Apple Pie Editions is delighted to announce the publication of From the Diaries of John Dee.
Poems by Nigel Wood, with images by Alan Halsey.
Mathematician, scholar, astronomer, advisor to Queen Elizabeth I … alchemist, occultist, heretic … John Dee (1527–1608) is one of the most enigmatic figures in British history.
Using material from Dee’s diaries, Nigel Wood has made poems that delve beneath the rumours and mythologies to offer a multifaceted portrait of a man seeking to understand the cosmos and his place within it. Accompanying the poems are visuals by Alan Halsey based on Dee’s transcriptions, charts and diagrams, his attempts to decode and interpret communications from other realms. Together the texts and images undertake a series of parallel explorations of his life and vision, resurrecting Dee with his own words.
The Other Room’s next event is a northern launch of the anthology The Dark Would which takes place October 16th at The Castle Hotel in Manchester, 7pm. For more information see the poster in the middle column of this page.
Nigel Wood is a poet and musician based in Manchester, where he edits and publishes Sunfish, a magazine of exploratory poetics. His chapbook, N.Y.C. Poems, was published by Knives, Forks & Spoons Press in 2011. More recent poetry has been published in Department,Gammag, blankpages and The Red Ceilings.
Out now on Like This press, Where Were You When the Stars Went Out? consists of a group of 10 poems in memory of the singer Jhonn Balance (of the group Coil), composed by applying a chance selection procedure derived from Jackson Mac Low to Rilke’s “Duino Elegies”, then treating the results of that process as a first draft to be edited, shaped, added to, deleted from, etc. Phil Davenport has commented how: ‘Nigel Wood allows himself to be a vessel of others’ voices, other modes of hearing. In this daring but subtle book he uses another human’s life as material for an experiment in both commemoration and forgetting. Where were you... is a scattered memorial for the musician Jhonn Balance, quite unlike the ‘lead graves’ and last words that are usually stacked up to make the obituary of a life. In fact, they frequently mock the ponderousness of death-speak and the gothic. But more intriguingly, as I read some of these pieces I have the sense that the lines have been somehow erased even as they’ve touched the surface of the page, they’re the gaps in narratives, the pieces of half-dusted thinking, the moments of lucidity that toppled. It’s a book that’s been lived rather than written, or, more fancifully, I suppose it’s a book that’s been ‘died’. Wood’s melodic transliterations of this other-space sing from from the page, they’re scores of what comes between – breathings-in and whiteout. This little book of un-ideas imprints on me deeply – and has done so from the first time I encountered it. The details are so sharp and so heavy: childhood’s illnesses evaporate across the inevitable scales to nowhere Poised to a nicety, Wood writes us into some impossible conjuring trick – a knife blade balancing atop a pebble. The delicacy of these moments is often vertiginous, unsettled. Jhonn Balance lived forcefully, embracing both the shitstorm and the big light. Where were you… somehow manages to employ the forces that impinge on living as components of composition. It’s as if horror and happiness, disappointment, ennui, forgetfulness, transcendence have become tools for shaping. And out of it all, something emerges that is brisk and full of marvelling.’
As ever, the magazine is also available FREE as a pdf to anyone that wants it – just email me to request it (and no, I won’t think you’re cheap for asking for the free pdf rather than buying the print version, so don’t be shy!)
Sunfish is a new quarterly poetry magazine edited by Nigel Wood and published in Manchester. Issue 1 contains work by Scott Thurston (UK), Jed Rasula (USA), John Seed (UK), Kristy Odelius (USA), Jonathan Greene (USA), rob mclennan (Canada), Geof Huth (USA), Paul A. Green (UK), Meredith Quartermain (Canada), Amy King (USA), Gil McElroy (Canada) and Alec Finlay (UK). It’s just in from the printer and costs £3 (+50p postage). A Sunfish website is in the pipeline; in the meantime, you can get hold of a copy by sending a cheque for £3.50 (made out to Nigel Wood) to: Flat 405, 41 Old Birley Street, Hulme, Manchester M15 5RE. If you’re in Manchester you can save yourself the postage by picking up a copy at the next Other Room reading on December 2nd. For more information, email email@example.com.