Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Architecture of Chance reviewed in The Stinging Fly

Issue 32 Vol 2 (Winter 2015-16) of The Stinging Fly magazine is particularly strong on poetry, having enlisted the services of Billy Ramsell as guest poetry editor. A selection of poets with work in the issue were commissioned to write short additional pieces (souterrains) functioning as "archaeological features" existing "somehow under" the poems. Also included are poetry-related essays and an interview, as well as the usual 'featured poet' slot which in this issue goes to Elaine Cosgrove.

In the reviews section, Alan Jude Moore casts an eye on The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry - while Stephen Connolly reviews Miriam Gamble's Pirate Music alongside my latest book The Architecture of Chance. Among much else, Connolly writes of The Architecture of Chance that its "focus on composition moves towards explaining the book's title, its paradoxical concerns with orchestrating multiple possibilities," and that "life in a late-capitalist society is interrogated throughout." He quotes from my recent essay in Poetry Ireland's literary pamphlet Trumpet as an aid towards interpreting the work in what is an appreciative discussion of the book and its intentions.

My thanks to Billy Ramsell and to The Stinging Fly for their attention, and to Stephen Connolly for his dedicated reading. Though unfortunately my name is misspelled throughout the issue...

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Osmosis at Filmbase for Temple Bar Arts and Politics Weekend

Osmosis is a visual art exhibition at Filmbase in Dublin's Temple Bar in which selected artists explore perceptions of memory and identity through small concept-driven objects. Curated by Debbie Paul of the Debbie Paul Gallery, the exhibition is part of 'View - Temple Bar Arts and Politics Weekend', a festival run by the Temple Bar Company to mark the 25th anniversary of the redevelopment of the area.

I'm contributing to Osmosis with 'A Social Osmosis Intimated (Life Goes On)', a new commissioned piece written as a creative response to ideas, concepts and processes in the work shown in the exhibition. It will be available during the exhibition - and will also serve as an introduction to a subsequent publication from Chrome Yellow Books. Also printed will be short essays by the four participating artists: 'Beauty in Mindfulness' by Sam Tho Duong; 'Meaning and Memories' by Mirei Takeuchi; 'Identity' by Eunmi Chun; and 'Capturing Memories' by Mitzuki Takahashai.

In addition, on Saturday 21 November at 12 noon I will be taking part in a public discussion exploring themes raised in the artists' essays. The event will take place at Filmbase, and will feature participants from diverse backgrounds adding to the idea of identity in the wider community. Free, but booking is required.

The exhibition runs between 19 and 22 November 2015 and will also include café conversations and floor talks with the exhibition artists.

Monday, 9 November 2015

The European Camarade

On Friday 20 November I'll be taking part in The European Camarade at the Free Word Centre in London, with a new collaboration with poet and literary scientist Michal Habaj.

Curated by Steven Fowler and supported by many cultural organisations (including Literárne informačné centrum Slovakia, European Union National Institutes for Culture - London, The European Literature Network, and the Embassy of the Slovak Republic among others) The European Camarade is a mini-festival of European poetry in collaboration, featuring eighteen poets from across the continent presenting brand new collaborative work rooted in 21st century poetic practice.

The event will be introduced by Rosie Goldsmith of the European Literature Network.

Full lineup:

Michal Habaj (Slovakia) & Christodoulos Makris (Ireland / Cyprus)
Katarina Kucbelova (Slovakia) & Karen McCarthy Woolf (UK)
Gabriele Labanauskaite (Lithuania) & Camilla Nelson (UK)
Luke Allan (UK) & Christoph Szalay (Austria)
Valgerður Þóroddsdóttir (Iceland) & Richard Scott (UK)
Endre Ruset (Norway) & SJ Fowler (UK)
Ville Hytonen (Finland) & Colin Herd (Scotland)
Kinga Toth (Hungary) & Kim Campanello (US)
Erlend O. Nødtved (Norway) & Christopher Stephenson (UK)

Venue: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3GA
Doors: 7pm
Entrance: Free (please book through the Free Word Centre website)

Friday, 16 October 2015

Review of The Architecture of Chance on The Bogman's Cannon

A generous review of my book The Architecture of Chance appeared last week on The Bogman's Cannon - an independent hub of literature and opinion pioneered by Dave Lordan and facilitated by a network of editors including the reviewer, Joe Horgan.

Horgan's reading of the book begins with an architectural/city planning definition of the term 'desire paths' and leads to the view that "[Christodoulos Makris] has gone in to the city and carved out a series of desire paths that make this idiosyncratic collection a hugely refreshing work." He deems the work in it to be "wonderfully breaking free of the Irish tradition" and states among other things that "Makris ... treats the reader with the intelligence they deserve ... as he pins together the flotsam and jetsam of modern, urban life" and that the book "is one of the most interesting Irish collections I have come across in a long time."

Horgan reviews The Architecture of Chance alongside a pamphlet by Erin Fornoff, noting the incidence of "voices ... originating elsewhere but distilled here" and finding them "most cheering." My thanks to him for the attention to the book, and to The Bogman's Cannon for the interest in and support of my work.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

gorse No. 4

Issue 4 of gorse is now out and available to buy directly from the website, where you can also purchase a subscription, or from selected bookshops. I'm proud and excited to be publishing in it new poetry from Philip Terry, Robert Herbert McClean, Kimberly Campanello and Patrick Chapman.

