North by North West Poetry Tour in York: films

Films from the first date of the North by North West Poetry Tour in York are now online, including this performance by Bill Herbert and Colin Herd. Full list below.
Chris McCabe & Patricia Farrell

SJ Fowler: new for 2017

Some new books / plays / courses / exhibitions / events for the first half of the year upcoming.

New Publications

The Guide to Being Bear Aware : a new poetry collection published by Shearsman Books. Launched at York Literature Festival on March 29th, Kingston Writing School April 5th, Arnolfini in Bristol on April 6th and in London, at Swedenborg Hall in Bloomsbury, on April 11th

I fear my best work behind me : my debut art book – art brut portraiture, abstract illustration and handwritten poems, published by Stranger Press. May 2017.

Subcritical Tests with Ailbhe Darcy – A full length collaborative collection of poetry and one of the first titles, and the very first poetry book, to be published by Gorse. Summer 2017.

The Words Moving : poems on cinema – Limited edition poetry collection, each poem responding to a film, from The Devils to Angel Heart, from Salo to Jurassic Park, published by Pyramid Editions. Summer 2017


Mayakovsky As part of Rich Mix’s programme exploring the centenary of the Russian Revolution, a new experimental play on Vladimir Mayakovsky. Performed alongside new works by playwrights Petra Freimund, Larry Lynch and others.


Inventing Rauschenberg at Tate Modern – Exploring the life and legacy of Robert Rauschenberg, with a course following his innovative and wide ranging practise connected to the exhibition ongoing. 20 Feb – 20 March – Monday evenings : 18.45–20.45, in the galleries at Tate Modern. Booking here.


Worm Wood with Tereza Stehlikova – A collaborative exhibition at Kensal Green Cemetery Dissenter’s Chapel and Gallery running 100 days from May to September 2017. Featuring new works of video, text art and installation, the exhibition will feature an event programme, including guided walks and workshops, exploring disappearing west London.

Visual Poetry at Museum of Futures : February 18th to March 5th. A group show of new visual and concrete poetry, text art and avant-garde sculpture, drawing in artists and poets from South West London for the exhibition in Surbiton.


North x North West Poetry Tour : Visiting six cities across January and February, this tour of collaborative ‘Camarade’ events will draw in dozens of poets from across the region, endemic of the resurgence of avant-garde and literary poetry in the north of England in the last decade plus. New collaborations between myself and Chris McCabe, Amy Cutler, Nathan Walker & more. Curated with Tom Jenks. Supported by Arts Council England. 

Fiender: Swedish Enemies – January 28th at Rich Mix: Free
20 poets present 10 brand new collaborations to celebrate the visit of some of Sweden’s, and Europe’s most interesting writers. A new collaboration with Aase Berg, alongside poets including Elis Burrau & Holly Corfield Carr, Kathryn Maris & Patrick Mackie, Annie Katchinska & Mark Waldron. Curated with Harry Man. Supported by Arts Council Sweden.

University Camarade II – February 25th at Rich Mix: Free
The University Camarade asks pairs of creative writing students from different Universities in the UK to collaborate on short new works of poetry or text, for performance.  The second event in the series features students from Kingston University, Oxford Brookes, York St John, Kent, Essex, York and Royal Holloway

English PEN Modern Literature Festival – April 1st at Rich Mix : Free
30 contemporary UK-based writers present new works in tribute to writers at risk around the world. The festival continues English PEN’s relationship with innovative contemporary literature over an extraordinary day. The 2017 festival will feature Denise Riley, Hannah Silva, Sandeep Parmar, Vahni Capildeo, Luke Kennard, Nathan Jones, Tony White, Matthew Welton, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Sasha Dugdale & many others.

The North by North West Poetry Tour at Edge Hill

The North by North West Poetry Tour comprises over sixty poets collaborating in pairs to produce brand new collaborative works for performance, commissioned for each event, over six nights in January and February 2017. The tour visits Edge Hill University on Thursday 19th January with performances by Robert Sheppard & Joanne Ashcroft, Luke Thurogood & Brendan Quinn, Martin Palmer & Laura Tickle, Jessica Tillings & Jazmine Linklater, Adam Hampton & Matt Fallaize, James Byrne & Cathy Butterworth, Mark Greenwood & Johnathan Hartley, Tom Jenks & Tim Allen, Chris McCabe & Patricia Farrell and Amy Cutler & Nathan Walker. More here.

