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Poetics Research Centre

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The Royal Holloway Poetics Research Centre comprises a number of staff members in the English department with an interest in contemporary poetry and poetics and in the use of text across diverse media: Dr Will Montgomery, Professor Redell Olsen, Dr Prue Chamberlain, Dr Nisha Ramayya and Professor Robert Hampson. Among the research specialisms of the centre are contemporary writing in the modernist tradition, concrete and visual poetry, site-specific writing, bookarts, performance, sound art, poetry and film, the British Poetry Revival, poetry and the visual arts, conceptual poetics and radical lyric. The Poetics Research Centre embraces both theoretical and practice-based work: in parallel with their critical activities. The Poetics Research Centre is integral to the dynamic research culture in poetry and poetics at Royal Holloway. Its members welcome approaches from prospective students interested in Creative Writing and Practice-based PhDs.

 alexmarsh Alison Gibb, 'I am knot . . a. Poster in Pieces of POWER' (2016)  irscolomb1

Karen Sandhu, Baby 19 Block Distress (2017)  tiffanycharrington  tomcrompton

The principal activities of the Poetics Research Centre are:

The RHUL Poetics Research Centre has links with the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre at Birkbeck, the Centre for Modern Poetry at the University of Kent, the Centre for Creative Writing at Southampton, London University’s Centre for Creative Collaboration, and with similar groups in Paris and the US.

Professor Robert Hampson has had a long-standing involvement in contemporary innovative poetry. He co-edited the magazine Alembic during the 1970s and the occasional magazine purge in the 1990s. He co-edited the pioneering critical volume, The New British Poetries: The scope of the possible (Manchester University Press, 1993) with Peter Barry, and, more recently, Frank O'Hara Now (Liverpool University Press, 2010) with Will Montgomery and a volume of essays and reminiscences, CLASP: Late Modernist poetry in London in the 1970s (Shearsman, 2016), with ken Edwards. He is currently co-editing a volume of essays on Allen Fisher. After many years co-organising the TALKS series which Bob Perelman set up in London, he now co-organises the Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar at the IES. He has also co-organised various reading series including, most recently, Amid the Ruins (with Prue Chamberlain and Carrie Foulkes) at the Daniel Blau Gallery. He has been a judge for the English Association Poetry Competition and for the Michael Marks Awards. Stride published his Selected Poems 1973-1998 in 2000, and his long poem Seaport was re-published by Shearsman in 2008. More recent publications include an explanation of colours (Veer, 2010), reworked disasters (Knives forks & spoons, 2013), sonnets 4 sophie (pushtika, 2015) and liverpool (hugs &) kisses (Ship of Fools/ pushtika, 2015) with Robert Sheppard. The volume, reworked diasaters, was longlisted for the Forward Prize.

Dr. Will Montgomery works on contemporary poetry and poetics. He is the author of The Poetry of Susan Howe: History, Theology, Authority (Palgrave, 2010) and he co-edited (with Robert Hampson) Frank O’Hara Now: New Essays on the New York Poet (Liverpool UP, 2010). He has published many articles on contemporary poetry. He is currently working on a monograph on short form in American poetry and an edited collection on field recording and literature. He has a long-standing involvement, as critic and practitioner, in contemporary experimental music, field recording and sound art (http://www.selvageflame.com). 

Dr. Redell Olsen is the current director of the RHUL Poetics Research Centre. Her publications include: ‘Film Poems’ (Les Figues, 2014), 'Punk Faun' (Subpress, 2012), ‘Book of the Fur’ (Rempress, 2000), ‘Secure Portable Space’ (Reality Street, 2004) and the collaboratively edited ‘Here Are My Instructions’ (Gefn Press, 2004). From 2006 – 2010 she was the editor of the online journal How2 and published modernist and innovative poetry and poetics by women writers. Her work is included in the anthologies: ‘Trenchart Monographs Hurry Up Please Its Time’ (Les Figues, 2015), ‘Out of Everywhere 2’ (Reality Street, 2015), ‘Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets’ (Shearsman, 2010) and ‘I’ll Drown My Book: ‘Conceptual Writing by Women’ (Les Figues Press, 2011). Her recent projects have involved texts for performance and film. 'The Lost Swimming Pool’; a site-specific collaboration that was commissioned by the Creative Campus Initiative, June 2010. She has published articles on Frank O’Hara, Abigail Child and the relationship between contemporary poetics, feminism and the visual arts. Her current research interests include ecology and the environment, film and performance. Further information: http://redellolsen.co.uk/.

