eocene press

poetry and updates from matt martin

reading at English PEN Modern Literature Festival, 1st april 2017

on saturday 1st april 2017 i’m performing at this event in support of English PEN, a charity that does great work supporting writers around the world who are experiencing persecution from their governments. 30 british writers will each perform a specially written response to the situation and writing of a different author from English PEN’s Writers at Risk programme.

the event takes place at Rich Mix, 35 – 47 bethnal green road, london e1 6la. it will unfold over 3 sessions throughout the afternoon and evening: 2pm – 3:30pm, 4pm – 5:30pm, and 7:30pm – 9:30pm.

i’m performing during the second session and will respond to Amanuel Asrat, an eritrean poet and journalist who was among many writers arrested in 2001 as part of president Isaias Afewerki’s elimination of the free press in eritrea. Asrat’s present status is not known for certain, but it is believed that he is still alive and being held in a high security prison  near the capital, asmara. Asrat is remarkable for the power of his poetry, but sadly his story is all too representative of the injustices faced by the eritrean people. it’s an honour to be writing about such an inspiring poet. thanks to Cat Lucas of English PEN and the poet SJ Fowler for organising the event.

the other performers are all terrific so please come for the entire festival if you can. the full line-up is:

2pm to 3:30pm

Luke Kennard on Raif Badawi
Nisha Ramayya on Aseem Trivedi
Susie Campbell on Tsering Woeser
Lavinia Singer on Zhu Yufu
SJ Fowler on Waleed Abu Al Khair
Mischa Foster Poole on Alaa Abd El Fattah
Chloe Spicer on Dina Meza
Kate Wakeling on Nurmuhemmet Yasin
Denise Riley on Necmiye Alpay

4pm to 5.00pm

Hannah Silva on Narges Mohammadi
Rebecca Tamas on Ashraf Fayadh
matt martin on Amanuel Asrat
John Hall on Dr Abduljalil Al-Singace
Carol Watts on Aslı Erdoğan
Owen Vince on Nelson Aguilera
Peter Philpott on Dawit Isaak
Camilla Nelson on Dareen Tatour
Zoë Skoulding on Sanjuana Martinez Montemayor

7:30pm to 9:30pm

Sasha Dugdale on Ahmet and Mehmet Altan
Simon Pomery on Nguyen Van Dai
Sandeep Parmar on Lydia Cacho
Tom Jenks on Nabeel Rajab
Nathan Jones on Zunar
Chrissy Williams on the Al-Khawaja family
Tony White on Ahmed Naji
Larry Lynch on Oleg Sentsov
Matthew Welton on Tutul
Elizabeth-Jane Burnett on Liu Xia
Vahni Capildeo on the Douma 4

entry is free but you should reserve a ticket in advance. also, please consider joining English PEN to support their work.

performing James Harvey’s poetry at Veer Launch (Ashford, Cobbing, Harvey, Terry), 7th february 2017

on tuesday 7th february 2017 there’s a launch event for four titles from Veer Books. one of the publications is the Collected Poems of James Harvey, an excellent writer and friend who sadly passed away in 2012. James’s brother Edward Carey, the collection’s editors (David Miller, Keith Jebb and Antony John), Juliet Troy and i will be reading James’s work or speaking to celebrate his achievements, alongside recordings of the man himself.

in addition to James’s book, there will be readings to launch SEDITION-MACHINES by David Ashford, Bad Times by Philip Terry, and a reissue of Computer Dances by Jennifer Pike Cobbing. sadly Jennifer is likewise no longer with us, so her book will be launched with performances and talks by Adrian Clarke, Ulli Freer, William Rowe, Elizabeth James, cris cheek, montenegrofisher, Steve Willey and Becky Cremin.

the event starts 7pm at Iklektik Art Lab, old paradise yard, 20 carlisle lane, waterloo se1 7lg. free entry.


reading at the Small Publishers Fair, 5th november 2016

on saturday 5th november 2016 i’m giving a short performance at the Small Publishers Fair, an annual celebration of books by contemporary artists, poets, writers and book designers. this will take place at Conway Hall, red lion square, bloomsbury, london wc1r 4rl. Astra Papachristodoulou and I will perform from 2pm in the Green Room behind the hall’s main stage. later in the afternoon there will be readings by other writers associated with Poetic Practice at Royal Holloway University of London, including JD Howse, Mischa Foster Poole, Simon Pomeroy, Bob T Bright, Francesco Aresco and Sarah Dawson. there will be many other readings and events throughout the two days of the fair (4th and 5th november). some of my work will be available from the Poetic Practice stall in the main hall on both days.

poster poem online at The Goose

my poster poem wave equations has been published online in volume 15 issue 1 of canadian ecopoetics journal The Goose.

