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Friday, October 24, 2014

25 Edge Hill Poets: Scott Thurston


Photo of Scott Thurston reading from his sequence ‘Turning’ at The Knives Forks and Spoons garden party in Newton-le-Willows, 23 April 2011, taken by Phil Davenport

la limite de nos mouvements en désordre dans cet espace étroit déjà renouvelé

Reverdy

Dream of revaluing everything all the time when
everything is all the same. Thinking with the body’s
things as they move. Scared of the death sense
made of the guilt fiery encounters in personal and
public history. Snare the stuck habit, a new feeling

situation did not send my attention this way. Adjust
the symbols as you are pulled through the space: someone
consistent, someone changing. Did I move too fast, too
slow, too high, too low? Consumption of an elastic kind,
just like honey.

What I came to name later, being looked after
by these figures, dreaming the basis of what now realised.
I move the way I write in a moment of a real
loss noticed. A soldier about to shoot the farmer, making
a slow motion crash into an obstacle of wooden panels.

To say something while you move would be movement too.
Something moves me, I did not do it. The reactions are
the movement, dream-like, not material. Counterweight
reflection on fidelity and loyalty, recognising what tensed
against it, the contingency of the same.

The discipline between release in the front, in the back:
the sex of place. Imagining the witness, witnessing
the witness, to destabilise the whole effect. You brought
light in. Have I stood too firm in myself? Am I near or far
from my ego?


 
I undertook a PhD in Poetics (1997-2002) as the first to do so at what was then Edge Hill College of Higher Education. My supervisor was Robert Sheppard – a quite possibly unique relationship since he had been teaching me ‘A’ Level English in Surrey only some six years previously! I had an amazing, expansive time at Edge Hill, not only as a research student, but also as a regular part-time lecturer – cutting my teeth on teaching TESOL, Creative Writing and English Literature. I felt very much part of the team and still remember fondly the departmental habit of having lunch together, which is so rare as to be practically extinct these days. It was huge fun working alongside Helen Newall and Julie Armstrong-Colton on the first year modules in particular.

In order to support the opening stages of my doctoral work I sat in on the Literary Theory seminars for the MA Creative Writing. There was amazing cohort that year and I’m still in touch with many of them, even working with one of them (Ursula Hurley) in my current job at Salford! Being involved in the (still extant) Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research Group was also a special part of my experience – giving and receiving intent and sustained feedback on my writing that has remained unequalled. Robert’s important work on poetics was crucial to my development as a researcher and lecturer in Creative Writing – and I worked with him as a research assistant on a project investigating the use of poetics in teaching for the English Subject Centre. This research was referenced in the NAWE benchmarking statement for Creative Writing – the first for the discipline in Higher Education.

As a PhD student I was extremely fortunate to have the presence of Pam Jackson as my internal examiner for my viva – and still recall her brilliant insights about readerships and writerships which she offered during the two and a half hour (!) examination. I also want to acknowledge the invaluable support of Alastair McCulloch and Julie Proud in the Research Office as it then was.
I still regularly attend poetry readings at the Rose Theatre and fondly remember participating in the annual National Poetry Day readings – on one occasion performing the sound poetry of the late, great Bob Cobbing alongside Robert. My working life has not taken me far away and in fact has recently led me back to Edge Hill as I begin a new research collaboration with colleagues in the Dance department. I look forward to continuing to develop my relationship with Edge Hill well into the next 25 years. 

Scott Thurston

Here are some links also:

Author page at Shearsman
Author page at The Archive of the Now
Interviewed at 3:am Magazine
Poetry recordings at Penn Sound
Co-editor of Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry
Co-organiser of The Other Room
Previously on Pages: Introducing Scott Thurston

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Storm and Golden Sky: Richard Barrett and Sophie Collins


 

