Janani Ambikapathy feels oddly estranged from/in English. She is perfectly fluent, proficient even and yet she can’t shake off the feeling that she is an interloper or that English has been loaned to her provisionally. This has nothing to do with being an Indian person writing in English or a colonial, aspirational complex. The complexities of Indian English writing, and vernacular literature etc., are not relevant here. It’s simply that she experiences a disjuncture at the granular level. Every grammatical unit feels freshly new each time she writes. She has this image of holding up a verb or an adverb to the light, to see it better and trying to find the syntactical thread to piece them into a line of verse. The process feels slow and difficult. And it creates some methodological complexities: the poem, of course, is not merely an expression of an idea or an experience but the latter can sometimes feel separate from English. It is not that she doesn't experience things in English—obviously she does—but in the moment of writing, experience and English can appear incommensurable.
Tim Atkins ’s work is defiantly mainstream (as in universal & accessible)—in the tradition of poets Bernadette Mayer, Alice Notley, Nasim Hikmet, Tom Leonard, Joanne Kyger and Kobayasha Issa. Buddhist practice—with its emphasis on emptiness, lack of self, interconnectedness, attachment, and doubt—is the constant which runs through it. The books themselves contain various mixtures of the quotidien & universal, slapstick & the tragic—whether it be exploring family life with his two daughters (in "Koto Y Yo", and in "On Fathers<On Daughtyrs"), or taking apart and reassembling the lives and writings of canonical figures such as Petrarch or Ovid. He is the author of many titles, including "Atkins Collected Petrarch", which was a Times Literary Supplement and Salon.com book of the year.
Iris Colomb is a poet, artist, performer, curator and translator based in London. Her practice merges poetry and other art forms to explore different relationships between visual and spoken forms of text through projects involving performance, book-objects and experimental translation. She has given individual, collaborative, interactive, and durational performances online as well as in the UK, Germany, Austria, Romania and France. These performances have involved human collaborators as well as metal tubes, massive spools, hand-held shredders, red bins, hundreds of cigarettes, shouting over hairdryers, spitting in books and faces, and turning audiences into poetry machines.
Stephen Emmerson is a lyric poet whose work is often described as innovative or experimental. He is concerned with form and the boundaries of language. His most recent practice explores personal history, trauma, and the nature and geography of Romney Marsh. Stephen Emmerson is the author of "A Piece", "Poetry Wholes", and "Family Portraits", all of which are published by If P Then Q. Other works include: "Invisible Poems "(ZimZalla), "WHO?" (The Literary Pocket Book), and "Telegraphic Transcriptions" (Stranger Press / Dept Press). He also makes poetry objects such as "Pharmacopoetics", "Remains", "Breath", "Rilke Translations", "Homeopoetry", and "History of the English Working Class".
SJ Fowler is a writer, poet and artist who lives in London. His writing has explored subjects as diverse as prescription drugs, films, fight sports, museums, prisons and animals. As of summer 2021, he has published nine collections of poetry, six of artworks, six of collaborative poetry plus volumes of selected essays and selected collaborations. He’s been translated into 27 languages and produced collaborations with over 150 artists. His asemic writing, sound poetry and concrete poetry have also become known internationally. His work has been commissioned by Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, Somerset House, Southbank Centre, National Centre for Writing, National Poetry Library, Science Museum and Liverpool Biennial amongst others. 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.
Jason Hodgson is a composer who is averse to labels, but if you were to label the work they compose the closest label would be musical games. The more mainstream term would be “experimental”, however they believe that this implies there are some formal processes involved, when largely their process (for want of a better word) is “play”. The most common question Jason asks themselves when they begin a new exploration is “what would happen if I…”. Usually, these explorations involve creating a set of parameters for the performers to create and discover new ways of interpreting said parameters. Other times this involves creating a way for Jason to explore their own conceptions and misconceptions of sound. More often than not, this way of composing leans very comfortably into using chance and/or indeterminacy in any part of the work’s life. Over the years Jason has worked with items such as sweets, dictionaries, dice, and dragons.
Fran Lock is the author of numerous chapbooks and nine poetry collections, most recently "Hyena! Jackal! Dog!"(Pamenar Press, 2021) and "Final Hyena!" (Poetry Bus Press, 2021). The Hyena! cycle is concerned with therianthropy – the magical transformation of people into animals – as a metaphor for the embodied effects of sudden and traumatic loss. Through the figure of Hyena! Lock negotiates the multiple fraught intersections of dirty animality, femininity, grief, class and culture to produce a work of queer mourning, a furious feral lament. Fran Lock is an Associate Editor at Culture Matters; she edits the Soul Food column for Communist Review, and is a member of the new editorial advisory board for the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry.
Matt Martin researches and teaches at Birkbeck, University of London, where he is working on uses of dialect in avant-garde poetry. He loves exploring forms that transgress the norms of lyric poetry: creating a new dialect out of the dialect of his native Yorkshire; writing poetry for inscription on unusual surfaces such as scrolls, geometric shapes, or fungi; or collaging material from science, economics and pop culture. These experiments are put at the service of questioning the complacencies of contemporary politics and culture.
