For the second year running, last month's Camaradefest brought together 100 poets to present brand new, specially commissioned collaborations in 50 pairs. Once again the range of approaches was extraordinarily wide, reflecting the richness of contemporary innovative poetic practice coming out of London and elsewhere. I was able to witness the last 3 sessions in their entirety, that's 30 poetic collaborations, none of which was less than engaging. The final session in particular was incredible - but I was particularly impressed & delighted by the efforts of Jow Lindsay & Anne Laure Coxam, Lila Matsumoto & Samantha Walton, Sam Riviere & Crispin Best, and Holly Pester & Emma Bennett.
Links to videos of all Camaradefest II performances are available here. Below is footage of my collaboration with Nathan Jones. Not knowing each other before beginning to write, we decided to give each other access to our subconscious by writing down our dreams every morning for a week and exchanging them, with an 'analysis' of each other's transcript to be returned the same evening. For the performance itself we decided to present only the text of the analyses in a manner that reflected the intensity of the process, the 'cross-contamination' effect between analysis and dream, and an undercurrent of competitiveness present in the exercise:
In contrast to the large-scale nature of Camaradefest (which attracted an audience of several hundred) two days later an intimate gathering celebrated the zimZalla exhibition of poetry objects at the Hardy Tree gallery on Pancras Road through a closing reading. zimZalla is an endlessly innovative imprint run from Manchester by Tom Jenks, and its activities were appropriately marked here with a range of readings/performances by Olga Peková and Zuzana Husarova, Kimberly Campanello, Lucy Harvest Clarke, Iain Morrison, Ryan Van Winkle and Tom Jenks himself - before I closed the evening:
The reading down in the cellar of Carr's near the Tuileries Garden in Paris last Tuesday as part of the Poets Live series attracted a good-sized anglophone crowd. The audience was particularly attentive and the vibe was serious but welcoming. Strong work by Carole Birkan & Will Cox, introduced as poets working towards their first book, was followed in each half by sessions from Freke Räihä and myself. Wonderful to talk to everyone afterwards upstairs in the bar, to see old friends and to make some new connections. Edited footage of the evening below: