Thursday, 25 August 2016


Farmyard near Brampford Speke

Brampford Speke
Brampford Speke

Follow the river

River Exe

Nether Exe

From Thorverton bridge

Thorverton House

In Thorverton

Bidwell Cross


Bickleigh Castle

Bickleigh Castle

Bickleigh Castle

From Bickleigh bridge

Some more photos taken walking from from Brampton Speke to Bickleigh.


Starcross Ferry

Exmouth Mussels dredger

Powderham Deer Park

From the sea wall

From the sea wall


Exeter Ship Canal

Canal from towpath

M5 crosses Exeter Ship Canal

Wild Hops

Exeter Ship Canal

Exeter riverside

Exeter riverside

Exeter riverside

Level Crossing near St David's
Walking the Exe Valley Way from the Starcross ferry to Exeter along the river and the canal side.

Monday, 30 May 2016


Phil Smith heading into the woods

Some walkers and Phil on the stony beach

empty 1930s swimming pool 
ready to roll
Yesterday I went on an artist walk in the Dartington estate led by the Mythogeographer also known as Phil Smith. The event was organised by artdotearth. Just a small group of people gathered at the car park of Schumacher College and walked from there into North Wood, a plantation of huge conifers that must have been started in the 1920s, a wonderful space with giant red trunks pushing up to the sky. Here and there in the wood are various handmade structures, frames of shelters, gathering places with seating, odd sheds, and what looked like a Jules Verne space ship stuck up in a tree. We walked around North Wood and Newground Plantation, taking a meandering route, sometimes into patches of deciduous trees with undergrowth of ground elder, wild garlic, ferns, nettles, brambles, and bluebells now past their best; there was no undergrowth beneath the conifers, just a deep mulch of needles.
     We walked into Stillpool Coppice and Staverton Ford Plantation getting down onto the stony beach at Staverton Ford on the river Dart where there was a group of youngsters playing games by the water and cooking a barbecue. We walked close to the estate boundary on the edge of farmland and woodland, following the route of the river Dart and then taking a path in towards the centre that joined Warren lane and then past Chimmels, Blacklers, The Hexagon, Aller Park and into Blackler's Copse. It took two and a half hours to go round. All of the woodland walk, the bathing place on the Dart, and the path at the edge of the boundary wall was new to me, though I recognised the buildings at the end where some of my friends used to have offices when Dartington College was still in existence. I've given various readings and performances in Dartington, invited at different times by Caroline Bergvall and Larry Lynch, and a Dartington Space residency event in 2012.
     So the walk was rewarding because I got to see more of the Dartington estate but the main interest was Phil Smith's mythic reading of the landscape, first of all in terms twentieth-century Utopian experiments and then thinking about different aspects of the history and prehistory of the area. This was coloured by Phil's own experience of the place, since he was a teacher of performance for a time at the college, working with different groups of students, mostly outside in the landscape. So the various locations we went to had been the scene of student performances some time back. The ford was particularly rich as a location and I was much impressed with the empty swimming pool at Aller Park. We joined in with a number of low key workshop-type things (that I won't report on here) as we went round the walk and Phil is an excellent leader and storyteller guide to the landscape. It was good to see friends Richard Povall and Nancy Sinclair along with the other participants.

Friday, 22 April 2016


My first USA published book was False Memory, 1996, from The Figures, the poetry press run by Geoffrey Young. I sent my manuscript there because I thought that the press was really outstanding, it included books by Bruce Andrews, Rae Armantrout, David Bromige, Clark Coolidge, Michael Davidson, Christopher Dewdney, Lyn Hejinian, Fanny Howe, Ron Padgett, Bob Perelman, Kit Robinson, Stephen Rodefer, Peter Scheldahl, Ron Silliman and some others I didn't know back then. These were the writers whose work interested me so I thought it would be a good fit. The only English poet on the list at that time was Tom Raworth. I went to Romana Huk's conference "Assembling Alternatives" at New Hampshire -- which got me over to the US -- and then I stayed with Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop in Providence, Rhode Island, and read at Brown University. From there I drove to Great Barrington via Emily Dickinson's house at Amherst, travelling with Stephen Rodefer. Geoffrey Young organised a salon at his house for the publication of False Memory. I read there with Stephen and with Ben Friedlander. I got to know Geoff through the post, working on the book with him, so clear and focused, I never had a better editor. We set it in Palatino on a mac, it was printed in a local trade printshop in Great Barrington. For the cover image of this funky looking chapbook he got a photo of Charles Le Dray's sculpture "Milk and Honey", 1994-96, which had just been bought by the Whitney Museum of American Art, I think the first major museum sale for that brilliant artist. There are hundreds of tiny hand made pots, all different, mounted in a glass vitrine. These photos were mostly taken by Geoffrey Young; I was fortunate to be in such company.

This is me reading with Stephen Rodefer, Ben Friedlander and Michael Gottlieb

Michael Gottlieb, me, Carla Billitteri, Pierre Joris

Belle Gironda
Carla Billitteri and Cheryl Donegan

Our host Geoffrey Young

John Mason, Christopher Funkhauser, Ben Friedlander

me, Stephen Rodefer, Ben Friedlander

Carla Billitteri, Pierre Joris, Liz Inglis, Cheryl Donegan, Kenny Goldsmith

Michael Gottlieb and me

Kenny Goldsmith and Laura Chester