Sunday, 21 May 2017

CORDA #1

I'm very happy to be contributing to the first issue of CORDA, a new biannual magazine published in London and exploring communal experience of connections in a time of new borders. Started in direct response to the Brexit vote, and edited by Livia Franchini with art direction by Sean P Haughton, CORDA publishes both writing and visual material.

My contribution has the title 'tanks rolled through our streets', and it is a borderless mashup of testimonies by young mother refugees to the US and 'below-the-line' commentary on the online article in which they were published.

Thanks to Livia Franchini for asking and for publishing this piece, and kudos to Liv and Sean for creating a space for writers & artists across Europe and elsewhere to "grieve/rage/celebrate friendship together in the wake of Brexit".

Full list of contributors to CORDA #1: Cecilia Zoe Grandi, Ginevra Shay, Craig Clark & Caterina Pinzauti, Laura Merizalde & Dizz Tate, Jade King, Flaminia Cavagnaro, Katy Cotterell, Aria Aber, Adriana Rodrigues, Serena Braida, Christodoulos Makris, Rebecca Tamás, Lauren Sedger, Alexander Townend & Emily Jane McCartan, Eley Williams, Sarah E. Pace, Maria Cecilia Tedemalm, Simon Barraclough, Joe Briggs, Cliodhna Walsh, Katrine Dybbroe Møller, SJ Fowler & Ariadne Radi Cor, Thomas Chadwick, Dan Negară, Eilidh Urquhart & Caterina Pinzauti, Sapphira Frankl-Slater, Efe Duyan, Livia Franchini & Efe Duyan, Thom Dinsdale, Alice Ash, Charlotte Heather, TM Leach.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

January - April 2017: a recap

The year has started pretty full on, and this is far from a complaint. Taking advantage of a couple of hours of lull, I've put together this recap with some thoughts on a selection of my recent activities on various fronts (news on publications will follow on separate posts):

I'm proud and excited to be working with Ailbhe Darcy and SJ Fowler to bring their collaborative book of poetry Subcritical Tests, the first title in our emerging gorse editions, to print. Quite apt since the book has its roots in the collaborative poetry tour Yes But Are We Enemies from 2014 - the extension of Steven's Enemies Project into Ireland which I produced and co-curated, and for which Ailbhe was one of the core poets. Cover and internal artwork is by the ever-brilliant Niall McCormack; there's also a short trailer film made by Conor Friel inspired by the material in the book. Preorders and launch details soon.

Issue 10 of gorse will be a special collectors', commission-only issue which I’m editing in full, with the interlinked and ongoing commissioning, editorial & curatorial process underway. All contributions to gorse no. 10, which will be published in a form that slightly deviates from that of the 'regular' issues, respond to a specific subject... More to be revealed over the coming months (the issue is due out in September) but I wanted to note how excited I am to be working with some amazing writers and artists from across Europe and the Americas towards it. gorse no. 9 will precede that, of course, to be published in July, and I’m currently in the process of editing the poetry section out of open submissions and invited contributions.

Phonica: Five took place on Monday 24 April, "a triumph" according to an email I received a couple of days later. From the vantage point of co-curating and hosting the event, all performances in their full range and impact were greatly enjoyable. Making use of the facilities afforded to us by our new partner venue, the stunning Boys School space at Smock Alley Theatre, enables us to showcase the work of our guests in more complexity that we could before. The professionalism of the technical staff at the venue in responding to our guests' vision ensured that the cross-pollinating, multidisciplinary aspect which is at the core of Phonica came through. I'm convinced the material on offer both delighted and challenged our audience, even if, inevitably, to varying degrees for different people. And that's a strength of Phonica, I believe. Thanks to my co-programmer Olesya Zdorovetska for wonderfully orchestrating the technical requirements and for documenting the event. Thanks also to Bernard Clarke at Nova on Lyric FM and Therese Kelly from RTÉ Arena for requesting and broadcasting work from some of our guest artists in advance of the show. I look forward to Phonica: Six (Monday 17 July) already!

