eocene press

poetry and updates from matt martin

reading at Writers Forum Workshop – New Series, 8th july 2017

on saturday 8th july 2017 i’m the featured reader at Writers Forum Workshop – New Series, a regular meeting where poets can share experimental work. i’ll present an extended reading and give a q&a about my poetry. the venue is The Barley Mow pub, 127 curtain road, london ec2a 3bx (near old street and shoreditch high street stations), 4-6pm. free entry.


poem in For Robert: An Anthology

my long poem gestetner is in For Robert, an anthology of poetry, essays and memories dedicated to Robert Hampson. published by Electric Crinolines Editions, the collection celebrates this terrific poet, astute scholar and inspirational teacher on the occasion of his retirement from Royal Holloway, University of London.

poem in Purge 5: Badge of Shame

my long prose poem the dulwich horror is in issue 5 of the magazine Purge. the issue is subtitled Badge of Shame and was conceived as a response to u.k. home secretary Amber Rudd’s noxious suggestion (at the conservative party conference, october 2016) that businesses should be obliged to publish and to be shamed for the proportion of non-u.k. nationals that they employ in britain. the government substantially scaled back the proposal after a public outcry, but since then there has been a continuing epidemic of isolationist rhetoric in the country – a situation in grave need of poetic intervention. this issue also features excellent work by Frances Presley, Harry Gilonis, Robert Hampson, Ken Edwards, Robert Sheppard, Gavin Selerie, Nat Raha and Jeff Hilson. the magazine doesn’t have a website and the print run is limited, but if you would like a copy, please drop me a line at eocenepress[at]gmail[dot]com and i’ll see what i can do.

11 poems online at 3am Magazine

eleven prose poems from my sequence outlawry are now online at 3am Magazine.

presenting at Violence, Cruelty, Avant-Garde, 21st april 2017

on friday 21st april 2017 i’m presenting the paper After Reading ‘Not Reading ‘After”: Tony Lopez and the Ethics of Holocaust Poetry as part of Violence, Cruelty, Avant-Garde, a one-day conference at the University of Sussex. from the conference website:

This conference will consider the historical association between violence and the avant- garde, looking in particular at the Modernist moment in Europe and its legacy. We are especially interested in how this historical association intersects with and is problematised by contemporary discourses around sexual, gendered and racialised violence and the deployment of narratives of terror for political purposes… Crucially, we will be asking questions about the historical configurations of violence and the avant-garde that are pertinent to our increasingly violent present. How are different forms of violence and cruelty addressed by the Modernist avant-garde? How has the avant-garde’s engagement with violence changed in the wake of Modernism? How can we understand violence as an avant-garde strategy that has been adopted by both right-wing and left-wing writers? In what ways can cultural avant-gardes contest systemic forms of violence such as capitalism, sexism, racism and colonialism? What would an avant-garde of empathy or compassion as opposed to cruelty look like?

my own paper is on the panel Beyond Violence, also featuring Sophie Seita and Eleanor Careless. other panels have papers by Laurel Uziell, Verity Spott, Kris Beaghton, Tom Allen and Simon Tilbury, and there are keynote speeches by Sarah Hayden and David Marriott. the conference runs 9:30am to 5pm in room Fulton G15, University of Sussex, falmer, brighton bn1 9rh.

Violence Cruelty Avant garde poster

video of English PEN Modern Literature Festival performance

the English PEN Modern Literature Festival (at Rich Mix in east london on 1st march 2017) was a moving, galvanising poetry event that drew attention to the achievements and plights of persecuted writers worldwide. thanks to SJ Fowler and English PEN’s Cat Lucas for organising it. videos of the performances have now been posted online, including my rendition of my tribute to eritrean poet Amanuel Asrat, sorghum and millet. the other recordings present excellent work by Luke Kennard, Nisha Ramayya, Susie Campbell, Lavinia Singer, SJ Fowler, Mischa Foster Poole, Chloe Spicer, Kate Wakeling, Hannah Silva, Zoë Skoulding, John Hall, Rebecca Tamas, Carol Watts, Tom Jenks, Peter Philpott, Rod Mengham, Camilla Nelson, Sasha Dugdale, Simon Pomery, Sandeep Parmar, Jeremy Noel-Tod, Chrissy Williams, Tony White, Matthew Welton, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett and Vahni Capildeo.

10 poems in Bedford Square Anthology 10

ten poems from my sequence …to the end are in Bedford Square Anthology 10.

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.