Now booking for October 2014…
Explore the expansive modern tradition of British experimental poetry, as S J Fowler presents a necessarily idiosyncratic insight into the vibrant innovative poetries which have sought originality in the UK over the last 50 years. The sessions will explore the distinctive qualities of the British avant garde and chart a course through an enormous field of writing. Not formed by generation, region or faction, Vanguard explores characteristics that are possessed by, but in no way encompass, the work of many great British poets.
Week 1 – October 23rd – Rapidity
Exploring immediacy, alertness; quickness; celerity, concision. Scalpel cuts at smugness / pomposity, seeking the fragmentary whole. Drawing from the work of Tom Raworth, Maggie O’Sullivan, Denise Riley, Barry MacSweeney, Andy Spragg, Frances Kruk & others.
20/06/2014, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm.
A reading from contributors from the Bloodaxe anthology, Dear World & Everyone in it, including Nathan Hamilton, Steven Fowler, Kate Kilalea and Sam Riviere as part of the Midsummer Poetry Festival at Bank Street Arts, Shefiield.
As part of the Poetry in Collaboration exhibition at The Poetry Library, a special Camarade event will be held on May Tuesday 20th. As well as a quick introduction to the exhibition itself, around a half dozen pairs of poets, some of the most memorable from previous incarnations of Camarade, will read original collaborations, including James Byrne & Sandeep Parmar, James Davies & Philip Terry, Sam Riviere & Joe Dunthorne, Samantha Walton & Jo Walton. Please rsvp at firstname.lastname@example.org as space is limited, but entrance is free.
For the first time ever in London, Morten Søndergaard’s Wordpharmacy will be exhibited for Steven Fowler’s Fjender project.
From March 15th -31st, The Hardy Tree gallery, just behind Kings Cross St Pancras, will be turned into a fully functioning poetic chemist’s, a pharmacy for the avant garde poet, replete with stocked shelves, white-coated pharmacist and a near endless supply of word-drugs.
There will be a special reading/preview on Thursday March 20th, 7.30pm, at the Hardy Tree gallery. Free entry. A half dozen British based poets have been commissioned to write, or conceive of, original works that respond to the ideas and concepts of the project. On this evening brand new work from Alison Gibb, David Berridge, Claire Trevien, Andy Spragg, Prudence Chamberlain, Fabian MacPherson & of course, Morten Søndergaard himself will be shared.
This tremendous course starts in January…
Explore contemporary innovations in European poetry in Steven Fowler’s company and discover how their remarkable explorations in the written word often compliment, rather than antagonise, more formal writing practice. Over 5 sessions, 5 great poetic movements will be used as references to springboard you into new writing techniques, stressing the possibility amidst the history. Covering OULIPO, Austrian modernism, Concrete poetry, CoBra and the British poetry revival, this course – with the energy, dynamism and invention of the movements it explores – will enrich anyone’s poetry horizons. Steven will organise a post-course reading for students on this course.
Some more details, direct from Steven …I’m delighted to announce that in 2014 I will be teaching a course for the Poetry School http://www.poetryschool.com called Maintenant! exploring post-war & contemporary European avant-garde poetry. It’s a bi-weekly course, five lessons over ten weeks, aiming to elucidate traditions that might be occluded in the UK, and explore how their innovations in writing can compliment people’s poetry in the now. The onus is on how these great moments in modern poetry can enrich writing practise, rather than dense historical analysis. It’s a rare chance to excavate avant garde work in such a setting, please sign up below if interested & in London.
Week One: January tuesday 28th – OulipoGeorges Perec, Jacques Roubeau, Raymond Queneau up to Frederic Forte and British Oulippeans like Philip Terry. The constraints that emancipate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oulipo
Week Two: February tuesday 11th – Austrian postwar modernismThomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, Elfriede Jelinek. How to deal with the legacy of Fascism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Handke
Week Three: February tuesday 25th – Concrete poetryHansjörg Mayer, Bob Cobbing, The Vienna Group, Oyvind Fahlstrom, Marton Koppany up to Anatol Knotek. The visuality of the poem as its meaning http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_poetry
Week Four: tuesday March 11th – CoBrAAsger Jorn, Christian Dotremont, Pierre Alechinsky. Dutch, Danish, Belgian & beyond, poetry as art revolt & primitivism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBRA_(avant-garde_movement)
Week Five: March tuesday 25th – British Poetry RevivalTom Raworth, Bill Griffiths, Maggie O’Sullivan & many many more.