My long weekend in St Andrews as StAnza Festival's Digital Poet in Residence for 2017 was an early year highlight. Aside from catching up, briefly or at length, with some old friends in poetry and otherwise, and meeting some great new poets & people, I enjoyed presenting my work to an attentive audience that made the effort to come along early on a Saturday morning to listen to me speak about my approach to poetry. What was billed and began as a talk by me morphed, as was in fact my intention and hope, into a multi-pronged discussion with most people in the audience contributing something valuable to the conversation. Thanks to Andy Jackson for his introduction and management of the event. In my capacity as 'in residence' I remained active for the entirety of the weekend, and therefore found it an intense experience - a challenge I quite enjoyed meeting, especially as I watched each piece I produced over the five days of the festival departing my laptop and being installed, both physically and digitally, in various positions and locations in The Byre Theatre. Special thanks must go to the indefatigable Annie Rutherford for all her work in making all of this come together.

A couple of weeks prior to St Andrews I was in Nicosia, and very happy to read at the Neoterismoi Toumazou space in the old town as a guest of the Neo Toum collective in partnership with Moufflon Bookshop - an established hub of literature and art not only in the island but also the Middle East and beyond. Reading from recent work to a mixed art & literature audience, as well as an Irish contingent that included the Irish Ambassador to Cyprus, I was pleased to receive some enthusiastic responses to the work. One of these led to an impromptu improvised collaboration with sound artist Pan Mina, to be released eventually in some form... Maria Toumazou, Orestis Lazouras and Marina Xenofontos, collectively Neoterismoi Toumazou, have made a mark on a vibrant art scene in the island in a short space of time with their blend of fashion, art, design, poetry, publishing and performance, and it was great to learn while I was there that they would be special guests at the Cyprus Pavilion during this year's Venice Biennale.

A pleasure also to be involved in Poetry Now 2017 as part of the Mountains to Sea festival in Dun Laoghaire. Poetry Now curator Alice Lyons’ intention when she sought to involve gorse in the festival was to present a multidisciplinary event with an innovative/experimental edge as exemplified by the material we publish – and I thought that through the performances of Aodán McCardle and Suzanne Walsh, as well as the presentation of my own work from if we keep drawing cartoons, we went some way towards achieving that. The event ended with a reception launching gorse no. 8, with Dimitra Xidous reading from her excellent essay ‘We Cannot Be Trusted With Chairs’ that opens the issue.

Two more readings in April bring us (more or less) up to date. On Saturday 15th I was the 'literary' representative at the long-running, primarily music series Listen At, which currently takes place upstairs at Arthurs Pub on Thomas Street. It was an eclectic affair, and I was particularly struck by the collaboration between experimental composer and pianist Martin O'Leary & uillean piper Mick O'Brien, which though on the surface appeared slightly counterintuitive I thought worked brilliantly. I felt my reading divided the audience: some wondering what the hell I was reading and whether this was poetry, and some responsive to and expressing keen interest in my approach.

And on Sunday 30 April I read upstairs in another Dublin pub, this time Devitts on Camden Street, as part of an event called Cross-Atlantic Readings which was organised by Julie Morrissy in conjunction with the Canada 150 Conference at UCD. Three Dublin writers (Julie, Sue Rainsford, and myself) 'opened' for four writers from Canada presenting varying approaches to writing. An excellent evening of readings through which I was particularly interested to encounter the work of Gregory Betts.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

gorse No. 8

‘Excuse me but I just have to explode this body off me…’

gorse no. 8 is now out, featuring essays by Alice Butler, Sinéad Gleeson, Diarmuid Hester, Richard Kovitch, and Dimitra Xidous; fiction by Sheila Armstrong, Alex McElroy, Colm O'Shea, David Rose, and Hugh Smith; interviews with Dragana Jurisic (by Orla Fitzpatrick), and Ulay (by Margarita Meklina); Irish by Máirtín Coilféir, Caitríona Ní Chléirchín, and Alan Titley.

I'm pleased to be publishing poetry by Ivy Alvarez in the form of six multifarious poems; 'Aristophanes' People', a sequence by Kevin Cahill on gender diversity and the boundaries of the gender construct; three full colour brut art poems by SJ Fowler exploring handwriting, markmaking, illustration and legibility; and four poems by Melissa Lee-Houghton from a recent body of work.

Susan Tomaselli's editorial, taking in among others Claude Cahun, Kathy Acker and Francis Bacon, is published online, and is accessible with a password printed in each copy.

