Tuesday, 19 March 2019

European Poetry Festival in Ireland

I'm excited to be co-producing and programming the closing event of the 2019 edition of the European Poetry Festival.

7.30pm, Monday 15 April
Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co Kildare
Free Entry

Poets visiting from across Europe join Ireland-based poets with European connections for an event showcasing the energy and innovation of 21st European poetry. The event is curated and hosted by Christodoulos Makris, Maynooth University and Kildare County Council Library and Arts Service Writer-in-Residence 2018-19, in partnership with European Poetry Festival director, SJ Fowler.

Featuring new solo readings and performances from Serena Braida, Harry Clifton, Jessica Foley, SJ Fowler, Madara Gruntmane, Katharina Maria Kalinowski, Morten Langeland, Christodoulos Makris, Oana Sanziana Marian, Endre Ruset, Damir Šodan, and Sophie-Carolin Wagner.

Serena Braida is a writer and multidisciplinary performer specialising in voice work. She grew up near Rome and moved to London in 2011.

Harry Clifton has published ten books of poetry, most recently Herod's Dispensations (Bloodaxe, 2019). He served as Ireland Professor of Poetry between 2010 and 2013.

Jessica Foley's practice involves transdisciplinary collaborations exploring fiction, storytelling and technology through writing and multi-media. In 2018 she was awarded a two-year Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship with Maynooth University.

SJ Fowler is a writer and artist. He founded the European Poetry Festival in 2018.

Madara Gruntmane is a poet and pianist. Her first collection Narkozes (Narcoses, 2016received the Annual Latvian Literature’s Reader’s Choice Award.

Katharina Maria Kalinowski is a bilingual poet and EUmanities fellow at the Universities of Cologne, Kent, and Dublin. She pursues a PhD in Creative Writing, and has most recently been published in Magma and Epizootics.

Morten Langeland lives and works in Oslo. He has published four books of poetry, and is a literature critic for the newspaper Klassekampen. He won the prestigious prize Stig Sæterbakkens Minnepris in 2016.

Christodoulos Makris is Writer-in-Residence at Maynooth University and Kildare County Council Library and Arts Service.

Oana Sanziana Marian was born in Romania, has lived in the United States for 20 years, and is now based in Dublin. She is adjunct editor of The Yale Review.

Endre Ruset was born in Molde and lives in Oslo. He is a poet, radio host and literary critic. He has published six books of poetry, and was awarded the Bjørnson Scholarship (2005) and The Bookkeeper Scholarship (2015).

Damir Šodan is a poet, playwright, editor, translator and songwriter. He has published several volumes of poetry, most recently Café Apollinaire (2013) and The Enemy Within (forthcoming). He divides his time between The Hague, the Netherlands, and Split, Croatia.

Sophie-Carolin Wagner lives and works in Vienna. Recent publications include Poietry: Challenging Solitude and the Improbabilities of Communication (2017) and Programming is Law - Can I be a Feminist if I don't want to become a Programmer (2018).

Supported by Maynooth University, Kildare County Council Library and Arts Service, NORLA (Norwegian Literature Abroad), Latvian Literature, and Austrian Cultural Forum.

The European Poetry Festival is a predominantly UK-based festival that celebrates the resurgence in avant-garde and literary poetry which has marked the 21st century in Europe. It aims to not only expand what a live poetry experience might be, but also to inculcate community and engagement between poets across the continent, as well as between new audiences and complex poetries. The European Poetry Festival is supported by Arts Council England, Kingston University, Austrian Cultural Forum, Goethe Institut, Institut Francais and over 30 more international agencies and organisations.

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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Gestures: Writing That Moves Between (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester)

As part of the two-day conference Gestures: Writing That Moves Between to be held at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester over Friday 15 and Saturday 16 February 2019, I will present a talk incorporating a collaborative reading collectively called 'Poetry and Cultures of Feedback'.

Organised by Alice Butler, Nell Osborne, Hilary White (all University of Manchester) and Dr Alicia J Rouverol (University of Sheffield), Gestures is a conference aimed at writers and artists as well as scholars. It takes the cross-disciplinary movement in writing as its focus, and explores the role of gesture - a term more usually associated with Art History and Performance Studies - within it. Keynote speakers are Renee Gladman and Maria Fusco.