Those every British poet should know, our immense late 20th century Vanguard heritage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_poetry_revival & near the end of the course, on March 15th 2014, at the Rich Mix arts centre, the students will get a chance to read some of the work they’ve produced during Enemies: Fjender, which explores contemporary Danish avant garde poetry in collaboration, with Cia Rinne, Martin Glaz Serup and Morten Sondergaard, who will also be exhibiting his remarkable Wordpharmacy http://www.wordpharmacy.com Here is the interview series that inspired the course http://www.maintenant.co.uk/ all 97 editions so far.
Readings from The Hardy Tree Gallery, St Pancras which took place on the closing night of the Enemies exhibition, 20th July 2013
Tamarin Norwood http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtE2sBTai1A
Sandeep Parmar & James Byrne http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUhLczT7Wl4
James Davies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUyGoEE94UQ
Ensemble collaborative reading & Goodbye http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6yJ3m5x4rs
Cornerhouse are hosting a brand new live-language-cascade mixing lecture, performance and archive-feedback with video-smith Sam Meech, and poets Steven Fowler, Nathan Jones and Hannah Silva.
Composite: Feedback is a multimedia showcase and live archiving event curated by Mercy, mixing together spoken-word performance with live sampling, notation, analogue processing, and projection – all in one self generating feedback loop. A beautiful and absurd experiment, where the performers and array of interfaces are thrown into a productive conflict.
The event is split into three sections, beginning with short talks and performances on noise, speech violence and glitch, followed by a feedback work-out, pushing the performers into a state of continual improvisation. Finally the Annexe will be left to perpetuate itself as a throbbing artifact of degenerating feedback material.
Featuring poets Steven Fowler, Hannah Silva and Nathan Jones. With video design by Sam Meech. This event is part of the Manchester Weekender. More here.
Poets for Pussy Riot
Wednesday August 29th 2012 – 7pm until late – Free entrance
at the Rich mix arts centre, main space venue,
35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA 020 7613 7498
With the news that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich of the Russian punk collective, Pussy Riot, were sentenced to two years in prison for a wholly necessary and valid political protest, contemporary poets in London will come together in a unique evening of readings, featuring original poetry and text, as well as the words of Pussy Riot themselves. This event is an act of solidarity through the medium of poetry – a celebration of the courage and spirit of fellow writers of this generation, writing for real political change in a country that needs it.
Featuring readings from over 30 poets including Tim Atkins, David Berridge, Becky Cremin, Kirsty Irving, Francesca Lisette, Chris McCabe, Reza Mohammadi, Sandeep Parmar, Tom Raworth, Jack Underwood, James Wilkes and many others.
email: email@example.com for details.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 7:30pm. The Apple Tree, London WC1X.
New anthology from Bloodaxe Books edited by Nathan Hamilton and featuring, amongst others, Other Room readers Emily Critchley, Steven Fowler, Colin Herd, Chris McCabe, Sophie Robinson, Linus Slug (Mendoza), Keston Sutherland, Joe Walton and Steve Willey.
Reading from Fights
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
Read it here.
Just as the radical continental poetic methodologies of the 20th century have left an indelible impact on contemporary British poetry, so, it seems, has the model of the poet as a thinker and teacher. Scott Thurston is a central facet in the recent resurgent brilliance of North Western British poetry in and around Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester. His is an innovative poetic defined by its care, intricacy and sophistication, and his reputation as a seminal and urbane poet over the last few decades has established him as a vital part of the UK’s poetry scene. In a comprehensive and generous interview he discusses his role as a poet, a teacher, his experience of European poetics and his beginnings in innovative poetry.
Accompanying the interview are four of Scott’s poems from the work, Sustainability.
