Monday, 23 May 2016

gorse: art in words at ILF Dublin

On Friday 27 May we'll be at a secret location* as part of International Literature Festival Dublin 2016. I was delighted to be asked to programme this event, which I curated around the gorse tagline 'art in words' and which will feature Kimberly Campanello, Maria Fusco, Robert Herbert McClean and Suzanne Walsh.

9pm start, entry €5.00 - Book Here. Full details below:

gorse is “the most vital and outward-looking of Irish literary journals”, featuring long-form narrative essays, original fiction, poetry, interviews and more. An exploration of the potential of literature, gorse is interested in writing where lines between genres blur, and in intersections with other forms of art and culture. For this special event, curated by poetry editor Christodoulos Makris and taking place at a venue to be disclosed to ticket holders on the evening of the performance, gorse presents four writers whose work has appeared in its pages, and with connections to the audio-visual arts.

Kimberly Campanello’s previous poetry publications include her debut collection Consent and the limited edition book Imagines.

Maria Fusco is a Belfast-born writer working across criticism, fiction and theory. Her most recent work, Master Rock, is a repertoire for a mountain, commissioned by Artangel and BBC Radio 4.

Robert Herbert McClean is an experimental writer and audio-visual artist. His debut book Pangs! is available from Test Centre.

Suzanne Walsh is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work often draws on ideas around poetic truth and the human/animal divide.

* to be revealed at time of booking.

Monday, 9 May 2016

European Literature Night 2016 - Edinburgh & London

I look forward to taking part in European Literature Night for the second year running, expanded and rebranded as European Literature Festival, this time representing Ireland at events in Edinburgh and London over 13-14 May 2016.

I'm especially excited to be contributing to these showcases of the diversity of writing and compositional approaches that currently exists in the continent, and to highlight and celebrate the inclusive, cross-border and unhierarchical nature of these events.

My participation is possible thanks to generous funding support from Culture Ireland.

Edinburgh, Friday 13 May
The Edinburgh edition, curated by Colin Herd, Theodora Danek and SJ Fowler, and presented by The Enemies Project on behalf of UNESCO Edinburgh City of Literature, will comprise two events:

Part 1: 5pm – 6.30pm at North Edinburgh Arts Centre, 15a Pennywell Road, Edinburgh, EH4 4TZ: Performances from selected poets involved in European Literature Night.

Part 2: 8pm - 10.30pm at Summerhall, Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL – Red Lecture Theatre: Performances from European and local to Edinburgh poets followed by a specially commissioned collective performance.

Both events are free, but booking (through the links above) is recommended.

Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, Nurduran Duman, Billy Ramsell, Alessandro Burbank, Alexander Filyuta, Christodoulos Makris, Efe Duyan, Martin Bakero & Tomica Bajsic. With supporting readings by Edinburgh-based poets Heather O’Donnell, Dominic Hale, Colin Herd and Graeme Smith.

Be a part of #EuroPoem: #EuroPoem is a collaborative international poetry initiative which responds to a need to explore what Europe is, means, and can be ahead of the UK’s referendum on EU membership. European writers are invited to submit two lines of poetry to the collective poem; contributions are of equal value, with no one poet setting the agenda of the poem. Curated by Colin Herd and Theodora Danek, #EuroPoem is an exciting cross-European poetry event. Following its launch in Edinburgh at Summerhall, the poem will continue to emerge and evolve online through the Twitter hashtag #EuroPoem. No two versions of the poem need be the same, as it will constantly re-emerge as poets from across Europe continue to add to this collaborative work. We would like you to be part of this first iteration of #EuroPoem and become part of European Literature Festival. Please tweet your two lines of poetry to @edincityoflit using the hashtag #EuroPoem as part of European Literature Festival on 13th May, or email Colin Herd on with your contribution.

London, Saturday 14 May
With my fellow participants in Edinburgh I will then travel to London for the following evening's first ever European Poetry Night. Curated by SJ Fowler, it will feature brand new collaborations across languages, styles and nations written specifically for the occasion - including my collaboration with France-based poet, musician and psychotherapist Martín Bakero.