Stephen Mooney is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Poetry Coordinator at the University of Surrey. Amongst other things, he co-runs the small poetry press, Veer Books. His practice varies across modes, but is often connected to gaming methodologies and mechanics as these collide with language and poetry, from visual to lexical to performative to sculptural to sound. His poetry collections are "DCLP", "Shuddered", "The Cursory Epic", "663 Reasons Why" and "Ratzinger Solo". He is currently working on intra-lingual translations of H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos poems, a series of Judge Dredd poems, and a collection of gamebook poems.
Konstantinos Papacharalampos (Greece, 1988), based in London since 2010, uses the body and language to create experiences, objects, and environments of mutating futures. Konstantinos is particularly interested in the ways and possibilities, existing or imaginative, where technological advances, the environment and human rights create (or restrict) a balance of co-existence. In his work, Konstantinos blends poetry, cartography, and geography (as both sciences and arts), technological innovations, and performance art. Konstantinos is the author of three poetry books in Greek and one in English; ‘Exchange: a neo-futurist idiom mapping’ (Hesterglock Press, 2020). ‘Exchange’ maps a transformation of language, body, and land into neo-futurist DNA. Structured as hybrid of poetry, text-based art, maps and illustrations, ‘Exchange’ takes the reader/performer through possibilities of expanding futures, exploring times where mortality of world citizens is radically replaced with help from surveying-based linguistics.
Nell Perry ’s poetic practice is deeply informed by an interest in the politics of voice – of what it means to speak, who is able to speak and who is not, what speaking does and does not mean, what it means to be spoken for and spoken to, and how poetry might explore modes of inarticulacy, as well as what is unspeakable, in both a literal and figurative sense. Past projects have explored glitches in vocalic and spatial patterns in the social construct of the household (Unspeakable Patterns of the House, Salò Press, 2020); hidden violences and etymological unravellings in the language of financial capitalism, a polyphonic lament which deconstructs conventions of the pastoral mode and the gendered power dynamics of myth (Of Parasites & Proximities, Contraband Books, 2017); the language of the meat industry (Meat ∙ Volt ∙ Interruption, Oystercatcher, 2015); and the gendered language of the media (Venusberg, Veer, 2015). These publications have often incorporated palimpsestic or collagic visual elements.
Michał Kamil Piotrowski is a visual poet and text artist living and working in London. He writes experimental, visual and technology-powered poetry. He enjoys making poetry interactive and he mostly works with found text. The themes he explores the most are technology, politics, love and mental illnesses. His interactive book The Cursory Remix (2021, Contraband Books) has been co-written by Google Translate.
Nisha Ramayya grew up in Glasgow and now lives in London. In terms of current poetic practices, Nisha is interested in how people write about sound and listening underwater; she is suspicious of onomatopoeia and too-easy getaways; and she is excited about attending Destination Star Trek. Her poetry collection "States of the Body Produced by Love" (2019) is published by Ignota Books. Recent poems and essays can be found online in CCA Annex, JUF, and Spam Zine; and in print in Wasafiri and Magma. She teaches Creative Writing at Queen Mary University of London.
Karenjit Sandhu is a poet and artist. Her interests include artists' books, archives, performance poetry, and poetry costumes. Her debut poetry collection "young girls!" focuses on the art and life of artist Amrita Sher-Gil. Her work has featured in "Magma", "Judith: Women Making Visual Poetry" and "Writing Utopia". Karenjit is the Poet in Residence at the University of Surrey, and one of the judges of the Streetcake Writing Prize.
Sophie Stone is a composer of experimental music based in Kent, England. Her interests include open notation, drone and ambient music, quiet music, improvisation, listening, experiences of silence, longform music, collaboration and audio-visual work. Sophie’s music has been realised at festivals such as Ideas of Noise (Birmingham, UK), Electric Spring Festival (Huddersfield, UK), Margate NOW (Margate, UK), Soundwave Festival (Santa Ana, CA) and Sound Thought (Glasgow, UK). Recent collaborations and commissions include a collaborative community project called an outside space (2021) for Ideas Test (Medway and Swale, UK) resulting in an archive and experimental film, an experimental film collaboration called "[[even a stopped clock is right twice a day]]" (2021) with Michèle Saint-Michel (US) for Electric Medway, and "postcard-sized pieces" (2021) for fivebyfive ensemble (NY) as part of their Composer Talks series in Spring 2021.
Juha Virtanen ’s poetry is often characterised by high-octane vocabularies – from specialised technical terms to archaisms and the language of popular culture – each set on a collision course towards one another in search of constructed clarities. His performance practices range from ‘conventional’ poetry readings to more elaborate performance events featuring a mixture of props, sounds, multimedia, and movements. He has also written and performed collaboratively with other poets and musicians.