My contribution is part of the Collaborations panel, chaired by Nell Osborne and presenting in the Grand Hall of the Whitworth Art Gallery on the afternoon of Friday 15 February, which additionally includes presentations by Emma Bolland & Helen Clarke, and Holly Pester & Emma Bennett. About my presentation, from the conference literature:

My book-length poem this is no longer entertainment (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, March 2019) is formed entirely out of untreated anonymous or pseudonymous writing from the open comments sections of media websites and other digital platforms. The making of this poem over a four-year period marked by a range of socio-political shifts and events (2014-17) relied on a correspondence between an improvisational writing process (each of its 71 sections were composed in one 'take') comprising instinctive text selection and reassembly, and an ordered structure involving the sourcing of material from my everyday digital reading. Driving it was the concept of 'reading as a creative act', and an exploration of the effect of digital gestures on offline, 'real' behaviour. I will deliver fragments from an accompanying essay that frames this is no longer entertainment within a tradition of poetry resistant to perceptions of it as consumable in units of achievement and places it in parallel to experimental documentary filmmaking in its employment of strategies of détournement. These essay fragments will be punctuated by polyphonic excerpts from this is no longer entertainment with the solicited participation of the conference attendees as a device implicating the audience in this mass collaboration documentary poem.

See the original call for papers and the extraordinary full conference programme.

Gestures is co-sponsored by The Centre for New Writing and Art History and Visual Studies, University of Manchester, in partnership with University of Liverpool’s Centre for New and International Writing, and the University of Salford’s English Literature, Language and Creative Practice Research Group.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Wretched Strangers at Maynooth University

In my capacity as Maynooth University Writer-in-Residence 2018-19, I will be hosting Ágnes Lehóczky and JT Welsch, editors of Wretched Strangers (Boiler House Press, 2018), for a conversation on themes explored by the anthology, and readings from the book.

Wretched Strangers is an anthology of innovative writing from 125 poets, assembled in response to surges in violent British nationalism and political paranoia around borders, and to related social and ethical crises. It was published on the second anniversary of the UK's June 2016 EU Referendum, with proceeds donated to charities fighting for the rights of refugees.

The event takes place in the 1st floor seminar room (1.33), Iontas Building, Maynooth University, on Monday 18 February and starts at 4pm. This first presentation of the book in Ireland will additionally include readings from anthology contributors Katherine Ebury, Áilbhe Hines and Aodán McCardle.

All welcome, admission free.

On publication day, David Wheatley wrote an article on the book in The Irish Times.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Form Ever Follows Function at Illuminations Gallery

Opening Monday 4 February and running until 8 March 2019, Form Ever Follows Function is a joint exhibition by gorse and The Pickled Body literary journals at Illuminations Gallery in Maynooth University, featuring specially commissioned digital works by contributors to the journals, and a display of physical material.

Illuminations Gallery is a digital-visual exhibition space in the Departments of English and Media Studies at Maynooth University. It brings together work in the visual arts and in academia, celebrating innovation, ideas and creativity. The gallery space is built around eight LED screens, placed back-to-back in custom-designed cabinets. Supplemented by two display units which can exhibit physical artefacts, and a website which extends the gallery space, Illuminations aims to provide opportunities for education, investigation, and enlightenment – in and beyond the university.

Form Ever Follows Function is curated by myself on behalf of gorse along with Dimitra Xidous and Patrick Chapman of The Pickled Body in response to a longstanding invitation by Illuminations Gallery director Colin Graham. Exploring the spaces between the digital and the physical in writing, art, composition, dissemination and publishing, Form Ever Follows Function includes the following digital pieces:

  • Sean Hayes (TPB) & Michael Naghten Shanks (g + TPB): 'The Art of Friendship'. Video, with audio based on a script inspired by and appropriating interviews and articles about the Japanese rent-a-friend industry.
  • Kimberly Campanello (g + TPB): 'Form Ever Follows Function'. Video with audio track of original poetry.
  • Clare Archibald (g): 'Memories of Contort'. Video, stills & motion, with spoken audio. "The vocal and harmonica are first-take with some background noise. This represents some of the spaces in between words and the digital and the written".
  • Imogen Reid (g): 'From Text to Textile'. PowerPoint presentation. Introduction/Statement and series of images – "treated book pages, overprinted and hard to read".
  • Ria Czerniak-LeBov (TPB) & Fiona Brennan: 'Etching in Memoriam'. Video.

In addition to the digital works, there are two vitrines with displays of objects produced at various points by each of the journals. The gorse vitrine includes a range of ephemera (pencils, playing card, bookmark, postcard, folded index, badges) as well as a full numbered GOR publication list on one side, and a copy of each of the 10 issues of the journal published so far and of Gorse Editions No. 1 (Subcritical Tests by Ailbhe Darcy & SJ Fowler) on the other.

Admission to Illuminations Gallery is free at all times.


A launch event takes place on Wednesday 6 February at 6.30pm featuring a short discussion between Dimitra Xidous, Ria Czerniak-LeBov and Fiona Brennan. Admission free, all welcome.

Friday, 28 December 2018

The Tangerine Issue 7

Section 69 from my forthcoming book this is no longer entertainment: A Documentary Poem (due out with Dostoyevsky Wannabe in March 2019) is excerpted in issue 7 of The Tangerine.

A thrice-yearly journal of new writing based in Belfast, The Tangerine includes features, reportage, commentary, fiction, poetry, illustration and photography. It is concerned with "things being various" (as per Louis MacNeice) and "seeks to provide a space for a plurality of voices: for new creative work, thoughtful discussion, and critical engagement with culture and politics in Belfast and beyond."

My contribution to the issue is the last section from the book to be excerpted prior to publication; the text makes reference to Marcel Duchamp's works and ideas, and includes tangential and occasionally unrelated discussion fragments.

My thanks to poetry editor Caitlin Newby and the extended editorial team at The Tangerine for giving space to my work. Other contributors to issue 7 (available at £9 + delivery) include Stephen Connolly, Suzanne Walsh, Darragh McCausland, Roisín O'Donnell, Megan Nolan and Ian Sansom.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Irish Poetry Reading Archive

A while ago I recorded six poems from my 2015 book The Architecture of Chance for the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, an initiative of University College Dublin (UCD) Library Special Collections, with footage now uploaded to the Special Collections YouTube channel. These recordings, along with handwritten manuscripts of some of these poems that I made specially for the reading, will form part of the collection's digital archive.

The Irish Poetry Reading Archive is a central repository that holds recordings of Irish poets and writers reading their work and giving a brief overview of the context and circumstances that influenced the writing of the poems. The collection aims to capture and preserve the contemporary poetry landscape in Ireland, and includes established and emerging poets, performance and avant-garde poets, English and Irish language poets, and diaspora poets. Recordings began in April 2014, and the archive was launched in December 2015 by the Minister of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The collection is an ongoing project.

Poetry recordings are hosted initially on the UCD Special Collections YouTube Channel; then twice a year, along with handwritten manuscripts, they are batch uploaded onto the UCD Digital Library Irish Poetry Reading Collection, where preservation and free access are assured. An A-Z list of poets recorded to date and other news are available on the Irish Poetry Reading Archive Online Guide.

My thanks to Lucy Collins at UCD School of English, Drama and Film, and Ursula Byrne at UCD Library, for inviting me to contribute to the archive.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

gorse No. 10 on The RTÉ Book Show

I was a guest on Sunday's (18 November) RTÉ Book Show on RTÉ Radio 1, where I spoke about gorse No. 10 as part of an episode presented by Sara Baume and dedicated to artists' books.

Other guests on Sunday's edition were David Crowley of the National College of Art and Design, Jamie Murphy of The Salvage Press, Katie Blackwood of the National Irish Visual Archive Library, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios director Cliodhna Shaffrey, and artist Alan Phelan.

