nick-e melville: ALERT STATE IS HEIGHTENED

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.

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New Scottish poets

“It’s difficult to say exactly what’s going on in Scottish poetry right now,” writes Sandra Alland. “But it’s definitely something exciting.” Alland convenes nine poets in Scotland, most of whom live in Glasgow or Edinburgh, to suggest a “recent surge” in work being done in flourishing hybrid forms and experimentation in this increasingly independent region.”

Jacket 2 magazine feature on new Scottish poetry, including work by Other Room readers Colin Herd and nick-e melville.

Alloa Poetry Jamboree

The very first Alloa Poetry Jamboree is confirmed as a going concern, running 2 – 4 November, and featuring Tom Leonard, Lila Matsumoto, Peter Manson, Drew Milne, Bill Herbert, Andrew Duncan, Jim Ferguson, Donny O’Rourke, Kathleen Jamie, Dorothy Alexander, nick-e melville, David Kinloch, Samantha Walton, Frank Kuppner, Gerry Loose and Jennifer Williams.

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