A poet of international significance, the remarkable life and poetic career of Yuri Andrukhovych could be the source material for a film, or a good book (as it is, in a manner of speaking). After serving in the Red Army, he was a founding member of arguably the most important experimental literary group in the history of the Ukraine, the Bu-Ba-Bu (the group’s name stands for бурлеск, балаган, буфонада – ‘burlesque, side-show, buffoonery’), before taking his mantle as one of the most important political-literary figures in his home nation and a significant presence during the 2004 /2005 Orange revolution. His is an utterly distinctive idiom, both in his poetry and his widely acclaimed novels – some of the most bombastic, vital and memorable being produced in Europe at large. He stands firmly in the great European tradition of parody, satire and criticism and we are honoured to welcome our 53rd Maintenant subject, winner of the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding, Yuri Andrukhovych.
Accompanying the interview are six of Yuri’s poems.
It would be a reduction to call Tomica Bajsić a war poet. It is true that his poetry is a voice of record, and undoubtedly, his former profession as a special forces soldier during the most tumultuous days of his nations recent history have shaped him and his work in general. However, Tomica inhabits a wider archetype, of which his war experiences are just one element of a much grander ideal. He is a poet of exploration, of challenge. He is a poet who makes his primary medium a full and unrelenting exaltation of experience, and his poetry follows from this worldview. In a generous interview, Tomica Bajsić, for the 54th edition of Maintenant, discusses his unique life and poetry.
Accompanying the interview are seven of Tomica’s poems.
3am magazine & the Maintenant series presents in conjunction with Europe house presents
Nauja Poezija: Young Lithuanian & British poets in collaboration
April Friday 8th – 7pm – Entrance free to all (32 Smith Square, London SW1P)
We welcome three of Lithuania’s finest young poets to London with a reception at Europe House and an exchange of poetry from some of the finest native poets the city has to offer. Alongside Donatas Petrošius, Gabriele Labanauskaite and Tomas S. Butkus, a half dozen resident poets, featuring Agnes Lehoczky, Jeff Hilson, Jon Shaw, Tim Atkins, Kate Kililea and more will read short excerpts from their work.
In a limited edition of 40, the Red Ceilings presents the Songs of Salvador Sanchez, the 20th cycle in SJ Fowler’s “Fights” series. The Red Ceilings began as a poetry blog for both new and established contemporary poets and quickly expanded into publishing an ebook series of online and downloadable booklets. They have now started their latest venture – a series of limited edition A6 pocket sized chapbooks. They welcome submissions for the ebook series, chapbooks and blog and like innovative, experimental and avant-garde poetry in particular. For more information email Mark Cobley at firstname.lastname@example.org
An iconic poet in Scandinavia, Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson, or UKON, as he is often known, has established a remarkable reputation in the literary culture of Sweden at large, despite being a challenging and innovative poetic practitioner. A resident of Gothenburg, and a winner of the prestigious Göteborgs-Posten literary prize, he is a practising psychologist and psychoanalyst as well as a poet, and his prolific poetic output advocates the level of intellectual engagement and complexity that his chosen profession would suggest. It is hardly surprising that he also a deft satirist, lacing his writing with a black humour worthy of the great European tradition he maintains. For the 51st edition of Maintenant, Sweden’s UKON.
Accompanying the interview are five of Ulf Karl’s poems, translated by Fredrik Hertzberg, Karri Kokko, and Leevi Lehto.
It is rather apt, or rather remiss, that for the fiftieth edition of Maintenant we present our first French poet. The first of many no doubt. It is all the more appropriate, given our dictum, that our first French subject is the youngest, and 35th, member of Oulipo. As the most contemporary representative of that legendary group of writers and poets, it goes without saying Frédéric Forte is an adroit, inventive and certain presence in the ever-lively and rich French poetry scene. We are extremely pleased to mark our half-century featuring a poet who epitomises our commitment to urbane, intelligent and important poetry which is still evolving into its own distinguished completion.
Accompanying the interview are eight of Frédéric’s poems, translated by JJ Poucel and Michelle Noteboom.