Richard Barrett lives and works in Salford. He is the author of the collections Pig Fervour (Arthur Shilling Press, 2009); Sidings (White Leaf Press, 2010); # (zimZalla, 2011); A Big Apple (KFS, 2011); Free (Blart Books, 2014) and HUGZ (KFS, 2014). Additionally, his work has appeared in numerous anthologies including HOME (TTO, 2008); The Other Room #1, #3 and #6; Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot; The Dark Would and Manchester No Spy Zone. Richard runs the small poetry press Department and is 1/3 of the team who organise the Manchester based reading series Peter Barlow’s Cigarette. Current, ongoing projects of Richard’s include Hi-5 the World; SOUL VOMIT and the book he and Rachel Sills are writing Endless / Nameless. His Archive of the Now page is here:  http://www.archiveofthenow.org/authors/?i=151

 

Sophie Collins is co-founder of tender, an online quarterly promoting work by female-identified writers and artists. Her poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Poetry London and Oxford Poetry.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Robert Sheppard Upcoming Readings and Events Autumn 2014


Events I’m involved with

 

Saturday 25th October: I shall be interviewing Iain Sinclair as part of the Malcolm Lowry celebrations dubbed The Lowry Lounge at the Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool all day. Various tickets

 


 

Saturday 1st November: Patricia Farrell, Nikolai Duffy, Chris Stephenson and I will be reading for Peter Barlow’s Cigarette at Waterstones, Deansgate, Manchester at 5.00. (Note that time.) I'm planning to read Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed (from Petrarch) and Something Blue...

 
Wednesday November 26th: 5pm: I shall be reading at The Centre for New and International Writing in the School of English, Abercromby Square, With Sam Riviere. FREE event followed by wine reception

To RSVP: visit www.miriamallottseries.eventbrite.co.uk

Friday 28th November: as a short warm up to the Storm and Golden Sky reading by Steve McCaffery and Karen MacCormack, Jo Blowers, Steve Boyland and I will be performing our three voice work ‘Kybarti Junction’. Caledonia pub in the Georgian Quarter, Liverpool: 7.00 sharp.

 

Also:

Thursday 30th October: Sandeep Parmar and James Byrne read at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, 7.30 pm £4.50


Sandeep Parmar was born in Nottingham in 1979 and was raised in Southern California. She received her PhD in English Literature from University College London in 2008 on the unpublished autobiographies of the modernist poet Mina Loy. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She is the Reviews Editor of The Wolf magazine and edited The Collected Poems of Hope Mirrlees for Carcanet Press (2011). Her critical book on Loy, Reading Mina Loy's Autobiographies, appeared from Bloomsbury in 2013. She teaches twentieth-century literature and creative writing at the University of Liverpool. Sandeep Parmar’s The Marble Orchard is published by Shearsman.,

 

James Byrne founded The Wolf magazine in 2002, which he still edits, and co-edited Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Poets (Arc Publications, 2012). His second poetry collection in the UK, Blood/Sugar, was published by Arc in November 2009 and his poems have been translated into various languages including Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, French and Serbian. Byrne was Poet in Residence at Clare Hall, Cambridge, in 2012 (the first since Joseph Brodsky).

 

Friday 31st October: Storm and Golden Sky at the Caledonia pub

Richard Barrett lives and works in Salford. He is the author of the collections Pig Fervour (Arthur Shilling Press, 2009); Sidings (White Leaf Press, 2010); # (zimZalla, 2011); A Big Apple (KFS, 2011); Free (Blart Books, 2014) and HUGZ (KFS, 2014). Additionally, his work has appeared in numerous anthologies including HOME (TTO, 2008); The Other Room #1, #3 and #6; Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot; The Dark Would and Manchester No Spy Zone. Richard runs the small poetry press Department and is 1/3 of the team who organise the Manchester based reading series Peter Barlow’s Cigarette. Current, ongoing projects of Richard’s include Hi-5 the World; SOUL VOMIT and the book he and Rachel Sills are writing Endless / Nameless. His Archive of the Now page is here:  http://www.archiveofthenow.org/authors/?i=151
 
Sophie Collins is co-founder of tender, an online quarterly promoting work by female-identified writers and artists. Her poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Poetry London and Oxford Poetry.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

25 Edge Hill Poets: Natasha Borton

Natasha Borton

Poem: 

Ar Lan y Môr

(Down by the Sea)


Seaweed cracks the sand;  an echo of the 'll'

'll' against the shore.

Pressing my fingerprints,

feeling the dry caress against my skin.