Philip Terry contributes a long prose poem with title 'Bird Notes'; Robert Herbert McClean's 'Excerpt from Pangs!' is six extracts from his eponymous debut collection just out from Test Centre; Kimberly Campanello's three visual poems are taken from MOTHERBABYHOME forthcoming from zimZalla in 2016; and Patrick Chapman's 14-part sequence 'The Film of My Death' channels Alfred Hitchcock and Paris - his seventh book of poetry Slow Clocks of Decay is due out from Salmon next year.

gorse No. 4 also features fiction by Adrian Duncan, Paul Kavanagh, Thomas McNally, Hugh Fulham-McQuillan, Ian Parkinson, Pierre Senges (in translation by Jacob Siefring), and Jona Xhepa; essays by Alice Butler, Daniella Cascella, Dominique Cleary, Orla Fitzpatrick, Christopher Higgs, Barry Sheils, Suzanne Walsh and Adrian Nathan West; and two interviews: Luis Chitarroni by Andrew Gallix, and Lee Rourke by Liam Jones. Susan Tomaselli's editorial, 'Wonder is Really Nothing', takes Alice in Wonderland and dream-writing as its starting point and follows it down the rabbit hole to find Joyce, Duchamp, Burroughs & Gysin, Švankmajer, Hitchcock and much more. The cover design, as ever, is from Niall McCormack. The first 150 copies are individually numbered.

We will be celebrating the launch of gorse No. 4 at The Liquor Rooms, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2, at 7pm on Wednesday 21 October 2015, with readings from the issue by Dominque Cleary, Orla Fitzpatrick, Suzanne Walsh, Jona Xhepa & more, plus music by Gar Cox. Join us.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

collaboration event at Poets Live, Paris

On Tuesday 6 October I'll be returning to Poets Live, the excellent reading series presenting anglophone poetry to Paris audiences, to perform from my 3-year long and ongoing collaboration with Kimberly Campanello.

Beginning with the material we prepared for the 2013 edition of Camaradefest at the recently-reprieved Rich Mix arts centre, Kimberly and I have been conducting a correspondence through poems sent by snail-mail from and to various locations, our conversation revolving around items intended for public exhibition.

In addition to our collaboration we will also read from our own work.

The current Poets Live venue is Berkeley Books of Paris, 8 rue Casimir Delavigne, 75006 Paris (Métro: Odéon) and start time is 7.30pm. Admission is free.

Earlier this year I provided an introduction to Kimberly's work for her entry on the Irish section of Poetry International.

Friday, 7 August 2015

psí víno magazine

My long poem 'Prime Time' from The Architecture of Chance was published in issue 72 of Prague's psí víno magazine, in a Czech translation by David Koranda.

psí víno is a quarterly journal of poetry and criticism founded in 1997. Its current editors "strive to confront Czech literary scene with the current trends from abroad (especially from the English speaking countries, Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe, and Scandinavia), and to give voice to the contemporary phenomena at the edges of literature (experimental literature, digital literature, uncreative writing, text art etc)."

'Prime Time' is the record of my live transcription of all advertising broadcast on Ireland's state TV channel RTÉ1 on Friday 28 February 2014 between 6pm and 11pm. David translated the resulting text into Czech, and performed it with me at the Prague Microfestival in May.

A taster of the issue - also featuring work by Petr Borkovec, Frank Smith, Juliana Spahr and Rike Scheffler, as well as Charles Reznikoff, among others - is available on ISSUU.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ways of Writing: essay in Trumpet 4

My essay encompassing a discussion of the cross-stream: ways of writing project within a larger discussion of my curatorial activities and compositional interests appears in the latest issue of Trumpet, Poetry Ireland's quarterly pamphlet of poetry, reviews and essays. Future issues of Trumpet will include articles by poets who participated in cross-stream based on their presentations for the project.

My thanks to Poetry Ireland's Paul Lenehan for his interest. Issue 4 of Trumpet also features reviews of new books by Dylan Brennan, Angela Carr and Victoria Kennefick among others, as well as poems by Kim Moore, Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh and more.

Trumpet costs €2.00 per issue and is available individually from bookshops or directly from Poetry Ireland through subscription.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Caves, Bears & Pages at The Ink Factory

Cave Writings in partnership with The Bohemyth and Belleville Park Pages are hosting an event they call "possibly the most impressive celebration of contemporary writing in Ireland this year". Taking place at The Ink Factory in Dublin (15 Wellington Quay, D2) on Tuesday 9 June, 'Caves, Bears and Pages' will feature readings from 12 writers selected between the three hosts. I'm very happy to have been invited by The Pages to take part, and I look forward to reading alongside some exciting people like Ronan Murphy and Dimitra Xidous. This is a free event, with a start time of 8.30pm. BYOB.

Monday, 25 May 2015

'Remaking it New' at Writers' Week, Listowel

Remaking it New: a discussion in association with gorse literary journal
part of Listowel Writers' Week 2015

gorse identifies with the 'golden age' of literary Irish publishing, but the journal is not nostalgic for the past. Rather it is excited by what's happening in the here, the now and the future of writing. Inspiration comes from multifarious sources - the internet, Twitter, translation, the self - and this event, an inclusive and lively discussion interspersed with readings and with scope for audience participation, will showcase some of these ideas through writers associated with gorse and whose work blurs the lines between genres.

Featuring essayist and novelist Rob Doyle (Here Are the Young Men), writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh (Dalkey Archive's Best European Fiction, #ReadWomen2014), poet and gorse poetry editor Christodoulos Makris (Yes But Are We Enemies, The Architecture of Chance).

Presented and moderated by gorse founder and editor Susan Tomaselli.

Date: Friday 29th May 2015
Time: 2pm
Admission: Full €10  Concession: €8 (Book Here)
Venue: Listowel Arms Ballroom, The Arms Hotel, Listowel, Co Kerry