Under the aegis of POLYply, poet Prue Chamberlain and I coerced an evening of poetry at the Centre for Creative Collaboration featuring Sophie Mayer, Francesca Lisette, Sophie Robinson and Eileen Myles. Be still the stupid lucky engine of my heart etc.
Utterly and embarrassingly enjoyable, thanks to Špela Drnovšek Zorko, Nisha Ramayya, Matt Prout, Emma Wootton, artist Duncan Marchbank, Drs. Will Montgomery and Kristen Kreider and the C4CC staff for the evening’s smooth-running: calls to “put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard” have never felt easier nor more worthwhile.
To all the readers, particularly to Eileen and her generosity of time post-event, and to Prue: thanks. You’re all hot tickets and safe bets.
On 10th October, fellow members of the Generative Constraints conference organising committee and I staged a performance as part of POLYply 26. This was hosted by the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre‘s regular series and saw much scampering, lobsterment and moribund (z)shushing.
The theme of the evening was ‘Aphorisms’ and saw performances from Paul Buck, Vincent Dachy, Holly Pester and David Stent. This particular POLYply was run in association with Artwords Press and saw the launch of Vincent Dachy’s new book Scraps from the Bottom of my Pocket: Bywords in Flexions. Buy! Buy! Listen: buy.
Many thanks to Nik Wakefield, Diana Damian Martin, Prue Chamberlain and Nisha Ramayya, our inability to decide consistent pronunciations for ‘dramaturgy’, all the night’s performers and Drs. Kristen Kreider and Will Montgomery for puttingonupwithalong.
My story ‘Sketch’ crops up in the new, second collection of Annexe’s Introducing series alongside work by poets Dorothy Lehane and Milou Stella. Please do come along and support this great press, with a chance to snaffle both this and the series’ previous pamphlets on October 7th with an event at The Betsey Trotwood for the official launch – free entry, with 7pm start for performances.
I have a short piece of prose in The White Review No. 8 alongside poems by John Ashbery and Jack Underwood, new fiction by China Miéville and interviews with Deborah Levy and Sophie Calle as well as critical work by Orlando Reade and Guy Gormley‘s photographs. From flyleaf to footnote, I’ve long been smitten with this journal so I’m a whole brace of unabashed up-thumbs to be appearing on their contents page this quarter.
The White Review is available to buy via their website, or in bookshops listed here.
I had the opportunity to present a short paper about giant rats in literature as part of a three-day conference titled ‘Monsters and the Monstrous: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil’. All the panels were held at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University courtesy of the Interdisciplinary Network and saw examinations of perceived ‘monstrosity’ in film, art, sociology and ethnography, literature and folktale.
Papers covered everything from transmutant axolotls to cannibalism, necrophilia as an alternative Heimlich manoeuvre to the posited connection between Shakespeare’s Caliban and Nicki Minaj’s music videos. Many thanks to Simon Bacon, Rob Fisher and Kasia for convening the overall event, my fellow panel-members Marcia Heloisa Amarante Gonçalves (‘The Devil Whisperer: Animality as a Path to Taming the Monster in The Exorcist‘) and Almudena Nido (‘Monstrous Heads on the Hero’s Body: Animal Art and Hybridity’) and all the conference delegates for their insights, prompts and fascinating conversation.
As part of Annexe Magazine’s spoken word line-up, the LeeFest Clocktower provided stage and space for Phil Mann, Charlie Dupre, Devawn Wilkinson, Amber Massie-Blomfield, Michael Schuller, Nick Murray, Gary from Leeds, Rosa Campbell, the Elephant Collective, Clare Fisher and me to shoot our various breezes. Thanks to the organisers for a music-filled day of rollicking in the countryside, and to whoever put that big steaming yellow fireball in the sky for a marqueecentric weekend.
On 10th July I will be attending Kingston University’s 1st International Conference hosted by their Writing School, Pedagogy and Practice: Writing and Higher Education. A morning of panels and workshops will also feature keynote speaker Philip Gross, and Prof. Vesna Goldsworthy interviewing Hanif Kureshi. I will be popping up as part of the post-conference readings alongside S J Fowler, Kimberley Campanello and Nisha Ramayya; do visit the conference’s dedicated site to see details and attend what will be an interesting day’s mulling.
Imperial College played host to this year’s Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference, a two-day event held to hear members of the global writing network discuss their projects and research.
The UK’s Great Writing international Creative Writing conference is a place to share creative and critical work, to explore Creative Writing, and to discuss those explorations with Creative Writing colleagues from around the world. Launched almost 15 years ago, each year the conference welcomes creative writers from all over the world — many of whom work in universities and colleges, or are undertaking graduate degrees in Creative Writing.
I was able to listen to a variety of talks that ranged in subject from David Bishop holding forth on Challenging the Writing Sample: a new approach to recruitment and admissions processes to Dr. Marcelle Freiman on “The page of the mind”: a ‘cognitive turn’ in creative writing. I was presenting on the possible connections between the creative and the lexicographical, where talk of jungftak and mountweazels seemed to square neatly with my fellow panel-member Rob Magnuson Smith‘s paper on the Uncanny Character of Animals in Fiction.
Thanks to Prof. Graeme Harper and Dr. Simon Holloway for presiding over the day, and Annabel Banks for both chairing my session and sympathetically galvanising my creative-critical headcogs in the sunshine.
A wonderful day thanks to the organisers and delegates at the recent Poetry and the Dictionary symposium and roundtable discussion, held at St. Peter’s College, Oxford. The zeal and zealotry for words and the process of ‘ their shape and lustre [...] given by the attrition of ages’ was exhibited in full force.
Great papers by Prof. Charlotte Brewer, Matthew Sperling, David Antoine Williams (he of the slaveringly philologiwonderful blog), Peter Gilliver, George Potts, Mia Cuthbertson, postgraduate from my former college Vidyan Ravinthiran, Giles Goodland and fellow Royal Hollowayfarers Kate Potts and Amy Cutler for their enthusiasm and insight. My head was peeled back and filled with better things.
Recently named among the Best Young British Novelists by Granta, Pushcart-prizewinning writer Benjamin Markovits came to read a selection of prose alongside purpureus writers in Royal Holloway University’s rooms on Gower Street. He also answered questions from the floor and gave feedback to the readers, both of which were greatly appreciated – thanks to him and fellow readers Dimitri, Susan, Preti, Aamir and Ishita for making the day go smoothly and enlivening the afternoon with their work.