House without Walls

HOUSE WITHOUT WALLS is an exhibition devised by British visual poet Philip Davenport, featuring art by child refugees, combined with commentary from older members of their community. “A gentle, sideways look at the cost of war, the subtle losses including childhood itself.” Exhibition at Paul Schneider Haus, Spandau, BERLIN 13 Oct-23 Nov.

Davenport is a British visual poet who often works off the page; his work appears in galleries, streets, sound recordings, on objects. He often works with marginalised communities in the U.K. as part of the arthur+martha organisation, collaborating with homeless people and with older people who have dementia.

The Homeless Library


31st January 3pm, the launch of the arthur+martha exhibition ‘The Homeless Library’ at Archives+, Manchester Central Library.
THE HOMELESS LIBRARY is the first history of homelessness in Britain and has been made by contemporary homeless people. Their interviews, artworks and poems have been inscribed into handmade books. The Homeless Library celebrates their determination and insight.

The Homeless Library

The Homeless Library will launch at The Southbank Centre, London with an open poetry and book-making workshop on 9 July, 4pm.

Homeless people have created a first-person history of British homelessness, exhibiting at The Poetry Library, Southbank 9 July-18 September. It includes individual testimonies, poetry and art written in handmade books, lending insight into experiences of Britain’s homeless. Meet the makers and create a handmade book with them, at The Poetry Library, Southbank on 9 July, 4-7pm.

A free 200 page ebook, The Homeless Library, including interviews, poems and artworks has been created as a catalogue for the exhibition and can be downloaded here:

Launch date: Saturday 9 July
Time: 4-7pm
Price: Free, all welcome
Venue: The Poetry Library, Level 5, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

0207 921 0943 for further details, or go to

From the Diaries of John Dee

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.

isbn 978-1-909388-13-0


78pp  •  paperback  •  £6.99 + £1.17 UK postal order

Book orders to by cheque or Paypal

See also: YouTube playlist Footnotes for John Dee

Total Recall exhibition at Bury Art Gallery


TOTAL RECALL 1 August — 3 October, 2015 


Moss St, Bury, Lancashire BL9 0DR, United Kingdom

How do you remember the people who are important to you? How do you conjure your shared past? Is it in an image, a sound, a smell, a touch? Or do you use words?

We invited world-leading poets and text-artists to make a language-memory for Tony Trehy, who has directed the internationally renowned Text Festival at Bury Art Museum since 2005. This exhibition celebrates a 10-year anniversary of the Festival and a 20-year anniversary of Tony’s time at Bury. Writing on a wall, an Internet search, a diary entry, a flurry of thoughts … what is remembering and who is it for?

Tony Trehy has been the ring-leader of decade-long conversations, new opportunities, challenges and heated debates. Each of his four Text Festivals has added to a continuing dialogue between language and art. Every Text Festival has asked the audience a simple-but-complex question: How do I read?

Into the historic space of Bury Art Museum, Trehy has injected text that is a new ‘language art’ for the 21st Century. Bury was once the centre of paper-making in Britain, now it is a pioneer of language-making, with its Text Archive welcoming readers from all over the world.

TOTAL RECALL is a guerrilla makeover, an A4 invasion of reading into the larger narrative of looking. Unlike the street signs outside, these are not corporate instructions or sales pitches; they are antidotes. Walls, vitrine, archival box—nary a “book” to be found, but a heap of language left in memory.

TOTAL RECALL includes work by local, national and international text-based artists and poets: angela rawlings, Alan Halsey, Barrie Tullett, Carolyn Thompson, Cecilie Bjørgås Jordheim, Darren Marsh, derek beaulieu, Emma Cocker, Eric Zboya, Erica Baum, Jaap Blonk, James Davies, Jayne Dyer, Jesse Glass, Karri Kokko, Kristen Mueller, Lawrence Weiner, Leanne Bridgewater, Liz Collini, Lucy Harvest Clarke, Marco Giovenale, Márton Koppány, Matt Dalby, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Paula Claire, Penny Anderson, Peter Jaeger, Philip Davenport, Rachel Defay-Liautard, Robert Grenier, Ron Silliman, Satu Kaikkonen, Sarah Sanders, Seekers of Lice, Stephen Emmerson, Steve Giasson, Steve Miller, Tom Jenks, and Tony Lopez.

