The Terrors – OUT NOW

the-terrors-cover-in-colour-copyMy pamphlet The Terrors was launched last night at The Market Trader, Middlesex Street and is now available to purchase from my terrific publishers Nine Arches Press for £5. (Go, do it now!)

The Terrors is a sequence of imagined emails to inmates at Newgate Prison in the eighteenth century. It’s been described by Iain Sinclair as ‘Dark London history, dredged and interrogated’ and by Gists & Piths as ‘a truly remarkable sequence, alive to the possibilities of what language can do, totally confident in its creation of a hyperreality where past and present mingle and bleed into one another.’

ALSO I will be reading at East Words at Museum of Docklands on Thursday 2 April, from 6-9pm. Other readers include Tim Wells and Siddartha Bose. East Words is a great night run by Christopher Horton and Richard Tyrone Jones. And it’s free entry. Details here and on Facebook here.


I have won The Crashaw Prize

I’ve been writing since I was 16 (I was going to say ‘seriously’ but ‘with intent’ is a better phrase). I am now 25, and Christmas has come early in the form of The Crashaw Prize and Salt Publishing. I am a joint winner, which means that my first full collection of poetry will be published in the UK, US and Australia in 2009, in glorious hardback. Here we are, all six of us debutants.

Tom Chivers How to Build a City (UK)
Abi Curtis Unexpected Weather (UK)
Ailbhe Darcy Gone Fishing (Ireland)
Jamey Dunham The Bible of Lost Pets (USA)
Ian Pindar Constellations (UK)
Jared Stanley Book Made of Forest (USA)

I don’t know any of the other writers personally (although I know of Abi and Ailbhe from various places), but I like their book titles. In fact, I’m starting to feel jealous about their titles.

I’m honoured to be picked and looking forward to joining an ubertalented stable of writers including many of my poetry buddies: Anthony Joseph, Luke Kennard, Chris McCabe, Katy Evans-Bush, Simon Barraclough (I could go on…).

So thanks Salt! And, in particular, thanks to David and Anthony for their very generous endorsements of my work. I am stunned and happy.

Visions of the City!


You heard it here first…

This series, curated by Bishopsgate Institute’s Poet in Residence Tom Chivers, will introduce some of London’s most exciting poets – writers whose work explores the complex, fluid and multivocal character of the City. Alongside their readings Tom will also premiere his own new work produced during the Residency.

Visions of the City I – Thursday 5 June

Oblique, bleak bloke Tim Wells has supported The Libertines with his riotous ‘Cockney Hell’ poetry show and his collection Boys Night Out In The Afternoon (Donut) was nominated for the prestigious Forward Prize.

Simon Barraclough‘s debut collection of poetry Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt) has not yet been launched but is already creating a stir. According to The Guardian, Los Alamos ‘wheels through forms, moods and locations around a sensual core of love poems’.

Jay Bernard is fast establishing a reputation as one of the UK’s most talented young writers with her poetry collection Your Sign is Cuckoo, Girl and has performed at venues across the country including the London Respect Slam.

Visions of the City II – Thursday 3 July

Iain Sinclair is the de factor chronicler of contemporary London. Poet, novelist, essayist, anthologist, filmmaker and former book dealer, Sinclair has been described as ‘incomparable … the De Quincy of English letters’ by Peter Ackroyd. He is the author of numerous books of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, the latest of which is London: City of Disappearances (Hamish Hamilton).

Chris McCabe’s poetry is raw, energetic and experimental, covering topics as diverse as Iraq, fatherhood and Pete Doherty. His second collection of poetry is published this year with the provisional title Zeppelins and follows his acclaimed debut The Hutton Inquiry.

Hannah Silva is a young, fast-talking poet, performer and theatre director from Devon. Her City Fragments captures the speed, energy and contradictions of 21st century urban life.

Both events are held in the Bishopsgate Institute’s Library, which has limited capacity, and start at 7pm. Tickets are £7, £5 concessions. Booking is essential (details here).

April is the cruellest month

Work off the intellectual lethargy of the Easter holiday with three forthcoming readings wot I am giving. All in Londinium. All very different. I’ll be reading from ‘How To Build A City’, a kind of hybrid diary/travelogue/guidebook set around Liverpool Street Station (and to be published in the next issue of The Edgeless Shape). And I might squeeze in the odd poem too. The links below will take you to the relevant Facebook pages. If you don’t have Facebook, the events are but a Google away.

5 April – La Langoustine est morte @ Poetry Cafe
Plus Chris McCabe, Jack Underwood, Sid Bose, Georgina Banfield

10 April – Angel Poetry / Tall Lighthouse @ Borders, Islington
Plus Janice Fixter, Drea King and open mic

13 April – Look Both Ways @ Old Queens Head, Essex Road
Plus Yo Zushi, Niall Spooner-Harvey, Joshua Idehen and more

Do come. It’ll be fun.

Residency at The Bishopsgate Institute

Good news. I have been appointed Poet in Residence at one of my favourite local places, The Bishopsgate Institute. This is a first for me and them. Very exciting. I’ll be spending time there in April researching in their archives, talking to staff and visitors and finding material in the nooks and crannies of their historic building.

By the end of the Residency I will have produced a series of poems, some of which will be displayed in the Institute. I’ve also curated two events for June and July, where I will ‘premiere’ new material, and introduce some of my favourite poets. This mini-series is called Visions of the City and I’ll announce the lineups very soon.

Finally, I’ll be documenting my experiences on this blog, so if you want to keep track you know what to do!