Peter Philpott – Wound Scar Memories


Three poetic sequences, starting from Petrarch’s Sonnets placed in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, August 2015, travelling through interior language spaces, into some mental version of the Dark Ages in Bishops Stortford, town of tunnels. Then there’s some prose, in case the political implications of a time of migration, cultural re-creation and elite formation are not clear enough. It’s also funny, inventive and moving.

LINK to a sample

£6 – LINK to purchase

A launch also takes place at the next Contraband Poetry Night, The Crown Tavern, 43 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0EG, July 4, 7 o’clock onwards – with also (or even better!) Antony John, Sogol Sur and Clive Gresswell.


Launch reading in London

Tuesday, July 7, 7.30 pm
Peter Philpott, Pete Smith, Simon Smith
at The Apple Tree (upstairs room), 45 Mount Pleasant, Clerkenwell, London WC1X 0AE
Simon Smith is the author of five full-length collections of poetry, the latest is 11781 W. Sunset Boulevard from Shearsman. Half a dozen just like you (Oystercatcher) and Navy (Verisimilitude) are the first two volumes of a ‘trilogy’; the third booklet, Salon Noir, will appear from Equipage in the autumn of 2015. Presently, he is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Kent.
Pete Smith, born & raised in Coventry, emigrated to Canada in 1974. After a long detour returned to poetry in the late 1990s. Has published poetry with Wild Honey Press, Poetical Histories, Great Works & Oystercatcher among others; reviews & essays in Agenda, The Gig, The Paper, The Capilano Review, Crayon & elsewhere. He has given readings at the Kootenay School of Writing & at the final CCCP in 2006. His first full-length collection, Bindings with Discords, was published by Shearsman in February 2015.
Peter Philpott ran Great Works Press and magazine in the 1970s, the now largely quiescent Great Works and websites in the 2000s – active online now with Innovative Poetry Readings in London webpage, blogging serial poems ( & proudly attending Writers Forum Workshop – New Series. He’s launching Ianthe Poems (Shearsman)

Within These Latter Days

(a poem committed against purity, precision, perfection) (a sequence of 100+ poems, following stochastically governed sequences of widely varied forms/constraints/recipes, with various repetitions of vocabulary, and varying openness to external language events) (a poem by Peter Philpott), here.

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
James Harvey’s poem ‘Mackerelling’ (2007) can be downloaded free from;jsessionid=2AF6BA9D292AC56685B11016B5DC1DCF  
Video of James Harvey reading in honour of Jennifer Pike-Cobbing in 2010  
Veer About (Veer 2011) can be downloaded free via  
James Harvey’s work in the Openned magazine (2006) is here  
James Harvey’s work in Openned Issues 2006-07 (Openned 2008) is here  
James Harvey’s Parts Composers (Openned 2009) is here:  
Video of James Harvey reading at Morden Tower in 2010 (including ‘Living Rock Ode’ and Japheth poems)

Enchanted Labyrinth

On Tuesday 1st May, Peter Philpott and Matt Martin will be reading at the Enchanted Labyrinth event series in Bishops Stortford, as part of the Stortfest music festival. The evening also features live music from Anna Scott, Bella Chipperfield, Lorna Blishen and Nick Crofts, plus an exhibition of visual art.

Venue: Coffee Corner, 49–53 South Street, Bishops Stortford CM23 3AG. Tickets are £15 and include a sumptuous two course meal. Advance booking is recommended, as space is limited – please ring Coffee Corner on (01279) 311072 to reserve a table. Starts 7.15pm.

Diverse Deeds – Wednesday 16th December

Angela Gardner + the voice of Harry Godwin + Mendoza + Nat Raha + Michael Zand

Café Oto, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL.
doors open at 7.30; start at 8.00; end by 10.00; entry £6 (£4 concessions).

This event links the visiting Australian poet and artist Angela Gardner with readings and performances from a group of young and innovative London poets.

Angela Gardner is an Australian poet with a prize-winning reputation in her own country: 2006 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for Parts of Speech, (University of Queensland Press, 2007) and 2004 Bauhinia/Idiom 23 Prize). Her new book, Views of the Hudson has been published this year in the UK by Shearsman. She already has an international status as a visual artist. Her poetry is often highly visual, always quick, inventive and engaging. She also edits an online poetry magazine, foam:e, and jointly runs Light-trap Press, publishing artists’ books. This is her last reading in Europe before she returns to Australia.

Harry Godwin, Mendoza, Nat Raha and Michael Zand are all poets in their early 20s now (or until recently) based in London. They are part of the exciting innovative poetry scene based around creative writing courses in London and poetry events like Openned, Crossing the Line and Sundays at the Oto. They have so far only had small pamphlets published, mainly from Harry Godwin’s Arthur Shilling press, or appeared in small magazines and websites. They are playful, inventive and wonderfully original, with strong elements of performance in how they present their poetry.

More information here.