— derek beaulieu and Phil Davenport, Curators

The Dark Would film

Curator and poet Philip Davenport introduces ‘The Dark Would’, featuring work from world-leading poets and text artists exploring the maze of living and dying. A variety of works from contributors such as Jenny Holzer, Richard Long, Susan Hiller, Tom Phillips, Simon Patterson, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Tony Lopez, Richard Wentworth, Caroline Bergvall, Lawrence Weiner, Fiona Banner and many others, including outsider artists.

The Dark Would in Summerhall, Edinburgh



Summerhall, Edinburgh 7 Dec – 24 Jan (Public preview 7pm, 6 Dec)

World-leading text artists and poets have contributed work about living and dying for The Dark Would exhibition, which includes pieces by Susan Hiller, Richard Long, Tom Phillips, Simon Patterson, Richard Wentworth, Tony Lopez, Caroline Bergvall, Steve Giasson, Erica Baum, Ron Silliman and many others, including ‘outsider’ artists.

Whether homeless people or outsider artists or art stars – we all have to find our way through the dark. Challenging and uplifting, The Dark Would reads the human traces that we leave in the world. This exhibition asks what it is to have a body and to lose it. As well as including work from the living, there will also be ‘answering’ works by dead artists and poets including Stephane Mallarme, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Joseph Beuys.

Summerhall hosts the world premiere of this ground-breaking show curated by poet Philip Davenport. The Dark Would exhibition is an ‘out-growth’ of the large anthology of text art and poetry edited by Davenport and published by Apple Pie Editions 2013.

There will be a series of artist’s talks paralleling the exhibition.

The Text Festivals: Language Art and Material Poetry


The Text Festivals: Language Art and Material Poetry edited by Tony Lopez

It is a remarkable phenomenon that the foremost among recent sites of this interrogation of boundaries has been a series of festivals located in Bury, on the outskirts of Greater Manchester. World leading artists and poets have been brought together in a range of exhibitions and performances that demonstrate a new and productive collision of different cultural enterprises and expectations. Among those shown at the Text Festivals are Fiona Banner, derek beaulieu, Caroline Bergvall, Joseph Beuys, Christian Bok, Brass Art, Marcel Broodthaers, Pavel Buchler, Augusto de Campos, Zeynep Cansu, Henri Chopin, Bob Cobbing, Liz Collini, Philip Davenport, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hamish Fulton, Eugen Gomringer, Robert Grenier, Alan Halsey, Alexander Jorgenson, Satu Kaikonen, Martin Kippenburger, Karri Kokko, Marton Koppany, On Kawara, Helmut Lemke, Richard Long, Tony Lopez, Jackson Mac Low, Hansjorg Mayer, Steve Miller, Kerry Morrison, Maurizio Nannucci, Patrick Fabian Panetta, Holly Pester, Tom Philips, Shaun Pickard, Kate Pickering, Hester Reeve (HRH.the), Spencer Roberts, Ed Ruscha, Ron Silliman, Mary Ellen Solt, Magda Stawarska-Beavan, Harald Stoffers, Carolyn Thompson, Nick Thurston, Aysegul Tozeren, TNWK, Tony Trehy, Nico Vasilakis, Carol Watts, Lawrence Weiner, George Widener, Ming Wong, and Eric Zboya. Artists, poets and curators working in these overlapping fields have written this book. It includes new essays by Tony Trehy (director of the Text Festivals), derek beaulieu, Christian Bok, Liz Collini, James Davies, Philip Davenport, Robert Grenier, Alan Halsey, Tony Lopez, Holly Pester, Hester Reeve (HRH.the), Carolyn Thompson, and Carol Watts.

OUT NOW from Plymouth University Press or via Amazon

Charlie Sayzz

A twitter haiku poem made from Iraq/Afghanistan war reportage, intercut with quotes from cult leader Charles Manson, will tweet 1st Oct onwards from:

The poem draws comparisons between psychopathology and foreign policy.

“An American nightmare, with its condensation of Holy Spirit + Charles Manson + War + haiku (a Japanese form that could recall of course another war)… Another voice among the voices, a way to explore trauma… Poetry should do this.” (Steve Giasson)

Charlie Sayzz is constructed from incorrect 18-syllable haiku, to be transmitted one per day for the next year. The haiku is a much-abused and appropriated short (17-syllable) Japanese form, often meditative and peaceful. It is chosen here for its very in-appropriateness as a vehicle for war poetry. And yet under the placid surface, haiku surely is angry, because it is now such a colonised poetry. The extra syllable in these ‘bad’ haiku is to create dissonance (in old numerology, 9 is the number of aggression; 18 syllables = 1+8 = 9).