Cover artwork and design is, as ever, by Niall McCormack.

*

Join us for launch 2.0 (The City launch) on Wednesday 19 April 2017 at 7.30pm in The Liquor Rooms (5 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2) with readings by Sheila Armstrong, Sinéad Gleeson, Caitríona Ní Chléirchín, Colm O’Shea, and Dimitra Xidous.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Phonica: Five

Phonica returns with an exciting new partner venue and expanded international dimension! Full details below:


Phonica: Five

Monday 24 April 2017
7.30pm 
Boys School, Smock Alley Theatre
Admission: €6.00 / €4.00

with
Estevo Creus & Keith Payne
Kate Ellis
Laura Hyland
Anthony Kelly & David Stalling
Robert Herbert McClean
Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir


 

Phonica: Five features six exciting acts from Ireland, Spain and Iceland presenting a blend of songwriting and sound improvisation; poetry incorporating architecture and design; ‘musique concrète’; translation; poetry and audiovisual art; cello and electronics; and subversions of the expectations around spoken word performance.

Phonica is a primarily poetry and music series with an emphasis on multiformity and the experimental. Conceived, programmed and hosted since early 2016 by Christodoulos Makris and Olesya Zdorovetska, Phonica aims to explore compositional and performative ideas and to encourage a melting pot of audiences and artists from across artforms.



Estevo Creus was a founding member of the poetry publishing house Letras de Cal and of the theatre group Talía. His collections include: Poemas da cidade oculta (Edicións Xerais, 1996), Areados (Miguel González Garcés Prize, Deputación de A Coruña 1996), Teoría do Lugar (Eusebio Lorenzo Baleirón Prize, Edicións de O Castro, 1999), Decrúa (Fiz Vergara Vilariño Prize, Espiral Mayor, 2003), Facer merzbau non ou posible? (Non Ou Edicións, 2007). O libro dos cans (Franouren Ediciones, 2010), Balea2 (Edicións Positivas, 2011). Creus is a member of the group Non Ou Edicións and of the multidisciplinary company Traspediante. He is currently collaborating with the pianist Pablo Seoane in No Lugar do Lugar, an improv. poetry and music show. "He is indebted to the European avant-garde, in particular to Dadaist rebelliousness, radical dislocation, and deep distrust of language".

Keith Payne is the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award winner for 2015-2016. His debut collection Broken Hill (Lapwing Publications, 2015) was followed by Six Galician Poets (Arc Publications, 2016). He is founder and co-director of POEMARIA Festival of Poetry, Vigo and The La Malinche Readings. He lives in Vigo, Galicia with his partner the musician Su Garrido Pombo, where he translates both from Galego and Spanish.

Robert Herbert McClean is an experimental writer and audio-visual artist. His work has appeared in The White Review, gorse, The Irish Times, and Poetry Ireland Review. His debut book Pangs! (2015) is available from Test Centre, and his debut album, ∞ - aka Infinity (2016) was released by Blank Editions.

Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir is a multidisciplinary artist, poet and musician. Her work often involves the structure of invisible things and she is known for her unusual poetic bridge between artistic mediums.

Laura Hyland is an artist and composer from Wexford. She performs solo, and with her group Clang Sayne which she initiated in 2008 to combine her interests in songwriting and sound improvisation, and with whom she will release her 2nd album, The Round Soul of the World later this month. Her music has been described as "exhilarating in its refusal to conform" (The Wire magazine, UK), and "showing an uncategorisable approach to songcraft" (Tokafi magazine DE). Her current solo performance incorporates poetry, traditional and contemporary folk song, voice and guitar improvisation, spoken word and storytelling.

Anthony Kelly & David Stalling have been collaborating on a series of sound and visual works since 2003. Together they make sound and video installations. Their work encompasses a shared practice of recycling ‘objets trouveés’ of sound, visual and text material in their ongoing collaborative sessions. The juxtaposition of contrasting material results in a series of audio/ visual ‘musique concrète’ pieces. Kelly and Stalling also perform live improvisations, as a duo as well as with others, including Strange Attractor, The Quiet Club, Robert Curgenven and Jennifer Walshe. Some of their recent performances include listen | compose | perform, Henrietta Street, Dublin, In-stream, Ulster University, Belfast; Just Listening, LSAD Limerick; the i-and-e festival, Dublin; They founded the sound art label Farpoint Recordings in 2005, publishing projects by artists such as Quiet Music Ensemble, Karen Power, Stephen Vitiello, Fergus Kelly and Linda O’Keeffe, and many others alongside their own work.