Rich Mix Arts Centre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
7.00pm, Free Entry

Vanni Bianconi (Switzerland) & Billy Ramsell (Ireland)
Alessandro Burbank (Italy) & Alexander Filyuta (Russia / Germany)
Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir (Iceland) & SJ Fowler (UK)
Ulrike Ulrich (Switzerland) & Jen Calleja (UK / Malta)
Nurduran Duman (Turkey) & Jonathan Morley (UK)
Christodoulos Makris (Ireland / Cyprus) & Martin Bakero (France)
Tomica Bajsic (Croatia) & Colin Herd (Scotland)
Ghareeb Iskander (UK) & Ahsan Akbar (UK)
Ariadne Radi Cor (Italy) & Iris Colomb (France)
Ana Seferovic (Serbia) & Agnieszka Studzinka (Poland)
Rufo Quintavalle (UK / France) & Ian Monk (UK / France)
Niillas Holmberg (Sami) & Peter Sulej (Slovakia)
Efe Duyan (Turkey) & Livia Franchini (Italy)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Compass Lines #2

We're in Belfast for Compass Lines #2, where I'll be in conversation with Miriam Gamble and Nerys Williams, and where the poets will present their collaboration City of Two Suns, specially commissioned for the event and published that day by the Irish Writers Centre. In addition, earlier in the day they will deliver a joint writing workshop in the Ulster Museum to a group composed of participants in various existing writing classes in Belfast.

Compass Lines is a writers’ exchange project aiming to establish links between writers and communities in the North and South of Ireland, while additionally examining relationships between the East and West of these islands, through workshops, public discussions, and the commissioning of new collaborative writing.

Developed by poet, editor and curator Christodoulos Makris in collaboration with the Irish Writers Centre as producing organisation, and with the participation of the Crescent Arts Centre as partner venue.

Compass Lines #2
Miriam Gamble & Nerys Williams
Wednesday 11 May 2016, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
7.30pm, entry via Eventbrite €8/€6 or on the door €10/€8

Compass Lines Irish Writers Centre

Miriam Gamble is from Belfast, but now lives in Edinburgh. She is a graduate of both Oxford and Queens University Belfast and in 2007 she won an Eric Gregory Award for her pamphlet with Tall-lighthouse entitled This Man’s Town. Her first full-length collection, The Squirrels are Dead (2010) won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011, and Pirate Music followed in 2014, both of which are published by Bloodaxe.

Originally from West Wales, Nerys Williams lectures in American Literature at University College, Dublin and is a Fulbright Alumnus of UC Berkeley. She has published poems and essays widely and is the author of A Guide to Contemporary Poetry (Edinburgh UP, 2011) and a study of contemporary American poetics, Reading Error (Peter Lang, 2007). Nerys’s first volume, Sound Archive (Seren, 2011), was shortlisted for the Felix Denis (Forward) prize and won the Rupert and Eithne Strong first volume prize in 2012. She is the current holder of the Poetry Ireland Ted McNulty Poetry Prize.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Review of The Architecture of Chance in Trumpet

Issue 5 of Poetry Ireland's literary pamphlet Trumpet (Spring 2016) carries Michael S. Begnal's review of The Architecture of Chance - in a piece also discussing Trevor Joyce's Rome's Wreck and Peter O'Neill's The Dark Pool.

Begnal describes the book's devices as "similar perhaps to Dada, Oulipo or the more recent Flarf poets" and remarks that despite such practices often being looked upon as "rarefied or merely academic exercises" the work is in fact "deeply engaged with the world, at times outright political". He uses examples as varied in approach as 'XXXXX', 'From Something to Nothing', 'Prime Time' and 'Two Nudes' to discuss the book's concerns (its "wry socioeconomic critique" among others) and concludes with the view that The Architecture of Chance "manages to be continually engaging, often surprising, and frequently funny".

My thanks to Michael Begnal for his perceptive and generous reading of the book, and to Poetry Ireland's Paul Lenehan for commissioning it for Trumpet.

The issue also features an essay by Enda Coyle-Greene - arising out of last year's cross-stream: ways of writing project - in which she writes about the composition of her poem 'Metathesis'.

Other articles in Trumpet 5 include reviews of books by Breda Wall Ryan and Connie Roberts, an appreciation of C. K. Williams by Michael O'Loughlin, a piece on poetry in Belfast by Stephen Connolly, and poems by Blake Morrison, Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Gabriel Rosenstock.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

gorse No. 5

Issue 5 of gorse was published at the end of March, ushering in the second phase of the journal: publication frequency is now up to three times a year (March, July, November) with the page count set at 200 pages. The new single issue price is €13.00.

“It’s certainly a work of great beauty even before you open it. After only four issues it’s become one of the most regarded journals around.” – Daniel McCabe, Magalleria

In this issue I'm proud and excited to be publishing brand new poetry from SJ Fowler ('Prism' - from a sequence celebrating Edward Snowden), Linda Kemp (four poems), Alan Jude Moore ('Gabriel'), Doireann Ní Ghríofa (two poems), and James Wilkes (the sequence 'Sputniks').