The poem was devised by Philip Davenport and co-written by him with Richard Barrett, Steve Giasson, Tom Jenks, Michael Leong, copland smith and Steve Waling.  Tom Jenks programmed the twitter feed and shaped many of the verses as visual poems.

This project is a parallel to Davenport’s novel Charlie Says (2013)


Charlie Says: Philip Davenport


Set in late-1960s Los Angeles, Charlie Says retells an  apocryphal story: that cult leader Charles Manson auditioned for the pop TV show The Monkees. In this novel, he gets the part.

 Davenport’s work often moves between ‘low’ and high’ literatures – converting porn, missing person adverts, war journalism into poetry. He has recently edited the poetry/text art anthology THE DARK WOULD (Richard Long, Tacita Dean, Ron Silliman, Jenny Holzer et al). Charlie Says adopts the skin of a pulp thriller while eroding the content.
The book spills from its traditional boundaries to include material hidden on the internet and a forthcoming twitter feed.
Davenport: “The Manson/Monkees mashup resonated with me – the juxtaposition of an idea of innocence with extreme violence. I started reading around the subject, watching documentaries about Manson and the late 1960s in West Coast America. The wildness of Manson’s speech caught my ear, the biblical cadence and his traces of hillbilly. One night I started writing him and the voice came clean and clear, like a whisper down a phone line. I called him Charlie X and let him loose to play in the Los Angeles of my imagination, the place I used to escape to via TV. Ironically, the more I wrote the more LA was inflected with Belfast, the place I grew up near. It is always burning and graffitied, prowled by young soldiers and by skinny old men, the shop signs are hand-painted and the Coca Cola ads are from the 1950s and everywhere is unease. This is the world that Charlie recounts and it’s where he hunts, looking for opportunities and weakness.”

Author Biography

Philip Davenport has worked as a poet, journalist, copywriter and dishwasher. His first  book Imaginary Missing People was published by experimental UK publisher Writers’ Forum in 1999. His short story collection All About Evil was The Big Issue magazine Book of the Week.Charlie Says is his debut novel. He has recently edited THE DARK WOULD language art anthology (2013).Transmission Print
A British small press that promotes and develops work by writers who dismantle the humdrum, often by embracing outsider viewpoints and language. Charlie Says continues this project: the novel breaks language and narrative conventions whilst holding to an overarching story shape. Davenport plays with the idea that the psychopath, like the private detective in previous eras, has become the shaman or seer through whose sensibilities we re-see our own world. This is a dark fable set in the Hollywood sunlight, alternately violent, sweet, comedic. For more information, author interviews, and full list of titles, go to our website 


THE DARK WOULD language art anthology will feature on the BBC literary discussion programme The Verb at 10pm Friday 19 April. Listen online to the programme live, or via podcast at:

THE DARK WOULD gathers work by over 100 contributors including some of the most noted artists and poets alive today. This is a moment in time when poets and many artists share the same primary material: language. The anthology is split between two volumes – paper and virtual. Many of the works here are in two parts, speaking to one another across the paper/virtual divide, as a metaphor of dis/embodiment, considering time, mortality and human traces in the natural world.

As Editor Philip Davenport writes: “THE DARK WOULD asks what it is to live in a body now, knowing that one day we won’t be here. Perhaps this is best done by people for whom language is itself a state of between-ness. Here is a gathering of artists who use language and poets who are in some wider sense artists.”