New issue of Greatworks

An all male isssue of Greatworks featuring:

  • Niall Quinn                                      
  • Mark Goodwin & Nikki Clayton    
  • Andrew Taylor                                 
  • Daniel Andersson                         
  • Nick Wayte                                       
  • Mark Cobley                                     
  • Simon Howard                                
  • Aidan Semmens                             
  • Michael Egan                                  
  • A A Walker                                       
  • Richard Parker                                
  • Antony John                                    
  • Adam Fieled                                    
  • Mark Cunningham                         
  • James Mc Laughlin                        
  • Ross Leese                                      
  • Christopher Barnes                        
  • Les Wicks                                       
  • Alex Houen                                      
  • Nicolas Spicer                                 
  • Graham Burchell                            
  • Chris Brownsword                          
  • Stuart Kenyon                                 
  • Iain Britton                                        
  • Thomas Mulhall                              
  • Cliff Yates                                        
  • Nathan Thompson                         
  • Jon Clay                                           
  • Alasdair Paterson                           
  • Tony Cullen                                     
  • Steven Ruel                                     
  • William Garvin                                 
  • James Price                                     
  • Simon J Charlton                           
  • James Davies                                  
  • Gareth Durasow                              
  • Paul A Green                                   
  • Mike Ruddick                                   
  • Johan de Wit                                              
  • Mark Hall                                          
  • Connie Beauchamp                                  


Diverse Deeds

Peter Philpott’s renowned Sundays at the Oto reading series has been reborn as Diverse Deeds. This from Peter via the Brit-Irish poets list:

“I am pleased to announce that the poetry and music reading and performance series Sundays at the Oto will be reborn from autumn onwards as Diverse Deeds, held still at Cafe Oto (18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL), but on evenings, mainly it is hoped Thursday or Wednesday, approximately once a month. The first event will have as poets John James and Sean Bonney, on September 24th. Music is yet to be arranged, but will be an element.

The programme for the rest of the year is now being set up. The specific dates will need to be negotiated with Cafe Oto, and balanced against other events in London, but the event is not tied to a repeated day in the month. If anyone from outside London, indeed from outside UK, who might wish to read or perform, suggests dates when they will be In London, I can see what can be arranged. Similarly I would be interested in considering any suggestions by List Members as to performers (poetry read or performed, music, multimedia etc), especially where poets and musicians are working together.

A MySpace page is being set up, and a Facebook group. Details will be given on It is planned to increase the level of publicity from that of Sundays at the O, to attract not just the cognoscenti (who I hope will carry on flocking to sunny Dalston), but a wide range of interested people.”


Poetic speciation and diversification

“Or, Why I am Alarmed at the Role the Academic Environment is Playing in Contemporary British Innovative Poetry

I like using an analogy made by Andrew Duncan to explain the disparate heterogeneity of contemporary British poetry: the SciFi topos of centuries-long space-missions, venturing out from the home planet to reach different stars, and establishing their own separate lineages and cultures. These increasingly diverge from each other and become unable to intercommunicate.”

An interesting perspective from Peter Philpott.


New Issue of Great Works



  • Jeffrey Side, seven poems
  • David Chaloner, three poems
  • Richard Makin, eight poems from Rift Designs
  • Hannah Silva, seven poems
  • Scott Helmes, two poems
  • Christopher Barnes, six poems
  • Lucy Harvest Clarke, three sonnets
  • Richard Barrett, two poems
  • James Price, three poems
  • Aidan Semmens, three poems
  • John Gilmore, two excerpts from Head of a Man and three Etudes
  • Kenny Knight, six poems from The Honicknowle Book of the Dead
  • Ben Stainton, four poems
  • Ron Singer, The Shiny Pants Brigade
  • Charles Freeland, six poems
  • Caleb Puckett, three poems
  • Mary Michaels, three prose poems
  • Boris Jardine, five poems
  • Michael Egan, three poems
  • Tomas Weber, two poems
  • Alan Baker, from The Book of Random Access
  • Rufo Quintavalle, two poems
  • AnnMarie Eldon, five poems
  • Mendoza, poems
  • Joseto Solis, from The Ingredients of Oneself
  • Tina Hyett, poems from In the Dirt
  • Spencer Termott, THE MATCHING TYE SET (from In the Dirt)

via Peter Philpott


Sundays at the Oto

March 15: Paul Taylor’s Trombone Poetry + Uru-Ana + Mike Weller

Paul Taylor’s Trombone Poetry is a solo performance project that interweaves music and poetry in a kind of poetry slalom. Uru-Ana are London-based sound artist/musician Alex Thomas and writer/performer Alex Walker. Michael Weller renders name, place, voice, words, stories, pictures, as public performance. All three approach the performance of poetry from difference routes – Paul Taylor from the improv music circuit, Uru-Ana from theatre and Dada cabaret (though Alex Walker has had two texts on Great Works: Offertorium and Termination #3: Quest), Mike Weller from Writers Forum, but also the politics of the punk scene. They are all skilled and thought-provoking performers who have extended the boundaries of performed language.

via Peter Philpott