Susan Tomaselli's editorial 'The Geometry Blinked Ruin Unimaginable' introduces the themes running through the issue, discussing among much else Andy Warhol's 'Death and Disaster' series, Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers, Marinetti and The Futurist Manifesto, and Picasso's 'Guernica'.

gorse No. 5 also includes essays by Diarmuid Hester, Darragh McCausland, Nathan Hugh O’Donnell and Benjamin Robinson; fiction by Will Ashon, Maria Fusco, Olivia Heal, D Joyce-Ahearne, Helen McClory, Simon Okotie and Eimear Ryan; interviews with Owen Hatherley by Robert Barry and with Sarah Pierce by Claire Potter; and aphorisms by Susana Medina, translated by Jonathan Dunne.

You can buy gorse No. 5 individually from the website or you can purchase a subscription. Back issues (except No. 1) are also available from the gorse shop. In addition, the journal is stocked in selected bookshops.

Please join us in celebrating the launch of gorse no. 5 in The Liquor Rooms (5 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2) on Wednesday 20 April with readings by D Joyce-Ahearne, Darragh McCausland, Alan Jude Moore, Nathan Hugh O’Donnell, and Eimear Ryan. Start time is 7.30pm and admission is free.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Phonica: Two

Phonica is a Dublin-based poetry and music venture with an emphasis on multiformity and the experimental. Conceived, curated and hosted by Christodoulos Makris and Olesya Zdorovetska, it aims to provide an outlet for the exploration and presentation of new ideas, a space where practitioners from different artforms can converse, and an environment conducive to collaborative enterprise and improvisation.

Phonica: One compilation video | Phonica feature in the current issue of Totally Dublin (April 2016)

For Phonica: Two, the curators will be joined by Fergus Kelly, James King, Paul Roe and Catherine Walsh to explore spaces between sound poetry, performance, new music, experimental poetics, invented instruments and collaboration.

Wednesday 13 April, 8pm
Jack Nealons, 165 Capel Street, Dublin 1
Admission Free

Fergus Kelly is a sound artist from Dublin working with field recording, soundscape composition, invented instruments and improvisation. He has shown nationally and internationally and received many Arts Council awards. In 2005 he established a CDR label and website, Room Temperature, as an outlet for his solo and collaborative work, producing the CDs Unmoor (2005), Material Evidence (2006), Bevel (2006) (with David Lacey), A Host Of Particulars (2007), Strange Weather (2007), Leaching The Pith (2008), Swarf (2009), Fugitive Pitch (2009), Long Range (2010), Unnatural Actuality (2014) and Quiet Forage (2015) (with David Lacey). Albums on other labels: A Congregation Of Vapours, (Farpoint Recordings 2012), Neural

James King grew up in Larne, Co. Antrim and has lived in Derry for twenty-five years. Since retiring from his post as Course Director for Community Drama at the University of Ulster in 2004, he has developed his career as performance artist and sound poet while maintaining his interest in creative activities with vulnerable groups in the community. His publications include Moving Pitches (yes Publications, 2008) and Furrowed Lives (self-published, 2012).

Paul Roe (Clarinets) creatively combines three of his most passionate interests-performance, teaching & presence-based coaching, in a richly rewarding artistic life. As a collaborative artist he particularly is engaged by the intellectual and conceptual discourse of interdisciplinary practice.

Catherine Walsh is from Dublin and currently lives in Limerick. She is the author of nine books, and her work is featured in a number of anthologies, including the Anthology of Twentieth-Century British & Irish Poetry (Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford, 2001) and Centrifugal: Contemporary Poetry of Guadalajara and Dublin (EBL-Cielo Abierto / Conaculta, Mexico City, 2014). She co-edits the ‘resting’ Journal and hardPressed Poetry with Billy Mills, and she was Holloway Lecturer on the Practice of Poetry at University of California, Berkeley for 2012/13.

Christodoulos Makris' latest book The Architecture of Chance (Wurm Press, 2015) was chosen as a poetry book of the year by RTÉ Arena and 3:AM Magazine. He is featured in Poetry Ireland Review's special issue 'The Rising Generation' (April 2016).

Olesya Zdorovetska is a Dublin-based performer and composer originally from Kyiv, Ukraine. Her solo projects include ‘Subconscious Songs from Ukraine’, exploring traditional music, ‘Before Speech’ songs without words in search of a musical proto-language, ‘Undefined Pleasure’, ‘Poesias Espanolas’, an investigation of Spanish poetry, ‘The Docks’ a sonic response to social and political life and ‘Sounds of Telling’, based on Ukrainian contemporary poetry. Throughout a wide range of other collaborations she frequently performs contemporary classical, jazz, salsa and improvised music. Her current artistic practice also includes scores and sound design for film, theatre and contemporary dance.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

gorse showcase at Poems Upstairs

I'm pleased to be programming and introducing gorse poetry showcase for the April edition of Poems Upstairs, featuring readings by Colin Herd, Robert Herbert McClean and Doireann Ní Ghríofa.