Prudence Chamberlain is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway University. Her practice works at the intersections of politics and poetics, with a particular emphasis on the ways in which feminism and queerness can be problematized through flippancy. Initially focusing on the New York School, her work has recently shifted towards memoir and new narrative.

Her collaboratively written House of Mouse, a series of poems on Disney, was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press in 2016. She has a small pamphlet on dirt forthcoming with Pyramid Press and a chapbook, Retroviral, forthcoming with Oystercatcher Press. Her book on contemporary British feminism, The Feminist Fourth Wave: Affective Temporality, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017.

Nisha Ramayya’s pamphlets Notes on Sanskrit (2015) and Correspondences (2016) are published by Oystercatcher Press. Her work can be found in Ambit, Datableed, Jungftak: A Journal for Prose-Poetry, Lighthouse: A Journal of New Writing,Litmus, No Money, Quaderna: A Multilingual and Transdisciplinary Journal,and Visual Verse. Nisha is a teaching fellow at Royal Holloway, and is a member of the Race & Poetry & Poetics in the UK research group (www.rapapuk.com). Further information: www.nisharamayya.com.

Mary Jean Chan is a poet from Hong Kong. She won the 2016 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition (ESL), and has been shortlisted for the 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize, the 2016 Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition and the 2016 Resurgence Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in The Poetry Review, The London Magazine, Callaloo Journal, The Rialto, Ambit, Bare Fiction, The Scores, and elsewhere. As a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London, Mary Jean's article on Claudia Rankine's Citizen is forthcoming from The Journal of American Studies (Spring 2017). Mary Jean is currently a Co-Editor at Oxford Poetry.

Jennie Cole is a poet and artist, currently undertaking practice-based doctoral research with the Poetics Research Centre at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research investigates uses of citation in art and poetry, with particular interests in the character of citation and citational dialectics, the variety of historical and contemporary uses of citation, Walter Benjamin's uses and theories of citation, the means of 'finding' found language, citations of form in works of art and poetry, and the treatment of significance and relation by citation.
In her practice, Jennie works across film and video, audio, performance, artist's books, and other printed matter, with enthusiasm for unruly formats, the crossing of discourses, and varied approaches to the means of finding language. By excavating points of significance and meaning that interfere with associative conventions, these works generate forms of poetic disorder, exploring the capacity of language to shape ideas, understanding and experience. Jennie's works have been exhibited, published and performed internationally, appearing in things and places including POLYply, Caesura Gallery, Otoliths, MCBA Book Arts Biennial, E.ratio, Small Po[r]tions, Performance Research, The Poetry Library (Southbank Centre), European Media Art Festival, OOMK Future Library, and Athens Digital Arts Festival. Jennie's poetic sequence GARGANTUA is also now available from BlazeVOX.

Alison Gibb is a poet-artist and researcher. Her current research investigates language to create poetic outcomes through experimental explorations into the processes, methods and critical spaces of visual art, poetry and performance. Her publications include: a.vase , 2017, Silent Diagrams -2013, Parallel To Red In Chorus -2011 are published by The Knives, Forks and Spoons press. Her sound collage CD, Pomegranates In The Oak, was produced by zimZalla in 2012, and her bookwork I am knot . . .a. poster in pieces of POWER was published by ambergris press in 2015. Alison has an ongoing collaborative partnership with choreographer Elaine Thomas. Together, they have developed and performed a series of live-poetic-dance-performances at commercial venues, conferences and peer-to-peer forums.  Projects & Performances include: Thus in the crossing at the Practice, Process & Paradox Conference, 2013 & E:POETRY 2013 & OUTPOST at Siobhan Davis Dance Forum, 2010, Village Underground, 2010 & The Roehampton Dance Festival, 2010. She has recently collaborated with experimental organist and composer Lauren Redhead on the improvised performance of Sightings: Instructions for scores at Encounters -Automatronic: London Nov 2016.  Originally trained as an artist Alison’s poetic works co-exist in a variety of forms including: drawings, sound-scores, bookworks, live & video performances, instructions, texts and as poetry.  She currently is completing her PhD at RHUL. Further information: http://www.alisongibb.com/