Kate Ellis is a versatile musician dedicated to the performance of New and World Music. As Cellist and artistic director of Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s leading new music group, Kate has performed and broadcast throughout Ireland, Europe, Australia and the US. She is a member of Ergodos Musicians, Tarab and Yurodny, three ensembles exploring the interpretation of traditional and contemporary music, and has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Tom Jones, Martin Hayes, Iarla O Lionaird, Gavin Friday and Karan Casey amongst others. Kate released a CD of new works for Cello and Electronics on the Diatribe label in 2014. “Kate Ellis has an admirable reputation as an instinctive and technically brilliant musician” - The Irish Examiner.


TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

Phonica acknowledges generous funding support from The Arts Council of Ireland under its Festivals and Events Scheme.

Monday, 27 March 2017

A review of The Architecture of Chance on DURA & an article on my StAnza Residency on The List

I'm happy to note that reviews of my second book The Architecture of Chance keep appearing, more than two years after publication. The most recent, written by Stephanie Koetsier for Dundee University Review of the Arts (DURA), was part of a series of reviews of books by poets who participated in the 2017 edition of StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival in St Andrews, at the beginning of March.

In the review, published just days before the festival, Koetsier calls the collection "unique" and finds that the work in it "challenges the preconceived structures" of poetry. It is "the epitome of the contemporary poet’s working breadth and depth," she writes.

My thanks to Stephanie Koetsier and DURA for their interest.

*

While in St Andrews I spoke to journalist Rebecca Monks for an article about my Digital Residency at StAnza 2017 that she was preparing for Scotland's arts and entertainment magazine thelist.co.uk, and which appeared shortly after the end of the festival. Thanks to Rebecca for her interest and questions.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

gorse reading at Mountains to Sea Book Festival

On Friday 24 March I'll be reading with Aodán McCardle and Suzanne Walsh as part of a gorse showcase reading at Mountains to Sea Book Festival in Dun Laoghaire.

The event is part of the Poetry Now strand of the festival programme, and it is billed as "a sampling of poets working at the boundaries of performance, visual art and poetry whose work has appeared in gorse, the Dublin-based journal that has quickly established itself as an exciting presence on the European literary scene". It takes place at dlr LexIcon, The Studio with a start time of 8.30pm. Tickets are €10 / €8 conc.

The reading will be followed by a reception marking the publication of gorse No. 8.

Thanks to Alice Lyons, Poetry Now curator at Mountains to Sea, for inviting gorse to be involved in this year's edition. PN2017 boasts an exciting lineup also including readings from Vona Groarke, Paula Meehan, Mairéad Byrne, Matthew Welton, Sarah Howe, Nick Laird, Michael Longley, Fanny Howe, Harry Clifton, Katie Donovan, Vahni Capildeo and Stephen Sexton.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Digital Poet in Residence at StAnza International Poetry Festival 2017

I'm excited to be participating in StAnza 2017 as Digital Poet in Residence.

StAnza is Scotland's International Poetry Festival taking place in St Andrews, Fife, each spring. Recognised as one of the leading poetry festivals in Europe, over the years it has featured a strong list of contemporary poets from around the world. This year sees the 20th annual edition, which will run from 1st to 5th March and will feature an international lineup of over 60 poets, artists and musicians taking part in around 100 events. The main theme of StAnza 2017 is On The Road, with the festival examining all kinds of travel and journeys.

For my residency at StAnza 2017 I have devised a project with title Browsing History for which I will use simple text and image editing tools to make poetry out of my personal Internet browsing, in real time. The resulting pieces will be erected as physical and subsequently as digital installations, and will cumulatively provide an oblique record of this year's festival and its setting in time and place, filtered through my online reading habits over the five days of the festival. Further to algorithmic influence, clickbait, and what I get regularly drawn to, I'm particularly keen to have my browsing contaminated by suggested reads; I am therefore inviting anyone interested to send me, over the period 1-5 March, links to news stories, articles or other current material they find interesting. Get in touch via Twitter (@c_makris #StAnza17).