You can read a full description of the episode on the show's website, where you can also listen back to it. Or you can do so on SoundCloud:

It was a pleasure to speak with Sara about the issue. Thanks to producer Regan Hutchins and to series producer Zoë Comyns.

gorse No. 10 is now available to purchase directly from the gorse website for as long as stocks last. A detailed description of the issue can be found here.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Reading at Maynooth University

This coming Wednesday 7 November I'll be reading in the Arts and Humanities Institute at Maynooth University (Room 1.33, 1st floor, Iontas Building) in an event introducing myself and Paul Lynch as Writers-in-Residence for 2018-19. We start at 4pm and the event is free and open to the public.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Phonica: Nine

Phonica: Nine

Monday 12 November 2018
Boys School, Smock Alley Theatre
Admission: €8.00 / €6.00

Adrian Crowley
Ed Devane
Máighréad Medbh
Julie Morrissy
Rouzbeh Rashidi
Judith Ring

Phonica is a multidisciplinary performance series rooted in Word and Sound, with an emphasis on multiformity and the experimental. Conceived, directed, programmed and hosted by Christodoulos Makris and Olesya ZdorovetskaPhonica aims to explore compositional and performative ideas and to encourage a melting pot of audiences and artists from across artforms.

Phonica: Nine will feature performances and presentations from a range of exceptional, groundbreaking and award-winning writers, musicians and artists, in the realms of dramatic spoken word performance, experimental electronic music, avant-garde filmmaking, electroacoustic musique concréte, multimedia field research-based poetry, and improvisational spatial sounds w/ drones.

Featured Artists:

Adrian Crowley is a songwriter, singer, composer, writer and recording artist. Originally from Galway he is now based in Dublin. October 2017, saw the worldwide release of his eighth album, Dark Eyed Messenger, produced by and featuring Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman. The album was recorded in New York in Bartlett’s studio in under a week. and follows 2014’s Some Blue Morning, both released on the legendary Scottish label Chemikal Underground Records. Previous albums include I See Three Birds Flying (2012), Season of the Sparks (2009) and Long Distance Swimmer (2007) - all of which were nominated for The Choice Music Prize, with Season Of The Sparks winning the the prestigious award for Irish album of the year in 2010. Since recording with Steve Albini in 2001, Crowley has toured extensively in the USA and Europe, received attention from The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Les Inrockuptibles, Mojo, and recorded radio sessions for New York’s WNYC, WFMU and BBC 6 Music. 2018 has seen Crowley touring across Europe playing venues such as La Botanique in Brussels and churches and venues through out Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain & Portugal, This year he also appeared at La Philharmonie in Paris, Festival Printemps de Bourges, End Of The Road Festival in England and The Lincoln Centre in New York. The latter was in the context of a live film score for the 1920s lost classic 'The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse' with a group of five musician/composers invited by The New York Film Festival. Crowley is also involved in film and recently enjoyed his debut role as screenwriter, working with Irish director Niall McCann on the latter’s new feature film entitled 'The Science of Ghosts', which saw its world premiere in February 2018 at The Dublin International Film Festival, and was screened at Galway Film Fléadh and Cork’s IndieCork film festival. The experimental documentary which centres around Crowley as the principal character will be appearing at film festivals throughout 2018. On occasion he works with Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s foremost contemporary ensemble, and they premiered new work together at Explore The North Festival in The Netherlands and The National Concert Hall, Dublin. He was recently artist in residence at Centre Cultural Irlandais in Paris. and is currently working on his ninth studio album.

Ed Devane is an Irish multidisciplinary artist working primarily with sound. His work encompasses electronic music production, musical instrument design and manufacture, educational workshop facilitation and interactive sound installation. He is a member of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland and has been funded by the Irish Arts Council, Culture Ireland and Limerick City of Culture Visual Arts Legacy Program. As a musician, he has released music under his own name on labels such as Touchin' Bass and Mantrap Recordings, and as Withering Zithering on Acre Recordings and Farpoint Records. He is currently working on new beat driven material (techno / electro / industrial) after a long hiatus in experimental improvisation land. Ed has completed a number of bespoke instrument commissions for a growing list of clients around the world. Through designing and making these custom instruments Ed has explored a variety of traditional and modern building techniques including wood turning and carving, CNC milling, casting and 3D printing. These commissions have led to larger installation commissions that have been interacted with in IMMA, SARC, RCC Letterkenny and MusicTown Dublin. He has given workshops at Edinburgh International Science Festival, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hunt Musuem Limerick, National Craft Gallery Kilkenny, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios Dublin and many other art centres in Ireland.

