Curated by Lawrence Lek and The White Review, the recent ‘Pyramid Schemes’ project brought together a collection of texts concerned with real and imaginary buildings; I was among one of the sixty invited artists and writers to submit a 100-word piece for the exhibition, responding to the call-out to ‘explore architectures of their own creation’.
From Lawrence’s site: ‘For one night only, an immersive installation at The White Building in Hackney Wick will shape the collected texts into a panoramic cityscape. Please join us on Thursday 2nd May from 7-10pm to celebrate the spectacle of this fictional city. A limited edition of fold-out artists’ books will be produced to accompany the event’. There was, and there were! The publication is also available online on the dedicated site, and will provide much fun for your scrolling mouse-wheel/trackpad sensibilities.
Also scooped from Lawrence’s site: here’s a nifty, pyramid-studded list of participants whose texts were used, and a selection of images from the night.
Darran Anderson ▲ David Bainbridge ▲ Anna Blair ▲ Jorge Luis Borges ▲ Martin Byrne ▲ Jen Calleja ▲ Steven Chodoriwsky ▲ S.J. Christmass ▲ Calvin Chua ▲ Holly Corfield-Carr ▲ Rishi Dastidar ▲ Adrian Dannatt ▲ Alexandre Dumas et al. ▲ Rachel Falconer ▲ Jon Ferguson ▲ Adam Nathaniel Furman ▲ Niall Gallacher ▲ Patrick Goddard ▲ Oliver Griffin ▲ Evan Harris ▲ Rye Dag Holmboe ▲ John Holten ▲ Matt Hutchinson ▲ Miranda Iossifidis ▲ Daniel Ivec ▲ Claire Jamieson ▲ Verity-Jane Keefe ▲ Clare Kirwan ▲ Miles Klee ▲ Alana Kushnir ▲ Léopold Lambert ▲ Patrick Langley ▲ Lawrence Lek ▲ Bella Marrin ▲ Dorrell Merritt ▲ Thomas More ▲ Amanda Oosthuizen ▲ Daniel Rourke ▲ Andi Schmied ▲ Jack Self ▲ Camila Sotomayor ▲ St. Augustine ▲ Viktor Timofeev ▲ Karen Whiteson ▲ Eley Williams ▲ Nathan Witt ▲ Alan Worn
The exhibition dovetails with Lawrence’s essay ‘Pyramid Schemes: Reading The Shard’, featured in The White Review No. 7 alongside works by Luc Tuymans and John Stezaker.
Annexe Magazine set itself an exercise in curatorial trust with its recent collaborative online project XZ#1. From their guidelines:
The aim is to get inside stories and see how different writing styles can join forces to create something fresh, but recognisable. To do this, we’re taking particular genres/styles/species of fiction and breaking them down, looking under the hood and building them back up in smaller chunks.
Each story gets six writers and each writer gets one section. They are given a bare framework to work on, everything else is up to them, and they aren’t told what the other five writers are coming up with.
The genre was fixed as ‘noir’, three character names were supplied and the word-count was suggested; other than that, all five writers were given free rein. An untethered rein, too – each participant was only provided with the preceding chapter as a basis for their submission. Narrative as sandpit, so it’s interesting that the final piece Singing the Necessaries saw jawlines, bottles, cigarettes and the colour blue garner quite so much shared press.
The illustrations are also very tasty. I recommend popping on some stinking jazz and giving it a quick virtual thumb-through below. With thanks to editor Nick Murray, and the other contributors Ben Gwalchmai, Komal Verma, Akiho Schilz, Jack Swain and John Boursnell.
September saw me scamper in a rather ungainly fashion in many directions, most memorably up here:
But! While I was getting lost and trialling different genres of ‘bedraggled’, two new short stories have appeared online.
‘And Back Again’ has found a place with Exegesis Journal; featuring articles that examine Rumi and Richardson, book reviews and a poetic treatment of the exegetical by Debra San, Issue One can be read on-site or downloaded as a .pdf.
I have been remiss in updating hereabouts – in the meantime, I have succeeded in eating no eels but at least one battered sausage, upgraded my MPhil to PhD status and have done some readings.
But! More excitingly! In March, my short story ‘Moonlighting’ was included in the first issue of new e-journal The South Circular. Alongside work by Adrian Duncan, Shane Hulgraine, Eddie Stack and entirely lovely illustrations by Fuchsia Macaree, it’s a great venture run by excellent people. I was plum chuffed to sit within its pages. With Issue 2 available now for €3, and Issue 3 taking submissions until 16th July, please do give it a look: the Issue containing my story can be accessed by clicking the above image.
‘Rink’ – a short story that received a kind runner-up nod in a 2011 competition and mentioned previously here – has now been added to the Notes from the Underground site, submitted as a response to Charlie Crane’s photograph of a figure skater. You can read it by clicking not here, but here. All the winning entries have been made into great text/image Photo Stories that have been hung variously in the Saatchi offices and Foyles café; keep up with the exhibition as it flares up around the nation hereabouts.
Issue 3 of Night and Day, the goddamn beautifully rejiggered quarterly online magazine from Vintage Books, features my story ‘Synaesthete, Would Like To Meet’.
With contributions from Toby Martinez de la Rivas, Rachael Allen, Anthony Gormley and Edmund de Waal (amongst others), it’s a cracking read and looks good enough to eat. Available on all possible digital devices for precisely £0.
A short story of mine has topped the list at the London School of Journalism’s bi-monthly Microfiction competition. Submissions had to use fewer than 400 characters; the Tools – Wordcount menu function has never taken such a battering.
All the winning stories can be found here.
Ambit journal has been making bookshelves look better since 1959, its Highgate offices delivering a busy smelter of poems, short stories, reviews and artwork on a quarterly basis each year. July 2011 saw the launch of their first ‘Youth Issue’ - much of the contents was produced by those under the age of 35 and features work by Sam Riviere, Liz Berry and Edward Mackay.
My short story ‘Of Seeping and Draining’ crept in there too – it was great to meet and read alongside many other contributors at the issue’s launch in Kentish Town. Many thanks to the Ambit team for the opportunity and for curating such a tasty-looking journal, as well as to the Owl Bookshop for the venuehood. Thanks also to artist Mireille Fauchon, whose commissioned drawing accompanied my piece.
A small addendum to my note about the Yorgos Loizos art/poetry collaboration launched earlier this month in the SSE Space gallery. The text accompanying the artist’s images – including work by me and Anna Kirk, amongst others – is now available to read as an Issuu .pdf hereabouts.
I managed to snaffle a hard-copy but the images are actually clearer on the online version. Some great submissions from the UCL Young Writers alongside the artwork — apart from a STRAY BASTARD APOSTROPHE that my editing eye didn’t notice at the time but now snags upon it like some kind of grapple-hook, on fire, the size of a house etc
If you’re in the Bloomsbury area, please do look the small gallery up and have a ponderwander.
Earlier I mentioned that composer Steven Jackson and I had collaborated for a new exhibition piece in Manchester, courtesy of the Royal Northern College of Music. The festival is this weekend at the Victoria Baths; details of our and others’ pieces may be found on the flyer here.
In the renovated surrounds of the old bathhouse our project slots in as part of the Second Class Males collective (named after the sign above the changing-room doorway) comprising of composer David Futers, saxophonist Kyran Matthews, composer Aaron Parker, poet Eileen Pun, poet Sam Quill and composer Laurence Tompkins. I have an appropriate back-up disguise just in case I need to saunter in casually.