I watched coverage of the general election all night, from the 10pm exit poll to Thanet South’s 10am raspberry, so it was with an odd mix of adrenaline, queasiness and fizzfatigue that I answered 3:AM magazine’s commission to respond to the night’s events.
I’m very pleased to have been shortlisted for this year’s Short Story Prize, run annually by The White Review.
My story ‘Smote, or When I Find I Cannot Kiss You in Front of a Print by Bridget Riley’ is available to read online on the journal’s site alongside the other wonderful shortlisted entries by David Isaacs (also shortlisted in 2014!), Owen Booth, Paul McQuade, Luke Melia, Nick Mulgrew, Chris Newlove Horton and Joanna Quinn. I am thrilled to pop up among such great work.
Edit: Winner the wonderful Owen Booth! Read his story ‘I Told You I’d Buy You Anything You Wanted So You Asked For a Submarine Fleet’ here, or buy in the upcoming issue 13 of The White Review.
Freshly-minted and freshly-funded, Argument is a collaborative poetry anthology edited by undergraduate members of Royal Holloway’s English department, established with a view to publishing ‘a collection of works that represents the innovative and dynamic poetry that is being continually created by the staff, students and alumni’ of the university. Its full manifesto can be seen at its dedicated tumblr here.
I’ll be attending the anthology’s launch night on campus’ Crosslands venue; copies of the book, pubished by Oxunibooks, will be on sale for a charitable donation with all proceeds going to REWRITE, an organisation set up to combat prejudice and injustice by bringing young people from different backgrounds together through the power of drama and creative writing. Do come along and support this new venture, and hear some new great voices working in poetry and prose.
Alongside poets and practioners Jen Calleja, Rebecca Perry, Jörg Piringer, Max Höfler, Ann Cotten, Esther Strauss, James Wilkes and Robert Herbert McClean, I’ll be reading work with Feinde as part of SJ Fowler‘s ongoing Enemies project.
It’ll all be taking place on May 12th 2015 in the Austrian Cultural Forum by Hyde Park. Do come along for the evening to hear the visiting Austrian poets before they head up to Edinbugh for the UNESCO European Literature Night.
Video and image courtesy of the Enemies Project.
Kakania is a series of events, commissions and publications curated to address the world of Habsburg Vienna. Supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum , Pushkin Press and design agency Polimekanos, a number of artists and writers responded to certain figures who came to prominence or emerged during this time: on the 22nd January as part of this series, the Freud Museum will host an evening of poetry and performance featuring Emily Berry responding to Sigmund Freud, Esther Strauss on Anna Freud, Tom Jenks on Otto Gross, Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein and Phil Minton on Carl Jung.
Tickets for the reading can be bought here, £7 for 7pm. The evening also marks the launch for Kakania: an anthology of new works that sees over 40 writers and artists work brought together. I have a small piece there concerning Broncia Koller-Pinell; often overlooked, this article nods to her work amongst the salons of Vienna. My thanks to SJ Fowler for the commission and for the opportunity.
The other stories presented during the week included wonderful pieces by Matthew De Abaitua and Martin MacInnes, also illustrated by Carrie Crow. All the images are from a larger body of work by Crow, Observatorio, that uses views from pay-per-use telescopes throughout the world.
Many thanks to the editors at 3:AM for finding a place for the piece in such great company.
I am delighted to have been long-listed for KCL’s Creative Responses to Modernism with a wee glib closet drama ‘Embark’, all about the different dogs that crop up in salon literature.
Entries were invited from postgraduate students based at the Universities of London and Sussex, with submissions encouraged to ‘continue or challenge the modernist project’ through writing, images, short films, digital artefacts, performances or musical compositions.
The list also features Sarah Chadfield, Mary Horgan, Ivan Juritz [edit: WINNER!! – text of his brilliant ‘A Textual Source for Mallarmé’s Coup de Dés’ available with shortlisted entries here], Kate McEnery, Grace Yeong and a team submission from Simon Vickery, Tom Peters and Edward Szekely.
Final judges for the prize include Lisa Appignanesi, Michael Berkeley, AS Byatt, Alison Duthie, Juliet Gardiner, Jeremy Harding, Michael Holroyd, Stephen Romer and Fiona Shaw. My thanks to the Centre for Modern Literature and Culture for the opportunity, and I look forward to reading and hearing the other submissions.
Now in its second year, The White Review Prize was ‘founded to reward ambitious, imaginative and innovative approaches to creative writing’. I am delighted to have made the shortlist with my piece ‘Spins’ alongside writers whose work I have long admired: please follow the links to read the brilliant ‘MUEUM’ by SJ Fowler, ‘Lives of the Saints’ by Luke Neima, ‘Submission for the Journal of Improbable Interventions’ by Brenda Parker, ‘by Accident’ by David Isaacs, ‘Biophile’ by Ruby Cowling [edit: WINNER!], ‘Obsolescence’ by Joseph Mackertich and ‘Chiral’ by Paul Currion.
My piece can be read here.
On the 22nd March, acclaimed collaborative performance company Forced Entertainment staged their work And on the Thousandth Night as part of Artist of the City 2014 in Lisbon. This is a six hour durational piece:
A story is told, made up live, dragged from memory by a line of eight performers dressed as Kings and Queens, wearing cheap red cloaks and cardboard crowns. It is a long, mutating and endlessly self-cancelling story. It is a story which somehow, in its many dips and turns, seems to include many — if not all — of the stories in the world. Moving from the extraordinary to the banal, it mixes everything from film plots, religious stories, children’s stories, traditional tales, jokes and modern myths, to scary stories, love stories and sex stories.
The Kings and Queens compete, interrupting, exaggerating, taking over each other’s narratives and incorporating stolen bits into their own tales. Their storytelling moves between tiredness and hysteria, between absurd vulgarity and surprising tenderness. At times, some of the Kings and Queens take a break to sleep on the floor at the back of the space whilst their colleagues continue. At ten at night, perhaps, there are only two Kings left speaking, pushing on the tale, as one by one, the others come forward to rejoin the line.
To document the performance, I was invited to participate in a corresponding multi-authored, durational critical writing project hosted by Exeunt Magazine. The writers were stationed in London, Melbourne and Berlin with a brief to respond to the performance’s live-stream provided by the British Council; our texts were contributed in real-time as the piece played. The critical co/(r)/respondents featured the brilliant Jana Perkovic, Deborah Pearson, Anette Therese Pettersen, Bojana Jankovic, Daniel B. Yates and curator Diana Damian Martin, all of whom took ‘questions of duration, text, narrative, performance, error, invention, failure and time itself, alongside those of distance, attention, fragmentation and being together, digitally’ into consideration.
The project can be found here, in reverse order, and an artist’s live sketches of the event were produced by Århus’ Catherine Williams for Generative Constraints journal; please click the drawn images for more information.
Listed as one of Foyles’ Magazines of the Week, I have a short story in Belleville Park Pages No. 10. Pocketsized and Paris-wrought, you can scoop yours up with a bumper wee fold-out work ‘Halves’ by Sophie Haigney for a mere £2. Here are both, modelled first by a good-looking man:
and second by my sister who picked up a copy in situ at Shakespeare & Company bookshop LIKE A CHAMPION.