History: 2008

Publication of Andrew Hirst’s Frome XXIV (the second of his Frome pamphlets). No launch; instead, Hirst reads eight of the pamphlet’s twelve poems on Robin Vaughan-Williams’ Spoken Word Antics radio show.

March – April
Previews of Matthew Clegg’s Edgelands for Robin Vaughan-Williams’ monthly Antics spoken word event at The Red Deer and his Spoken Word Antics radio show; these performances consist of Clegg reading thirty poems from Edgelands in groups of five, punctuated by tapes of street noise manipulated by Brian Lewis. Chris Jones reads his Cells haiku at The Red Deer (with Brian Lewis hanging accompanying watercolours by Paul Evans) and reads from At the end of the road, a river on Spoken Word Antics, his journey through the post-industrial margins of the Don river making some interesting connections with Clegg’s survey of the half-known landscapes of North Sheffield; between ruin and pastoral, loss and wonder.

1 June: Publication and launch of James Caruth’s Dark Peak at The Green Room, Sheffield. Dark Peak is a long poem in ten sections, corresponding to the structure of a Catholic Mass. The title refers to an area of the Peak District; a recording of the poem was made close to this area in August 2008.
21 June: Publication of Matthew Clegg’s Edgelands marked by a four-hour walk through North Sheffield in which Clegg reads at intervals to the audience (Mark Goodwin retraces the route in his poem ‘Rurban Membrane‘). Edgelands is published as a pamphlet, a matchbox (in which the 56 poems are concertinaed in 56 folds) and as 56 individual ‘specimen pouches’ (5cm plastic enclosures, each with a poem inside).

1 November

The river, the road and Line Break.  Matthew Clegg and Chris Jones’ two-hour poetry walk along the banks of the River Don is well-attended and highly acclaimed. The audience is presented with a specially designed ‘poetry map’ (comprising poems and essays by Clegg and Jones and photographs by Brian Lewis) and a CD of the poets reading their work at the river. In the evening, Clegg, Jones and poets James Caruth and Andrew Hirst join artists Paul Evans and Brian Lewis at Site Studio, Sheffield, for an ambitious programme of poetry, painting and performance. Line Break forges vital connections between the spoken word and the visual arts and introduces the collaborative practices that will shape subsequent multidisciplinary projects (including The Seven Wonders). Readings: Cells and Carbon (Chris Jones), The Fates, Chalk and Edgelands (Matthew Clegg), Songs to Make & Mend (Andrew Hirst), Dark Peak (James Caruth). Introduced by Rob Hindle. Click here to view a short film comprising performances from Line Break.

7 December
Winter Songs.
Matthew Clegg and Andrew Hirst present new poems in the intimate setting of The Red Deer. Hirst reads from his Songs to Make & Mend epigrams (a boxed edition of which is launched the same evening); Clegg introduces his new Longbarrow pamphlets Rag & Bone Shop, Lessons and Pups. The evening also sees the launch of two Longbarrow CDs (recorded on location in and around Sheffield): The Field, a sampler comprising poems by Caruth, Clegg, Goodwin, Hindle, Hirst and Jones, and Nobody Sonnets / Pups, two sequences by Matthew Clegg.

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