The North by North West Poetry Tour in Manchester

The North by North West Poetry Tour comprises over sixty poets collaborating in pairs to produce brand new collaborative works for performance, commissioned for each event, over six nights in January and February 2017. The second date of the tour is in Manchester on Saturday 14th January at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 3 Cambridge St, Manchester, M1 5BY with performances by Richard Barrett & Tim Allen, Helmut Lemke & Tony Trehy, SJ Fowler & Tom Jenks, Chris McCabe & Amy Cutler, Patricia Farrell & Nathan Walker, Alec Newman & Rachel Sills, Ben Knight & Ben Morris, Bryony Bates & Gareth Twose, Sarah-Claire Conlon & Fat Roland, David Gaffney & Adrian Slatcher, Lauren Bolger & Joey Frances, Matt Dalby & Steven Waling, Luke Allan & Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir and Jazmine Linklater & Jessica Tillings. More here.

The North by North West Poetry Tour in York

The North by North West Poetry Tour comprises over sixty poets collaborating in pairs to produce brand new collaborative works for performance, commissioned for each event, over six nights in January and February 2017. The tour kicks off on Friday 13th February at York City Screen, 13-17 Coney St, York, YO1 9QL with performances by JT Welsch & Kimberly Campanello, SJ Fowler & Amy Cutler, Tom Jenks & Nathan Walker, Chris McCabe & Patricia Farrell, Abi Curtis & Julie Egdell, Dave Spittle & Harry Man, Bill Herbert & Colin Herd and Melony Bethala & David Steans. More here.

The North by North West Poetry Tour


The North by North West Poetry Tour features over sixty poets collaborating in pairs to produce brand new collaborative works for performance, commissioned for each event, over six nights in January and February 2017. Poets local to each of the six venues will perform on each night alongside a core group of touring poets, who will perform at every venue. All events are free. More here.

Open Call – Museum of Futures: Visual Poetry Exhibition

An open call for new works of visual poetry or artworks that explore the visual and material properties of language through paint and print. Works may include concrete poems, asemic writing, abstract works, framed page print – there needs only to be an engagement with language in some form..

The exhibition is open to those with a cogent connection to the Surbiton and Kingston area, be it through former or present residence, work or study. Inquiries of suitability welcome.

Successful applicants will provide a framed rendition of the successful work to be exhibited for the duration of the exhibition. Participants will be invited to read at one of two events taking place during the exhibition.

More details, including how to submit work, here.

Inventing Rauschenberg: The Artist as Engineer


20 FEBRUARY – 20 MARCH 2017
Monday evenings : 18.45–20.45, in the galleries at Tate Modern.

A course with SJ Fowler exploring the work of the pioneering artist Robert Rauschenberg, as part of the exhibition celebrating his life’s work.

Over five weeks, through talks, discussions and practical writing exercises, participants will follow Rauschenberg’s innovations fundamental to 20th century art, while surrounded by his work in Tate Modern. Discover Rauschenberg’s innovative use of material, his ground-breaking sculptural combines, his engagement with popular and global culture beyond the US, his exploration of collaboration and conceptualism at the Black Mountain College, as well as his work in the field of performance, and his telling use of technology.

This course is a chance to trace this iconoclastic artist’s life and continued reinvention, whose practise genuinely scanned the fullest range of artistic possibility proximate to our time, and as part of the course, to explore in your own work the lessons we can draw from his extraordinary legacy.

More information, including booking, here.

Open Forest at Jerwood Visual Arts


November 2nd to December 11th at Jerwood Visual Arts, London.
171 Union Street. Bankside. SE1 0LN.
Gallery hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm / Saturday & Sunday 10am – 3pm

This group exhibition brings together work by the five artists selected for the R&D stage of Jerwood Open Forest in 2016: Rebecca Beinart, Magz Hall, Keith Harrison, David Rickard and David Turley. It includes a newly commissioned text  by SJ Fowler responding to, and collaborating with, David Rickard, part of a wider work entitled Returnings.


SJ Fowler – new performances

The always-busy Steven Fowler has some interesting events coming up in all sorts of places. Full details here, in summary below:

Airwaves Festival / Reykjavik, Iceland
November 3rd: A new performance and reading for the Icelandic music and arts festival.

Dhaka Lit Fest / Bangladesh
November 17th to 19th: Readings and workshops for the increasingly important festival of literature and ideas, keeping free thought and discourse at the heart of Bangladeshi

10tal Stockholm Poetry Festival / Sweden
November 22nd: A new collaboration in poetry and performance with Aase Berg, for Fiender: The Enemies Project in Sweden at 10tal’s festival in the Swedish capital in its 20th year.

Pyramid Editions launch / London, England
November 28th 7pm : The Archivist – Unit V Reliance Wharf, N1 5ET London
The official launch of my limited edition publication, Tractography, exploring language and neuroscience, with Pyramid Editions, alongside Alison Graham, Andrew Wells et al.

Times Lit Fest / Mumbai, India
December 2nd to 4th: Readings and discussions at India’s biggest literary festival. Events live streamed at

Hay Festival Arequipa / Peru
December 8th to 11th: Two new performances and a reading, including a new work responding to the poetry of Cesar Vallejo.