Produced in association with Poetry Ireland.

Wednesday 6 April 2016, 7.00pm
Books Upstairs, 17 D'Olier Street, Dublin 1
Tickets €6 (includes a glass of wine)

Colin Herd (gorse No. 1) is a poet and Lecturer in Creative Writing at The University of Glasgow. His books include too ok (BlazeVOX, 2011), Glovebox (Knives, Forks and Spoons, 2014) and Oberwildling – with SJ Fowler (Austrian Cultural Forum, 2015). Collaborative artist books with the artists Cat Outram (The Open Wound in My Living Room) and Susan Wilson (blots) have been shown at the Royal Scottish Academy and Edinburgh Printmakers. He is co-director of The Sutton Gallery and regularly hosts poetry events there.

Robert Herbert McClean (gorse No. 4) is an experimental writer and audio-visual artist. His work has appeared in The White Review, The Irish Times, and is forthcoming in Poetry Ireland Review. His artist statement can be viewed on his website, and his debut book Pangs! is available from Test Centre.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa (gorse No. 5) is a bilingual writer whose work has appeared in The Irish Times, The Stinging Fly, Poetry, and elsewhere. Among her awards are the Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary. Her most recent book is Clasp (Dedalus Press, 2015), shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Award. She writes "with tenderness and unflinching curiosity” (Poetry Magazine, Chicago).

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A new review of The Architecture of Chance

I'm happy to note that more than a year now since publication of The Architecture of Chance the reviews keep coming. This latest one is from Sabne Raznik, a writer, editor and book reviewer based in Kentucky in the US.

In what is a generous reading, Raznik calls the book "an exciting collection" where "the rewards are substantial". She focuses on some of the more conceptual and process-based material, particularly on 'Heaney after Rauschenberg' of which she writes: "while soothingly familiar in vocabulary, it decenters Heaney's careful poetics almost completely ... it serves as an eerie, aching tribute of sorts - even as it seeks to shatter the comfortable traditionalism of Heaney's legacy".

My thanks to Sabne Raznik for the attention to the book, and for her continued interest in my work: along with this review she republished a review on my previous books from an old blog.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Guest Speaker at York St John University

On Monday 14 March I'll be giving a talk at York St John University as part of the Faculty of Arts visiting speaker programme, for which "artists and curators come to YSJ to give one-off artist talks, lead focussed tutorial and critique sessions or work alongside a full-time academic member of staff to design and deliver a project or module." My thanks to Lucy O'Donnell for the invitation.

I'll be speaking on the interconnected strands of my practice - compositional, editorial & curatorial - with various visual aids and material as suggested further reading. With that in mind (and also looking ahead to a forthcoming event next month) here's James King & Ellen Factor performing at the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry in 2014 as part of Yes But Are We Enemies:


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

some mark made

some mark made is a new limited edition publication that considers hybrid, material and intellectually rigorous literary practices. Edited by Sue Rainsford, it features "experimental and speculative writing in the veins of poetry, prose and criticism from Claire Farley, Shauna Barbosa, Caroline Doolin, Michael Naghten Shanks, Michelle Hall, Jonelle Mannion, Christodoulos Makris, Julie Morrissy and Sue Rainsford."

Rainsford writes in her editorial: "Often, when literary activity foregrounds its visual or tactile elements, when it embraces process or takes place away from the immediate terrain of the page, it’s ascribed titles such as ‘hybrid’, ‘performative’ or ‘experimental’. These terms seem to soften boundary lines so that bodies of writing can be intuitive rather than narrative, sensory rather than descriptive. It is worth remembering, however, that literature is by nature expansive, tactile and interrogative."

My contribution to some mark made bears the title 'people power and dance culture...' and is taken from a new work in progress that investigates among other things decentralised modes of communication, the fluidity of identity in online environments, and spaces between web-based and physical writing. This from Rainsford's editorial:

"Christodoulos Makris’ poem also draws on the fecundity of linguistic forms. Alternating between anecdotal and lyrical, Makris offers us a rumination that is implicitly interrogative, employing words as dynamic units and agrammatical fragments. While the poem compels us to read it aloud, speech is conjured even by the most cursory glance at the page, and the reader apprehends the subject of the poem as well as the textural power of syntax. It calls to mind Derrida’s pneumatological writing, in that the poem sees words brought close again to voice and breath."

some mark made will be launched on Friday 4 March at The Winding Stair bookshop in Dublin, with readings from Shauna Barbosa, Julie Morrissy and myself. Start time is 6pm and admission is free.