poetry and updates from matt martin
on thursday 14th june i’m reading at Sounds from the Hill, an evening of poetry, song and spoken word from performers based in the gipsy hill area of south london. also performing are Armorel Weston, T.A. Wright, Francesca La Nave, m, Brother G and The Trouble, Paul Terence Carney, Nick Aldridge and more. the event runs 7pm – 11pm at the Gipsy Hill Tavern, 79 gipsy hill, london se19 1qh (next door to gipsy hill station). free entry. this will form part of the Crystal Palace Festival, a celebration of creative arts from the wider area, which takes place from monday 11th to sunday 17th june.
on tuesday 29th may i’ll lead a reading group session on Aimé Césaire’s long poem Cahier d’un retour au pays natal / Notebook of a Return to My Native Land (1939, rev. 1947), hosted by the Avant-Garde Study Group at Birkbeck, University of London. this will run 7pm – 9pm and is free to attend. please get in touch at eocenepress[at]gmail[dot]com if you would like further information about the venue or the texts.
on friday 22nd june i will present my paper ‘Sogbo is the protector of flags’: International and Interracial Solidarity in the Poetry of Bill Griffiths as part of The Working-Class Avant-Garde, a one-day symposium at London Southbank University. i’m on the panel Populist Edges, which also features papers by Nick Lee and Mark P. Williams. elsewhere at the symposium there are presentations by Courtney Pina Miller, Robert James Sutton, Bernard Vere, Benjamin Kohlmann, Henderson Downing, Alexandra Bickley Trott, Chris Clarke, Ian Dudley, Karolina Kolenda, Louis Armand, Evi Heinz, Matti Ron, Katherine Jackson, Carina Brand, Stefan Szczelkun, Lizzie Philpott, David Wilkinson and Aaron Williamson. the event runs 9am – 6pm on the 8th floor of the Keyworth Centre, keyworth street, elephant and castle, london se1 6ng. registration is £20.50 (or free for students).
from the symposium’s online listing:
The avant-garde is often conceived to be the domain of the elite – those with the financial backing, education, and networks to succeed in this competitive arena. Indeed, studies such as John Carey’s divisive text, Intellectuals and the Masses, have understood the high intellectualism of the twentieth-century avant-garde to have developed in response to the improved education of the mass populace: a means to retain the divide between the masses and the elite. This symposium solicits papers about artists and writers who are outliers to this rule: the working-class figures who partook of the elite world of the avant-garde.
In recognising the fluidity of the term ‘working class’, and indeed its changing conditions through the twentieth century, we welcome studies of artists and writers who represent this designation relative to their own generation. Equally, as the definition of ‘avant-garde’ may well be contested, we propose an inclusive and flexible understanding of the term. Notable figures may include Henry Moore, DH Lawrence, Mark Gertler and David Bomberg in the early twentieth century, or later figures such as the ‘Two Roberts’, Merseybeat poets, and some YBAs. Studies of lesser-known figures of the avant-garde are welcomed, as are papers on the conditions of working class artists during the twentieth century.
Did their background influence their practice, or was it rejected in favour of a depoliticised aesthetic? Who were the patrons, institutions, art schools and collectives who supported these figures? How did the cultures and ideas of the working classes influence the development of British art throughout the twentieth century?
on thursday 7th june i’m presenting the paper ‘this is people-midden’: Exclusionary Violence in the Prison Collaborations of Bill Griffiths and Delvan Ricardo MacIntosh during Of Survival and Struggle: Creative and Critical Responses to Structural and Long-term Violence in the Public Sphere, a one-day colloquium at Queen Mary University of London. the event also features papers by Stuti Khanna, Claire Chambers, Sana Riaz, Dominic Davies, Charlotta Salmi, Shermeen Bano, Nitasha Kaul, Laura Bass, Karina Lickorish Quinn and Rosanna Hunt, plus a keynote by Suvir Kaul. the colloquium runs 9:15am – 5pm in Room 601 of the Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, 327 mile end road, london e1 4ns.
this will be followed in the evening by a creative showcase with Mojisola Adebayo, Uzma Falak, Meena Kandasamy (t.b.c.), Nitasha Kaul and Mirza Waheed. this will take place 7pm – 8:30pm in the Film and Drama Studio, Arts Two, Queen Mary University of London, 327 mile end road, london e1 4ns. the showcase is free to attend but advance registration is required.
on tuesday 24th april i’m reading at a launch event for ecopoet Helen Moore’s new collections INTACT and The Disinherited. as well as helen and me, there will be poetry from Stephen Watts and Mario Petrucci, plus music by Armorel Weston. it’s upstairs at the Dog House pub, 293 kennington road, london se11 6by. 7pm for 7:30pm start, entry by donation.
my review of Jennifer Pike Cobbing‘s concrete poetry collection Computer Dances is in vol. 8 of the online poetry review journal Hix Eros.
on sunday 15th april i’m participating in the Collusion Microfestival, a night of experimental poetry, music and discussion. the evening will also feature the bands Leika, GROK (t.b.c.) and ALSO; Wayne Clements and Jonathan Mann performing their collaboration ‘Statutory Instruments’; and poetry from Peter Philpott. more acts may yet be confirmed. the event will run 6:30pm – 11pm at Grow, 98c main yard, wallis road, hackney wick, london e9 5ln.
i’m making available here for download my poster poem wave equations. thanks are due to canadian ecopoetics journal The Goose, where this piece was first published (volume 15 issue 1, september 2016); the present version is amended to fix some layout issues and to resize the text for more effective display as a poster. the poem is a visual and verbal seascape formed out of kennings (periphrastic descriptions used in norse poetry to foreground particular aspects of a phenomenon). all the kennings in wave equations represent waves on the sea. for display, print the poem double-sided in colour on white a3 card.