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Poetics Research Centre Events

Nature and Other Forms of That Matter:

HARC and the Royal Holloway Poetics Research Centre

invite you to attend

fisherAllen Fisher, Drawing Around Black Pond

Poetry Reading

and artist’s film

David Herd * Carol Watts * Allen Fisher

6 pm Friday June 23rd

11 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3RF

Room 0-02 https://goo.gl/maps/iewCj5XtTVs


David Herd’s collections of poetry include All Just (Carcanet, 2012), Outwith (Bookthug, 2012) and Through (Carcanet 2016). His recent writings on the politics of movement have appeared in Almost Island, Los Angeles Review of Books, Parallax, and PN Review.He is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Kent and a co-organiser of the project Refugee Tales.

David will be reading from Through. Written between 2011 and 2015, the book is an inquiry into the language of public space and human movement. Five extended poems set out to address the ways contemporary public discourse has been rendered officially hostile. What does it mean, the book asks, to inhabit a language that frames itself in such a hostile manner? How, it asks, might users of the language begin to re-occupy the terms? Considering the cost of such official hostility to human intimacy, the poems set out explore possibilities of solidarity. The picture they aim to present is of a language on a knife-edge. How, in the present moment, do we hear the term ‘through’?

Carol Watts’ poetry includes: Dockfield (Equipage, 2017), 56 a collaboration with George Szirtes (Arc, 2016), Sundog (Veer Books, 2013), Occasionals (Reality Street Editions, 2011), Wrack (Reality Street Editions, 2007). Her chapbooks include the series When blue light falls (Oystercatcher, 2008, 2010, 2012), this is red (Torque Press, 2009) and the sonnet sequences Mother Blake (2012) and brass, running (Equipage, 2006). She is the head of the school of English at the University of Sussex.

Carol will be reading from a number of her books, including her most recent publication, Dockfield (Equipage, 2017) in response to ideas of nature, ecology, landscape and the anthropocene.

We will also be screening Allen Fisher’s 2017 film ‘Y Gors Ddu: The Black Bog’ (5 mins) in which he describes his recent working process on Black Ponds a new collection of paintings, facture and gathering of drawings, paintings, in situ performances and presentations on y Waen Ddu, the Black Bog – a rare raised peat bog situated in the Brecon Beacons. The project is supported and assisted by Arts Alive Wales and BBC Wales http://www.allenfisher.co.uk

Allen Fisher is a poet, painter and art historian. He has exhibited in many shows from Tate Britain to King’s Gallery York to Hereford Museum and Art Gallery. Examples of his work are in the Tate Collection, the King’s Archive London, the Living Museum, Iceland and various British and international private collections. His last single-artist show was at the Apple Store Gallery Hereford in 2013. He has over 150 single-author publications to his name. In 2016 new publications were: Imperfect Fit: Aesthetics, Facture & Perception from the University of Alabama, Gravity as a consequence of shape and a second edition of the collected PLACE from Reality Street Editions, and a reprint of Ideas of the culture dreamed of was published by The Literary Pocket Book.

This poetry reading and film showing is part of the project Nature and Other Forms of That Matter



HARI Nature and Other Forms of that Matter

a one day symposium

‘The End of Man: a tragicomedy’ Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths) keynote


Joanna Zylinska

Kate Rigby (Bath Spa) – Respondent

24th June 2017 – Senate House room 261, London 11am–5 :30 pm


 A one day symposium on June 24th in Senate House  (Central London) a culmination of the project that has been running throughout the year between a number of colleagues in the departments of English and the School of Modern Languages, Literature and Cultures at Royal Holloway, University of London: Dr. Fabrizio De Donno, Prof. Redell Olsen, Dr. Will Montgomery, Dr. Danielle Sands, Prof. James Williams.

Taking as our starting point recent scientific and cultural conceptualisations such as the anthropocene, biopolitical theory and ecophilosophy this project has explored both theoretical and aesthetic responses to our changing environment from a number of practice-based, global and local perspectives. From our quite different research areas and perspectives that between us include expertise in pratice-based, philosophical, political, sociological and linguistic modes of research we have discussed a range of examples from: film, poetry, sound and the visual arts. Our discussions have ranged across instances of the Posthuman and the Postcolonial to the resonance of the term ‘field’ in contemporary and recent arts practice and considerations of the ecology of Somali piracy in Africa. (Further information about the project here  https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/harc/fellowshipsprojects/nature-and-other-forms-of-that-matter.aspx)

 On Saturday 24th of June we have invited Prof. Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths) to give a keynote paper entitled: ‘The End of Man: a tragicomedy’ and Prof. Kate Rigby (Bath Spa) to be the respondent. We have also invited a number of practitioners and academics from a number of other Universities to contribute to the discussion throughout the day. In the morning the existing members of the project from RHUL (see below) will each give a short presentation in response to the ideas of the project so far and also in response to Zylinska's book: Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene http://www.openhumanitiespress.org/books/titles/minimal-ethics-for-the-anthropocene/

The day will run from 11 am – 5:30 pm in room 261 Senate House and finish with drinks in The Lamb on Conduit Street. Participation is free but numbers are limited and you need to register in advance and be able to commit to attending the entire day (11 – 5:30 pm). Please rsvp redell.olsen@rhul.ac.uk by Thursday 22nd if you would like to attend.

The previous evening (Friday June 23rd -- Bedford Square 0-02 6 pm) we will be holding a poetry reading in collaboration with the Poetics Research Centre at RHUL with the poets: Carol Watts and David Herd -- whose work resonates with some of the ideas in the project. Further information here: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/harc/events/eventsarticles/poetry-reading-david-herd-and-carol-watts.aspx

Fabrizio De Donno (RHUL) Redell Olsen (RHUL)

Will Montgomery (RHUL) Danielle Sands (RHUL) James Williams (RHUL)



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