Máighréad Medbh has published seven books of poetry and a mixed-genre work (Savage Solitude, Dedalus Press, 2013). She has also written for radio, and three novels are online as ebooks. After the publication of her first book, The Making of a Pagan (Blackstaff, 1990) she became known for dramatic performances and has performed widely in Ireland, Europe and the US. Composition focus is generally on methods of embodiment - the movement towards and from the text. Her latest book, Parvit of Agelast: A Fantasy in Verse (Arlen House, 2016), was shortlisted for the Pigott Prize 2017. Currently she’s interested in essays (she publishes a monthly essay-blog on her website), mixed genre, poem-strings and verse novels, and has begun work towards a creative-critical PhD in experimental literature in DCU.

Julie Morrissy is an Irish poet, critic, activist, and scholar. In 2016 she was named one of Ireland's "Rising Generation" poets by Poetry Ireland. Her chapbook I Am Where (2015) is published by Eyewear, and was shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards, UK. Her debut collection Where, the Mile End is forthcoming in 2019 with BookThug, Canada. She has performed her work internationally, most recently at O, Miami Festival, Book Week Scotland, and the Toronto International Festival of Authors.

Rouzbeh Rashidi is an Iranian-Irish filmmaker. He has been making films since 2000, at which time he founded the Experimental Film Society in Tehran. He has always worked completely away from  mainstream conceptions of filmmaking, striving to escape the stereotypes of conventional storytelling. Instead, he roots his cinematic style in a poetic interaction of image and sound. He generally eschews scriptwriting, seeing the process of making moving images as exploration rather than illustration. His work is deeply engaged with film history. 'Homo Sapiens Project' is the distillation and, in some ways the culmination, of Rashidi’s experimental film practice. Initiated in 2011, it is an ongoing series of films that provides a ‘laboratory’ for experimenting with cinematic forms, and fully explores the potential of filmmaking as an integral and ongoing part of daily life, as enabled by today’s digital technology. Rashidi has collaborated with a large selection of artists from all over the world. He moved to Ireland in 2004 and currently lives and works in Dublin.

Judith Ring is a composer/musician/producer and all round music lover based in Dublin. She has been writing music for the past 20 years and has been greatly inspired by living in such places as Berlin, London, York, Paris and Dublin. Her music stems from the electro-acoustic world and its core technique is based on the practices of musique concrète. Over the years this has expanded and been influenced by more improvised and instrumental territories derived from a deep exploration of instrumental timbre through collaborative projects with a large number of musicians. Current works underway include a multi-media music-theatre piece based on a text by writer/composer Michael Gallen partly funded by an Opera bursary from the Arts Council and a set of cello pieces for cellist Martin Johnson to be recorded and performed in 2019. In October 2014 her debut cd entitled What Was was released on Ergodos records to great acclaim. This was funded by the Music Network recording scheme. In 2017 she self-released an EP of songs using poems by Roderick Ford called The Ring Lieder. She performs as a member of Clang Sayne and Silver Kites on a regular basis. She has written pieces for Concorde ensemble, Crash Ensemble, Percusemble, Trio Scordatura, Tryst, University of York chamber orchestra, and Bradyworks (Canada). She has also written a large number of solo/duo with/without tape for Martin and Adele Johnson, Michelle O’Rourke (voice), Kate Ellis (cello), Garth Knox (viola), Natasha Lohan (voice), Paul Roe (bass clarinet), Laura Moody (Cello), Damien Harron (percussion), Elisabeth Smalt (adapted viola), Malachy Robinson (double bass), Andre Leroux (tenor sax) and Rolf Hind (piano). Her pieces have been performed worldwide. She has a PhD in composition from the University of York and Masters in Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin. Judith is represented by the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland and the Association of Irish Composers.

Phonica acknowledges generous funding support from Dublin City Council and Poetry Ireland.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Kildare Readers Festival 2018

On the evening of Saturday 13 October I'll be at The Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge, Co Kildare, as part of Kildare Readers Festival 2018.

Running over two weeks across various public library venues, but with most of the major events concentrated at The Riverbank over the weekend 12-14 October, this is the 9th edition of the festival, produced by Kidare County Libraries and Arts Service.

For this event, fellow Maynooth University Writer-in-Residence Paul Lynch and I will be in a moderated conversation with Edel Coffey Margaret Scott, discussing the residency programme and our own work. We start at 8pm. Tickets are free but booking is required.