Saturday, 10 July 2010
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Our walk on the beach at low tide today included a look at Dutch artist Theo Jansen's Strandbeest which has been living and moving around on the sand for a couple of days. Theo Jansen (pictured above with his Strandbeest) explained that the creature was made out of ordinary conduit that is used everywhere in Holland for domestic and industrial buildings. The Strandbeest works on wind power, and uses moving sails to harness wind and store it as air under pressure in plastic bottles. We saw the sails working and saw the Strandbeest walk on the sand. This is the best addition to Exmouth beach that we've ever seen. Jansen drew a crowd of people for his talk about the creature and everyone was delighted to see the Strandbeest walking on the beach. There is also a smaller model that can be pulled along to demonstrate the mechanism in action and that was in use all the time. The Strandbeest is going to Exeter city centre for a few days during the Exeter Festival, and there is a Theo Jansen exhibition at Spacex currently.
Friday, 25 June 2010
I was in Shanghai and Hanzhou from 1 - 10 June for the conference Modernism and the Orient, held at the Santai Villa Hotel, Hangzhou, on 5 - 7 June. I gave a paper on the English poets Harry Guest and Lee Harwood, choosing Guest's 'Two Poems for O-Bon' and Harwood's 'Chen' as poems that represent Japanese and Chinese cultures in their different ways. There were more than seventy papers at the conference, including contributions from Ron Bush, Ira Nadel, Daniel Albright, Sabine Sielke, Christine Froula, Zhaoming Qian, Fen Gao, Qiping Yin and Jiande Lu. I particularly liked the papers by Richard Parker, David Ewick, Dorsey Kleitz but as usual I was only too aware of the papers I was missing because of timetable clashes. A high point was the visit to the Lingyin Temple on a hillside near Hangzhou, my first visit to a Buddhist site, something I should have done about forty years ago. It was a wonderful experience to see the different temples and huge carved Buddhas, buddhist saints and warrior guardians. I was invited to give a lecture at very short notice at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade and so time for exploring Hangzhou and Shanghai was limited, but I did get to spend some time at the Shanghai Museum, a day in all, some of it with my friend Wendy Flory of Purdue University in USA who is a good companion and knows a great deal about Chinese Art. I was looked after in Shanghai and Hangzhou by various University postgraduate students and staff, a really warm welcome and great hospitality. The photos above are 1 West Lake, Hangzhou; 2 Lingyin Temple; 3 Buddhist Stele, Shanghai Museum; 4 Lingyin Temple; 5 Memorial temple for Yu Qian. My trip to China was sponsored by the British Academy, I'm really grateful for their support.
Sunday, 2 May 2010
PW10 is a weekend festival of Performance Writing and Cross artform at Arnolfini, Bristol --
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
I'll be reading during PW10, the Performance Writing weekend at
Friday, 12 March 2010
An excerpt from the manuscript books of False Memory has just been published in the new issue of Ekleksographia online magazine William Blake and the Naked Teaparty guest edited by Philip Davenport. The issue features textworks that emphasise touch - handwritten and haptic – particularly pieces that consider emotional engagements, and corporate or military erasure of the handmade, the human, the not-digital.
These qualities link into the alternative tradition of poetics - and to 'outsider' artists who are owed a debt by the experimenters (an IOU all the way back to Will Blake, he and the Mrs sitting on the lawn in London afternoons, naked, drinking tea).
Contributors: Alan Halsey, Anna MacGowan, The Atlas Group, Ben Gwilliam, Carol Watts, Carolyn Thompson, Darren Marsh, Dave Griffiths, David Tibet, Geof Huth, George Widener, Geraldine Monk, The Gingerbread Tree, Hainer Wormann, Harald Stoffers, Helmut Lemke, Holly Pester, James Davies, Jesse Glass, Jonathan Penton, Julia Grime, Kerry Morrison, Kirstie Gregory, Laurence Lane, Lee Patterson, Li E Chen, Liz Collini, Matt Dalby, Michael Wilson, Morry Carlin, Nick Blinko, Nico Vassilakis, Patricia Farrell, Rachael Elwell, Robert Grenier, Robert Sheppard, Sarah Sanders, Sean Bonney, Stephen Vincent, Steve Waling, Sue Arrowsmith, Todd Thorpe, Tony Lopez and Tony Trehy
The issue goes online 15th March 2010 and will be launched with a 24 hour ‘live’ online writing event by Sarah Saunders
Ekleksographia Series Editor Jesse Glass, the latest issue designed by Jonathan Penton, the cover art (see above) by Ben Gwilliam and Philip Davenport.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Centre for South West Writing
and Special Collections
invite you to
A CELEBRATION OF W S GRAHAM
Wednesday 24 February 5.30 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.
followed by drinks from 6.30 p.m.
Seminar Room A+B
Prince of Wales Road
University of Exeter EX4 4SB
Andy Ching, Andy Brown, Tony Lopez, Ruth Rosen and Tim Kendall
Will read and discuss the work of one of Scotland's finest poets, who made his home in Madron, Cornwall.
There will also be a chance to listen to recordings of the man himself, followed by informal drinks from 6.30 p.m.-7.30 p.m.
The evening is free and to reserve a place please email:
or Tel. 01392 263879 by 19 February
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Friday, 1 January 2010
Since 2005, I've been working on a prose book called 'Only More So', building it up in sections, fitting in when I could around teaching in Plymouth. It is a large-scale structure composed in a strict form using a collage process, similar in a way to False Memory (1996, 2003), but the unit of composition in this book is the sentence, rather than a verse line. In order to make more rapid progress with this work I decided to give up my chair in poetry and take voluntary redundancy so that I could write full time. I went back to self-employment on 1 August 2009, and since then I have been working on this project and putting in various grant applications. I just heard in late December that 'Only More So' was approved for Arts Council 'Grants for the arts' funding beginning January 2010, so I can concentrate on writing right through 2010 and also free myself up for any freelance work.