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SJ Fowler

My work with Poem Brut has been in its curating, in publishing a series of books and in presenting a series of performances. If I see any of that activity as my commission, it is my performances, to be found These live works form a body of work exploring the principles of the project in living space. What is a mess between people? What is a conversation relating against its own expectation? Poem Brut has been about community for me, about learning from others I admire, and so I tend to see my work for it, away from my visual pieces and books, to be about those live events where I've been able to share small pieces.


A Problem With Impulse Control 

Rich Mix : November 10th 2018


Auctioning Proof

Rich Mix : November 25th 2017 


Q&A with a Mole

Rich Mix : November Saturday 9th 2019 


Five Not Normal Poetry Readings

National Poetry Library - June Wednesday 6th 


Exhibition Takedown Destruction

Rich Mix : January 13th 2018 


The Curator's Auction

Museum of Futures : March Tuesday 5th 2019 


My Poem Brut performances have helped me expand what I've termed my Talking Performances or Talk Poems. These explores tropes of public speaking, recitation, reading and introduction, which uses derivation, prolixity, mental association and subverted expectation to make often entirely improvised talking performances or talk-poems. They are about the mind too, or the brain. How it can operate without self-knowledge, or how improvisation happens. How I might talk quicker than I can 'think' through the words. I also wish to join a tradition, specifically in live poetry, from the 14th century Italian Improvisatori to 20th poet-artists like David Antin. My talking performances tend to grow from small gestures around audience expectation into weirder things, explorations of what a live literature is or might be - time, space, human interaction, spoken language. I’ve often used props or situational setups to work these live poems too, like powerpoint presentations, eating, dancing, masks and puppets.


SJ Fowler is a writer, poet and artist who lives in London. His work has been commissioned by Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, Somerset House, Tate Britain, London Sinfonietta, Southbank Centre, National Centre for Writing, National Poetry Library, Science Museum and Liverpool Biennial amongst others. He has published eight collections of poetry, five of artworks, six of collaborative poetry plus volumes of selected essays and selected collaborations. His writing has explored subjects as diverse as prescription drugs, films, fight sports, museums, prisons and animals. He has won awards from Arts Council England, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Nordic Culture Fund, Danish Arts Foundation, Arts Council Ireland and multiple other funding bodies. He was part of the first ever Hub residency at Wellcome Collection, and is currently poet-in-residence at J&L Gibbons architects and formerly at Kensal Green Cemetery. He is associate artist at Rich Mix. He has been sent to Peru, Bangladesh, Iraq, Argentina, Georgia and other destinations by The British Council and has performed at over 50 international festivals including Hay on Wye, Cervantino in Mexico, Berlin Literature Festival and Hay Xalapa. His feature-length films have premiered at Whitechapel Gallery and his plays have been produced by Penned in the Margins and Dash Arts. He was nominated for the White Review prize for Fiction in 2014 and his short stories appear in anthologies such as ‘Liberating the Canon’. His visual art has been exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, V&A, Hardy Tree Gallery, Jerwood Space and Mile End Art Pavilion, with installations at Kielder Forest and Tate St Ives. His librettos have been performed at LSO St Lukes, Wigmore Hall and Guildhall Music School. His articles have appeared in Nature, Vice Magazine and Jacket2. He’s been translated into 27 languages and produced collaborations with over 150 artists. He has pioneered the fields of performance literature, literary curation, collaborative poetry and Neuropoetics. His asemic writing, sound poetry and concrete poetry have also become known internationally. He is the founder and curator of The Enemies Project and Poem Brut as well as poetry editor at 3am magazine and former executive editor at The Versopolis Review. He is lecturer in Creative Writing and English Literature at Kingston University, has taught at Tate Modern, Poetry School and Photographer's Gallery and is a Salzburg Global Fellow. He is the director of Writers' Centre Kingston and European Poetry Festival.