Nathan Jones is REID cross-disciplinary scholar at Royal Holloway researching "glitch poetics" in English and Media Arts, and teaches publication and research in Fine Art at Liverpool John Moores University. He is co-editor of mind-language-technology publisher Torque, and director of new media and performance agency Mercy. He has curated various projects such as The Act of Reading (2015), Syndrome (2014-15), and Electronic Voice Phenomena (2009-16). His poetry and language works include commissions for Cape Farewell, Abandon Normal Devices, and Liverpool Biennial/Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, and his animated text work is currently showing at Chicago's Public Access gallery and the Municipal Gallery in Lisbon. His poetry and criticism have appeared in new media blog Furtherfield, Art Monthly and Poetry Wales. Recent talks and performances include, “Speed Readers and Predictive Text” at University Paris8, "Absorbing Text" at the 2017 Transmediale festival; "Glitch: The Contemporary Aesthetics" at The Onassis Centre, Athens; and the spectral-analyses ghost story "A Crack in the Voice" at the Bluecoat, and FACT, Liverpool. His poetry pamphlet A Cloud of Birds Formlessly Forming on Top of a Lake was published by Dock Road Press in 2016, and his book length poem Noah's Ark was published by Henningham Family Press in 2010. He has chapters forthcoming in 2017 in Bloomsbury Handbook of Electronic Literature, and Text/ures: Book as Object (Labex Arts. Paris). His play for voices The Happy Jug, produced with electronic musician Kepla, will be released on CD and prose booklet, by Enr'acte records in Spring 2017.

Aimée Lê (b. 1990, Ann Arbor, MI) is a Vietnamese American writer. With Fiona Chamness, she is the author of Feral Citizens (Red Beard Press, 2011). Recent projects include an EP of (mis)translated Greek pop songs, Aliki in Saigon(interview), presented at the Sound Acts festival in conjunction with AMOQA/Athens Museum of Queer Arts, publications in Muzzle, Litmus Press editions, and The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry. Her main interests include materialism, Marxist theory, performance, narrative and the novel. Some past forms of communal living have included organising a full-time tent occupation of Dartmouth College in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. and a live-work collective, West Side School for the Desperate. She currently lives in London in a tent in an ecological commune in opposition to airport expansion, and is pursuing a PhD in Practice-based Poetics at Royal Holloway, University of London, on “‘The National Question’ in American Literature 1913-present”.

Mae Losasso is a funded PhD student at Royal Holloway, who joined the University in 2016, after completing her BA and MA in English Literature at the University of Sussex.

Her main interests are in: avant-garde poetry, spanning the twentieth century and into the twenty-first; architectural discourse and its relationship to poetics; politics and literature; twentieth-century literary theory and philosophy.

She is particularly interested in the relationship between poetics, space, and politics, and is committed to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature. Her ongoing thesis, ‘Evolutions of political space: poetry and architecture as radical sites of shifting politics from 1950-present’, brings together architectural discourse and literary theory to reexamine the politics of contemporary avant-garde poetics.

In 2016, she co-organised ‘Embodied Methodologies’, Royal Holloway's annual practice-based research conference.

Gareth Damian Martin is a writer and artist whose work focuses around experimental narrative structures and procedural prose forms. He has performed his work at Rich Mix and Shoreditch Town Hall where he was commissioned by publisher Penned in the Margins to create a labyrinth of procedural text and sound, extending the basement into a virtual space using live projection. He has also self-published procedural prose work including the parallel novellas of TH_READ and the infinite urban landscape of The Narrated City. He is currently a PhD candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London and has worked with partners such as Coney, 59 Productions and the Victoria & Albert Museum to create exhibitions, performances and digital artworks. He is the editor and creator of the videogames and architecture zine Heterotopias and for the past 5 years he has worked as a games critic, specialising in virtual architecture and games as cultural objects. His work has appeared in Kill Screen, Eurogamer, and EDGE magazine.

Simon Pomery is a poet, sound artist and TECHNE associate researching a critical PhD at Royal Holloway on innovative poetries and ethics, supervised by Robert Hampson. With support from the Poetics Research Centre he founded PRAXIS in 2016, an interdisciplinary poetry series for text and sound held at Parasol-unit foundation for contemporary art, where he also teaches poetry workshops in conjunction with the gallery’s exhibitions. His poetry has been published by 3am magazine, The White Review, PN Review, Poetry London, and the Times Literary Supplement, with a pamphlet called The Stream published in 2010 by tall-lighthouse. Under the name BLOOD MUSIC he has presented text-sound compositions at festivals including Berlin Atonal, Full of Noises, UH Fest, Elevate, Les Urbaines, Incubate, and venues across England and Japan. At the 2016 TECHNE congress he gave a paper on digital surveillance in Caroline Bergvall’s Drift. He has held artist residencies at MultiMadeira and Cafe Oto. http://cargocollective.com/simonpomery


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