veer Books / Xing the Line / Writers Forum Workshop (New Series) and The Blue Bus have come together to celebrate the life and poetry of James Harvey, who died last month.  This memorial reading will take place at Birkbeck College on Thursday 19th July, from 18.00-21.00. The address is Keynes Library, Birkbeck Centre for Poetics, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD. (When you  come in to the foyer, ask the person on the front desk who will give directions – it’s a room on the first floor overlooking the square.) Readers/performers will include Carol Watts, Will Rowe, James Wilkes, matt martin, Jeff Hilson, Holly Pester, Michael Zand, Stephen Emmerson, Juliet Troy, John Gibbens, Keith Jebb, David Miller, Antony John, Edward Carey, Peter Philpott, S J Fowler, Elizabeth Guthrie, and The Children (Armorel Weston and John Gibbens).

Please note that this is a free event.
 
James Harvey
James Harvey (1966–2012) studied biology at UCL before becoming a full-time poet in the thriving experimental and innovative poetry community in London .
His interest in science, especially biology, extended into his poetry. James took part in a forum discussion with Rae Armantrout, Amy Catanzano, John Cayley, Tina Darragh, Marcella Durand, Allen Fisher, Peter Middleton, Evelyn Reilly and Joan Retallack on the interaction of poetry and science, hosted by Jacket 2. He was fascinated by the potential of ‘science in poetry to dismantle existing structures, and then put them back together again, build them up “mechanically” while at the same time each level of complexity is acted upon equally through “the forces of nature,” questioning the integrity of the structure.’
The importance of ecology in his work is evident in one of his best poems, ‘Mackerelling’. This was published in Veer Away (Veer 2007) and subsequently became his first book (Intercapillary Editions 2009). The poem ‘is a movement through water … an exercise in naming as pattern’. As James explained: ‘Marguerite White sent me cardboard cuttings out in the shapes of sea birds she had used for one of her installations, I had been watching David Attenborough’s The Blue Planet and the idea for the poem came shortly after. At the back of my mind was also Bob Cobbing’s poem “alphabet of californian fishes” … one of my favourite poems.’
James was a regular at Writers Forum Workshop and many of his poems have a strong visual element, showing Cobbing’s influence. Part of his poem ‘Living Rock Ode’ (in Freaklung 2010) included a diagram of a marine plankton that he sounded when reading the poem. James read in honour of Jennifer Pike-Cobbing in 2010 with his work featuring in AND13 (Writers Forum 2010) produced to mark the event. Later he was part of Writers Forum Workshop (New Series), his work appearing in its first publication (Writers Forearm 2011).
Veer published a chapbook Temporary Structures in 2009 and included his work in Veer Off (2008) and Veer About (2011) in addition to Veer Away. He was published in the Openned magazine (2006) and Openned Issues 2006-07 (2008). In 2009, Openned brought out an e-pamphlet, Parts Composers, and Kater Murr’s press published a broadsheet From Marx’s Capital. James was featured in the anthology In the Company of Poets (Hearing Eye 2003).
James’s readings in London included the Blue Bus in 2008 with Nina Zivancevic and Vahni Capildeo and in 2010 with Harriet Tarlo, David Miller and Ken White. He read at Crossing the Line in 2009 with James Wilkes, Jon Clay, Antony John and Out to Lunch.
James was also part of a group of poets who travelled to Newcastle upon Tyne to celebrate Barry MacSweeney in a reading at Morden Tower in 2010. James read from his Japheth series, written in collaboration with Edinburgh-based poet Jow Lindsay. Other work appeared in Herbarium (2011), also with an associated reading, or were published online in Greatworks and Jacket, with work also appearing in Brittle Star magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review and the Morning Star.
 
James Harvey discussing poetry and science with other poets in Jacket 2 is here http://jacket2.org/features/archive?page=1
James Harvey’s poem ‘Mackerelling’ (2007) can be downloaded free from http://www.lulu.com/shop/james-harvey/mackerelling/ebook/product-4880571.html;jsessionid=2AF6BA9D292AC56685B11016B5DC1DCF  
Video of James Harvey reading in honour of Jennifer Pike-Cobbing in 2010 http://www.openned.com/writers-forum-jennifer/?currentPage=4  
Veer About (Veer 2011) can be downloaded free via http://www.bbk.ac.uk/cprc/publications/Veer_Publications/Veer037  
James Harvey’s work in the Openned magazine (2006) is here http://www.openned.com/epubs/2009/9/28/openned-magazine.html  
James Harvey’s work in Openned Issues 2006-07 (Openned 2008) is here http://www.openned.com/epubs/2009/9/28/openned-issues-2006-2007.html  
James Harvey’s Parts Composers (Openned 2009) is here: http://www.openned.com/epubs/2009/9/28/parts-composers.html  
Video of James Harvey reading at Morden Tower in 2010 (including ‘Living Rock Ode’ and Japheth poems)