In the distance,  

the sky mimics the white tipped tide.


I fold the sea bed around me.

Shards of sea shells; cregyn;

gnaw at knots in my hair.


Quills with shadows of feather lie across my palms dipping into the ink of my wrist


and I

 holding my breath wait -

familiar with the taste of salt on my lips - 

for the sea to take me home

Links:


My time at Edge Hill:

There is no doubt in my mind that Edge Hill has made me the writer and person that I am today. It is a space filled with opportunities and encouragement.

Poetics:

There is a blurred line between music and poetry. I use my experience as a singer to explore the musical space in language.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Malcolm Lowry Lounge 2014

The Lowry Lounge 2014

at the Bluecoat
Saturday 25 October 11am-6pm
with special guest Iain Sinclair
---------------------------------------------
The Bluecoat’s annual celebration of Merseyside-born
​author of Under the Volcano
, Malcolm Lowry


​ ​
(1909-57)
​, ​
features the European launch of his 'lost' novel In Ballast to the White Sea.

 
This autobiographical book, Lowry’s longest and most ambitious project of the mid1930s, was thought to have been lost in a fire, but was later discovered in New York Public Library after it become known his first wife, Jan Gabrial, still had a typescript of the book. Now, nearly 60 years after the writer’s death, the first ever published edition will be launched at this daylong event in Liverpool.
The book is about a Cambridge undergraduate who wants to be a novelist but has come to believe that both his book and, in a sense, his life have already been 'written' by a Norwegian novelist. Partly set on Merseyside, its annotations have been compiled by Chris Ackerley, with the help of New Brighton Lowry expert Colin Dilnot.
 
 
The Lowry Lounge 2014 features writer Iain Sinclair talking about Lowry in relation to his 2013 book American Smoke, which follows in the footsteps of American Beat writers and of Lowry, whose

​work
in



some
ways anticipated theirs. Interviewed by Robert Sheppard. (Read my account of Sinclair's Dining on Stones here:
 


The latest issue our journal THE FIRMINIST will be lauched, including poems from Helen Tookey.
The event also includes a guided walk round Liverpool city centre, led by Colin Dilnot, visiting sites relating to the book and to Lowry’s childhood years on Merseyside. The book launch itself will be introduced by the editor of
​ ​
In Ballast to the White Sea, Patrick


​ ​
A. ​McCarthy and Vik Doyen, who wrote its foreword.

Tickets: Walk (11am-1pm) £5/Iain Sinclair talk (2-3.30pm) £5/combined ticket £8/book launch (4-6pm) free. Tickets & Information 0151 702 5324

In Ballast to the White Sea: A Critical Edition
, by Malcolm Lowry, edited by Patrick A. McCarthy with notes by Chris Ackerley and a foreword by Vik Doyen. Paperback 9780776622088. Price: £28.00

Monday, October 13, 2014

Robert Sheppard/Steve Boyland/Jo Blowers

I performed as part of the soft opening (!) of 8 Water St last Thursday. Jo Blowers, Steve Boyland and I performed a three voice piece, using as text my stuttered version of a poem from A TranslatedMan.  Kybartai Noctune Remodel (Revolutionary Song Number 2) It's a reworking of the original poem, which begins:

 
Kybartai Noctune

what is that sound
humming like an antique fridge packed with ice

the hint of a turbine something turning
a patient siren rising and falling....

The poem has been reversioned thus (using the technique deployed in 'Revolutionary Song', of which I posted the colour version here some days ago):
 
what is that sound humming like an antique
is that sound humming like an antique fridge
that sound humming like an antique fridge packed
sound humming like an antique fridge packed with
humming like an antique fridge packed with ice

It is Rene Van Valckenborch’s version of a poem by Lithuanian Jurgita Zujūtė (1966-), a poet he invented (though I invented him, of course). None of that matters in the performance.


Jo is a dancer (seen above) but the dancing dropped out of this piece to leave only a vocal trio. Steve is a singer and vocal artist (who works a lot with Scott Thurston). I’m a writer and the third voice.

Some people said they liked it a lot. Here's a video of Steve performing with Veryan Weston on piano, a player I have also featured here on Pages.