Jerry Rothenberg, Rosemarie Waldrop, Tom Phillips, Nja Mahdaoui, Tom Raworth, Paula Claire, Susan Hiller, Robert Grenier, Ed Baker, Lawrence Weiner, John M Bennett, Kay Rosen, Allen Fisher, Richard Long, Ron Silliman, Richard Wentworth, Kevin Austin, Maria Chevska, Alan Halsey, Ken Edwards, Mike Basinski, Charles Bernstein, Jenny Holzer, Hainer Wörmann, Tony Lopez, Fiona Templeton, Maggie O’Sullivan, Geraldine Monk, Márton Koppány, David Annwn, John Plowman, Jesse Glass, Jurgen Olbrich, Liz Collini, Robert Sheppard, Patricia Farrell, Fernando Aguiar, Shirin Neshat, Penelope Umbrico, Gregory Vincent St Thomasino, Anne Charnock, Steve Waling, Robert Fitterman, Michalis Pichler, David Austen, Keiichi Nakamura, Shaun Pickard, Geof Huth, Tony Trehy, Wayne Clements, Peter Jaeger, Eléna Rivera, Kenny Goldsmith, Harald Stoffers, Erica Baum, Nick Blinko, Philip Terry, Caroline Bergvall, Carol Watts, George Widener, Philip Davenport, Nico Vassilakis, Monica Biagioli, Tacita Dean, Jeff Hilson, Alec Finlay, Christian Bök, Fiona Banner , Nigel Wood, Satu Kaikkonen, Simon Patterson, Dave Griffiths, Nayda Collazo Llorens, Vanessa Place, Peter Manson, Andrew Nightingale, Matt Dalby, Steve Miller, Christoph Illing, Sean Burn, Doug Fishbone, arthur+martha, Hung Keung, the gingerbread tree, Brian Reed, Laurence Lane, Tomomo Adachi , Tom Jenks, David Oprava, Scott Thurston, Julian Montague, derek beaulieu, Wang Jun , Mike Chavez-Dawson, Alec Newman, Rick Myers, Andrea Brady, Eric Zboya, Linus Slug, Jeff Grant, Richard Barrett,  Christopher Fox, Linus Raudsepp, Carolyn Thompson, Tsang Kin-Wah, Stephen Emmerson, andrew topel, Anatol Knotek, Ola Stahl, Roman Pyrih, Christine Wong Yap, Sarah Sanders, Ying Kwok, Catherine Street, Michael Leong, Sam Winston, angela rawlings, James Davies, Rachel Lois Clapham,  Steve Giasson, Amelia Crouch, Aysegul Torzeren, Jeremy Balius, Emily Crichley, Amaranth Borsuk, Ben Gwilliam , Imri Sandstrom, Sam le Witt, Michael Nardone, Tamarin Norwood, Lucy Harvest Clarke, Jessica Pujol Duran, Holly Pester, Rebecca Cremin, Ryan Ormonde,  Nick Thurston, j/j hastain, Bruno Neiva, SJ Fowler, Alex Davies, Helen Hajnoczky, Samantha Y Huang, Anna Frew, Nat Raha, Jo Langton, Ekaterina Samigulina, Emma King, Leanne Bridgewater and more.

THE DARK WOULD language art anthology

THE DARK WOULD language art anthology
Launch at Whitechapel Gallery 11April, 7.30-9 pm
£4/3 (concs)

Join us in the Whitechapel Gallery, London, for the launch of a pioneering anthology of text artists and poets, with talks/readings by artist Simon Patterson and poets Caroline Bergvall and Tony Lopez.

THE DARK WOULD gathers work by over 100 contributors including some of the most noted artists and poets alive today: Richard Long, Jenny Holzer, Fiona Banner, Maggie O’ Sullivan, Tacita Dean, Tom Phillips, Tom Raworth, Nja Mahdaoui, Lawrence Weiner, Susan Hiller, Tsang Kin-Wah, Charles Bernstein and many, many more.

This is a moment in time when poets and many artists share the same primary material: language. Conceptual art, vispo, text art, outsider art, conceptual poetry, flarf, concrete poetry, live art, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, sound scores… THE DARK WOULD is a compelling document of now, alchemising text into art into text.

To order tickets go here.

THE DARK WOULD comes in two volumes, one paper and one virtual, sold both together for £29.99, published by Apple Pie Editions.

THE DARK WOULD at the Poetry Library

A preview event at London’s Poetry Library for a new, pioneering anthology of text artists and poets ‘The Dark Would’, which includes work by over 100 contributors including Richard Long, Fiona Banner, Charles Bernstein and many more, with readings and a panel discussion by artists and poets. Chairing the discussion and fielding audience questions is ‘The Dark Would’ editor Philip Davenport and curator Tony Trehy. More at the Poetry Library site.

The warm, the cold and the homeless

when youre not around people

Homeless people in Manchester have been telling their stories with needle and thread – embroidering the words onto a patchwork quilt, exhibited at Holden Gallery, Manchester 4-18th December.

the warm /&/the cold is a project run by arts organisation arthur+martha, led by poet Phil Davenport and artist Lois Blackburn, who have spent many months working with the homeless community, alongside students from MMU.

Davenport said: ‘The quilt was created by asking simple questions which don’t have simple answers. When were you warm? When were you cold? People talked about being physically cold, but also emotional warmth and cold. Some of the stories were brutal, others funny, or angry – or wise. People outside society can often have great insight.’

The project was devised to help homeless people develop new life skills, socialise and build their confidence. Volunteer student helpers from the Embroidery Department at Manchester Metropolitan University helped to stitch the work and also made quilts in reply. Volunteers from the Women’s Institute also lent their needles and expertise, embroidering the epic 9 feet by 12 feet patchwork poem.

Blackburn said: ‘Some of the students have put heart and soul into this – enthusiastic and very open-minded. Homelessness is a taboo, but it is likely to get more common in this time of economic hardship. We’ve met people from many walks of life and of many abilities. Often their family life has been disrupted and they spiral down from there. We hope that bringing students into the project will help promote acceptance of homeless people and wider understanding.’

The project challenges stereotypes about homelessness, combating hate crime against homeless people and emphasizing needs shared by us all – especially shelter and acceptance. arthur+martha use experimental writing techniques in their collaborations with marginalised people, especially cut-up and poems ‘found’ in conversation; the final pieces are often presented in public spaces and art galleries. This project is simultaneously an art exhibition and a sequence of text animations being shown by the BBC on Big Screens in Manchester and Liverpool.

A long-running project diary describing this and other arthur+martha work with homeless people in Manchester – particularly at The Big Issue in the North office, The Booth Centre and The Red Door – is to be found at the blog

the warm /&/the cold is funded by Arts Council England and Bury Arts Service. It is partnered by The Booth Centre, The Big Issue in the North, BBC, Salford University Media Department, Manchester Metropolitan University Embroidery Department.

Media contact: Philip Davenport

Press Free Press Respond

press free press RESPOND: A monthly series of active reading. Each month we choose two publications available to read in the Poetry Library – the selection is based on browsing and instinct. We are mostly interested in reading new work. In the library we each have 20 minutes to read each publication. Outside the library we are talking and writing in response: talking (5 minutes) / writing (5 minutes) / reading each other / repeat x 4. Resulting 12 documents are unedited recordings of live talking and unedited transcriptions of live writing. We hope this series will encourage dialogue between poets and books. This month, ‘Waffles’ by Matthew Welton and ‘Appeal in Air’ by Philip Davenport:

the little society

Visual poetry by Philip Davenport, at Turnpike Gallery, Leigh, Wigan, UK. April 2-14. This exhibition questions the idea of a BIG society by focusing on the voices of the little and the lost.

Davenport’s poems APPEAL IN AIR and POLLINATORS OF EDEN erupt from the page into dizzy sequences of word/space disjuncts spilling across the large gallery.

APPEAL IN AIR is a celebration of quiet voices, the people at the fringe –- and the songs of birds. Texts bend into the shape of birds and weave through a city skyline. Children mimic birdcalls as a soundtrack for the space. Language morphs into code: Davenport’s “Liquid morse.” APPEAL celebrates the many voices and languages that make up a world – including those that get lost in noise.

POLLINATORS OF EDEN replays the form of a child’s educational book, complete with an instructional animation of a drowning shark. The piece documents encounters with people in North Manchester, an area of stark economic hardship, and is cartoonishly illustrated by local school pupils, in bright counterpoint to the dark tone of the poem.

Much of the material in the show derives from Davenport’s recent book APPEAL IN AIR, published by Knives Forks & Spoons Press.

Davenport’s debut was published by seminal avant-garde press Writers Forum in 1999; his heartporn/poems written on apples were shown at the 2004 Liverpool Biennial. His work has been variously billposted and exhibited throughout Europe and in China. Davenport curated the largest survey exhibition of Bob Cobbing’s work for Bury Text Festival in 2005 and the first posthumous gallery exhibition of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s work in 2006. He often collaborates with other artists and writer, including Ben Gwilliam, Lee Patterson, Tom Jenks. His current sequence of spreadsheet poems have been exhibited in the Henry Moore. APPEAL IN AIR is published by Knives Forks and Spoons press, UK whose list includes many British avant-garde poets.

For further information contact TURNPIKE GALLERY (+44)1942 404420

EXHIBITION FACEBOOK PAGE!/media/set/?set=a.257496341008638.59781.208328225925450&type=1

APPEAL IN AIR isbn 978-1-907812-77-4 available from