reading at Capital Letters, 29th june 2016

on wednesday 29th june 2016 i’m performing at the monthly poetry series Capital Letters. there’ll also be excellent poetry from Jen Calleja, Simon Barraclough and Miguel Cullen. the event starts 6:50pm in the chapel at St Margaret’s House, 21 old ford road, bethnal green, london e2 9pl – near bethnal green underground station. free admission. access to the chapel is via the Gallery Café, which you enter from the street.

presenting at LINKS, saturday 4th june 2016

on saturday 4th june 2016 i’m presenting the paper “as if they was alive & hungry”: Voices of the London Poor in Henry Mayhew and John Seed as part of The London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies (LINKS) 6th Annual Graduate Student Conference in Comparative Literature. this year’s conference is on the theme of “Inside/Outside: Comparative Questions”.

my own paper is on the 4pm panel Engagement in Politics, also featuring Martin Goodman and Pauline Harris. the rest of the conference should be great too, with presentations on a huge range of writers and traditions. the conference is free to attend and runs 10am to 5:35pm in room MAL 532, Birkbeck College, malet street, london wc1e 7hx, followed by a buffet in room MAL 541 of the same building.

Drawing Breath exhibition

from friday 29th april to thursday 5th may 2016 there will be an exhibition of visual works created during the Drawing Breath event of 15th april, plus recordings of the event’s poetry performances. this will include a recording of my poem zigzag, along with the artwork that Claudia Juhne produced in response to it. at Ziferblat, 388 old street, london ec1v 9lt.

the private view on friday 29th april will feature talks by Evgenia Emets and Lawrence Upton. doors 6:30pm, admission £5 (including tea, coffee and cake).

presenting at Flaws, 18th april 2016

on monday 18th april 2016 i’m presenting the paper Calibanisms: Disruptive Spelling in the Poetry of Kamau Brathwaite as part of Flaws, a graduate conference at the University of Cambridge. from the conference website:

‘Flaws’ is a conference focusing on ideas of error, disruption, and contamination from 1750 to the present.

Panelists will present papers that investigate conceptual, formal, and conscious flaws in works of literature and art. In probing these imperfections, ‘Flaws’ seeks to uncover unexpected connections, challenge orthodoxies, and broaden disciplines. From smudges in the archive to broken characters, from critical failures to digital glitches, we actively seek out new interpretations of flaws and what they can teach us.

my own paper is on the 1pm panel Bad Words, also featuring Nathan Jones on Caroline Bergvall and Mathilde Sergent on Lorrie Moore. the rest of the conference sounds incredibly stimulating too, with papers from Edwina Watson, George Mind, Enis Yucekoralp, Layla Hendow, Megan Beech and Kate Schneider, with a keynote speech from Dr Adam Kelly (University of York) on ‘The Future of the Flaw’. the conference runs 10am to 5pm at the English Faculty Building on the university’s sidgwick site. £3 admission, refreshments provided. advance registration recommended – email flawsconference2016[at]gmail.com.

reading at Drawing Breath, 15th april 2016

on friday 15th april 2016 i’m performing at Drawing Breath, an innovative event combining poetry and visual art. from the event’s website:

Drawing Breath is a conversation between sound and image, an event in which visual artists will respond to poet’s performances creating work simultaneously.

The visual element will be projected live, creating a full audiovisual experience which allows the audience to witness all stages of this unique creative process.

the evening is hosted by Zorro Maplestone and curated by Iris Colomb. it will feature readings by Andrew Wells, Becky Moses, Daisy T-G, Eley Williams, Ella Frears, Francis Byrne, Lisa Luxx, Patrick Cash, SJ Fowler and me, alongside visual work by Aurélie Freoua, Claudia Juhre, Helen Wyatt, James Edgar, Paola Pinna, Sarah Dawson, Sebastian T Sjöstrand, Sheena Calvert, Spike Zephaniah Stephenson and ZEEL. doors 6:30pm, 7.30pm start. at Ziferblat, 388 old street, london ec1v 9lt. admission £5, including tea, coffee and cake.

an exhibition of visual works created during Drawing Breath, plus recordings of the poetry performances, will be at Ziferblat from the 29th april to 5th may. the exhibition’s private view is on friday 29th april from 6:30pm. admission £5, including tea, coffee and cake. further details of the private view are to be announced.

Drawing Breath_flyer


reading at the Blue Bus, 24th february 2016

on wednesday 24th february 2016 i’m performing at the ongoing, monthly poetry reading series, The Blue Bus. also reading is the excellent poet Cristina Viti, and there’s music from David Miller and Rod Boucher. the event starts 7.30pm at The Lamb pub, 94 lamb’s conduit street, london wc1n 3lz (in bloomsbury, near russell square underground and great ormond street hospital). admission is £5, or £3 for concessions.