Underpinning this performative residency are my work and interest in the concept of 'reading as writing' and our 'toggling' between physical and digital communication and personas. I will talk about the mechanics and ideas behind the residency and read from recent work during a 'meet the artist' event at the Byre Theatre on Saturday 4 March (11am start, free). In addition to this formal event, I will perform two half hour 'live sessions' over the weekend during which my computer will be connected to a large screen in the theatre foyer and therefore make my compositional process visible.

Follow StAnza's social media accounts and/or my twitter feed for updates.

My thanks to Eleanor Livingstone, Festival Director, and Annie Rutherford, Programme Co-ordinator, for their invitation to participate in StAnza 2017, and their cooperation towards delivering this project.

Here are two poems I made earlier this year using the process I will employ during the residency.



Thursday, 9 February 2017

Reading at Neoterismoi Toumazou, Nicosia

On Thursday 16 February I'll be reading in Nicosia for only the second time, and for the first since 2012. I'm especially happy that the event is co-organised by two of my favourite organisations/spaces in the town: Moufflon Bookshop & Neoterismoi Toumazou Art Space.

"Neoterismoi Toumazou and Moufflon Bookshop are excited to host Christodoulos Makris for a reading in Cyprus. The poet will present mostly unpublished material from his current work-in-progress. The content of this work is based on anonymous or pseudonymous writing found on the 'bottom half' of the Internet."

Details here. Thanks to Ruth Keshishian and Maria Toumazou for making it happen.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

gorse No. 7

Literature is the question minus the answer.

gorse No. 7 is now out. Themed around the concept of 'codes', its cover art is as ever by Niall McCormack, and each copy comes with a 'one-time pad' for its decoding. The issue features essays from Scott Esposito, Jonathan Gibbs, John Z Komurki, Shona McCombes, and Pierre Senges (translated by Jacob Siefring); fiction from Chris Beausang, Owen Booth, Celine Fox, Anthony McGuinness, and CD Rose; Irish writing from Colm Breathnach & Liam Mac Cóil; and an interview with Alan Moore by Pádraig Ó Méalóid.

I'm very happy to be publishing poetry from Cork-based Sheila Mannix in the form of 'Burning Boat', a long hybrid poem; three new poems, including a triptych, by Michael Naghten Shanks (Dublin); four poems by Brooklyn-based Chris Campanioni from his project 'The Internet is for Real'; and four visual erasure poems by John Rodzvilla (Boston, MA).

Susan Tomaselli's editorial 'Falsing (After Marconi)' is a meditation on coding and transmission through "radio and otherworldly broadcasts," in which, in addition to Marconi, there are mentions or quotes from Tom McCarthy, Brion Gysin, Tacita Dean, WG Sebald's Rings of Saturn, and Finnegan's Wake.

You can order issue 7 from the gorse shop. It will soon also be available from our stockists.

In the meantime, join us to celebrate the launch of gorse No. 7 on Wednesday 11 January in The Liquor Rooms (5 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2) with readings from Chris Beausang, Anthony McGuinness, Sheila Mannix, and Michael Naghten Shanks. 7pm start, and admission is free.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

if we keep drawing cartoons (If A Leaf Falls Press)

My limited edition pamphlet if we keep drawing cartoons was published by If a Leaf Falls Press earlier this month.


If a Leaf Falls Press is a micropress run from Edinburgh by Sam Riviere, and publishes poetry with an emphasis on appropriative and arbitrary writing processes. Now in its Second Season, the press has since its inception in 2015 published simple, elegant pamphlets with work by some exciting writers and artists including Emily Berry, Crispin Best, nick-e melville, Maria Fusco, Rachael Allen and Sam Riviere himself. My thanks to Sam for inviting me to join this distinguished list.

if we keep drawing cartoons is published in an edition of 36. It comprises ten untitled sections/extracts from the book-length work (in progress) I've been occupied with since mid-2014.

As is the case with most of its titles, the press sold out of if we keep drawing cartoons very quickly.

If a Leaf Falls Press publications are archived at The Poetry Library London and Edinburgh College of Art.