Kakania in Berlin

Kakania at Lettretage, Berlin – October Tuesday 11th 2016: 8pm. Free entrance Mehringdamm 61, 10961 Berlin, Germany. Supported by Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin.

New performances & poetry from:

  • Lea Schneider on Bertha Eckstein-Diener
  • Kinga Toth on ‘Sissi’ Empress Elisabeth of Austria
  • Rike Scheffler on Marie Pappenheim
  • Günter Vallaster on Raoul Hausmann
  • Fabian Faltin on Ernst Mach
  • Norbert Lange on Rainer Maria Rilke

There has been no one city’s culture, at one singular time in modern history, more widely influential on contemporary thought than that of Habsburg Vienna a century ago. A time so densely constituted with intellectual revolution in fields as diverse as poetry, fiction, journalism, music, composition, philosophy, psychology and art, that it seems it can often only be evoked through a wistfulness that belies the melancholy, the energy and the seismic change that constituted it.

But in the Kakania project, sentimentality is set aside for radical new works by contemporary artists, each responding with a new performance or reading that celebrates or commemorates a single figure from the era in question. After 7 events and a symposium in London and Berlin, from the Freud Museum to the Österreichisches Kulturforum, and two exclusive publications, Kakania returns to Berlin at Lettretage for a night of newly commissioned avant garde live artworks. More here.



SJ Fowler and Phil Minton at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG. October 7th : 8pm

Soundings comes to an end on October 7th at Kings Place with a new collaborative performance between SJ Fowler and sound art / experimental music legend Phil Minton. The performance is part of a night celebrating Hubbub at Wellcome Collection and tickets are available here.

Soundings has been a series of collaborative sound poetry and sonic art performances held in seven different venues in the city of London over the last 18 months. Each edition of Soundings began with Wellcome Librarians suggesting images, manuscripts and books from the Library’s collections in response to a title initiated by Hubbub curators. More here.

The Singing Bridge


9 – 25 September 2016, Somerset House, London.
Wednesday to Friday 16.00 – 21.00
Saturday & Sunday 13.00 – 18.00

Fascinated by the rich and largely unearthed social history of Waterloo Bridge and its rebuilding during World War II by a predominantly female workforce comes a brand new work by composer and artist Claudia Molitor.

Collect a headset from Somerset House to begin your 40 minute musical experience that features new compositions by Molitor, with contributions from drum and synth duo AK/DK, folk band Stick in the Wheel and poet SJ Fowler. The Singing Bridge weaves you along Waterloo Bridge and its surrounding paths to give you time and space to consider your relationship to this bridge and its environs. More here.

South West Poetry Tour – films

The South West Poetry Tour was a groundbreaking collaborative poetry initiative bringing together over 70 poets connected to the region moving through Cornwall (St Ives & Falmouth), Devon (Dartington) and Somerset (Bruton & Bath) in August 2016. As well as core touring poets JR Carpenter, John Hall, Matti Spence, Annabel Banks, Camilla Nelson and SJ Fowler, the project featured many dozens of well-known poets of south westerly counties and an open call for participation. Films are now online here, including the above featuring Other Room readers Tony Lopez and Elizabeth-Jane Burnett.

The South West Poetry Tour

The South West Poetry Tour runs through Cornwall, Devon and Somerset from 1st-7th August 2016, curated by Camilla Nelson and SJ Fowler. Over the course of 5 evenings 70 established and emerging poets from across the southwest perform 50 new language works in 50 collaborative pairs. Beyond producing some wonderful, energised and innovative nights of collaborative poetry, the aim of the tour is to forge creative links between poets, artists, arts organisations and audiences locally and regionally. The 6 core touring poets are JR Carpenter, John Hall, Matti Spence, Annabel Banks, Camilla Nelson and SJ Fowler.

The first event is Mon 1st August7pm : Tate St Ives
Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Barnoon Hill, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1AD : Free with entry to the museum £6/£5 – limited places
Booking: or +44 (0)1736 796 226

For full details and more information about the rest of the tour, visit


House of Mouse by Prudence Chamberlain & SJ Fowler


Discursive, playful, obscene and satirical, The House of Mouse is a collection of ten poetic collaborations written by British poets SJ Fowler and Prudence Chamberlain – each responding to a famed cartoon, each uncovering the bizarre overt and covert symbols and signs of these pervasive animations.

Dotted with original illustrations by contemporary artists like Lizzy Stewart and Duncan Marchbank, this unique collaborative collection aims to show that maybe the only thing stranger than corporate cartoon animals is avant-garde poetry.

To be launched as part of The Poetry School Camarade on July 17th 2016 at Rich Mix and The CapLet 1st year anniversary reading on August 10th at St Margaret’s House, both near Bethnal Green.

Out now on Knives Forks and Spoons.