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.

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.


nick-e melville: a preview

nick-e melville will be performing at the next Other Room on Wednesday 29th February. You can read 13 of his poems at the minimalist concrete poetry site,  some tippexed sonnets in Blackbox Manifold and a review of his 2011 collection of found poetry Stuff at 3AM Magazine. Try also an alphabet sequence on otoliths and another on logolalia. For some AV action, check out the video for Get On The Increase by Nicky’s poetry band Shellsuit Massacre.

The other readers will be Tim Allen and Andrea Brady. A preview of Andrea’s work can be found in our previous post. A preview of Tim’s work will follow next week.


visual poetry Vs text art
an exhibition match

Fri 7th Oct, 6.30-9, Patriothall Gallery, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Featuring text works by nick-e melville, Gerry Smith, Dorothy Alexander, Greg Thomas, Shandra Lamaute, Lisa Temple-Cox, Becky Campbell and Alexa Hare.

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

Anything Anymore Anywhere 3

Action packed third issue starring:

Francis Crot, nick-e melville, Justin Katko, Posie Rider, Jacq Kelly, Iain Morrison, jim ferguson, Tony Leuzzi, Michael Farrell, Richard Barrett, J L Williams, S J Fowler, RODNEY RELAX, Rosa van Hensbergen, Thomas Moore, Pete McConville, Richie McCaffery and Greg Thomas



nick-e melville – selections and dissections

The first release of the year from the book publishing arm of Otoliths is a collection from Scottish concrete & visual poet, nick-e melville.

What nick-e melville creates within selections and dissections is text as experience, presenting us with different ways to look at visual language, different ways to understand the ubiquitous textscapes of daily living. The pages of this book are filled with games, but games of the most serious kind, games about the act of being sentient textual beings. Melville, a textual imagineer, examines the spaces between letters, the negative spaces between lines of text, and even the halftone atoms of printing, always looking for the surprise in the printed text. To read this book is to experience these acts of textual imagination as cinema, as vibrant and moving sequences of thought.Geof Huth

Check out a sample here and the Otoliths project – a magazine as well as a publisher – here.