History: 2012

Publication of two pamphlets by Alistair Noon: Across the Water and Swamp Area (the latter comprising long poems and sequences about Berlin).

Publication of Peter Riley’s XIV PIECES pamphlet and CD. The CD comprises recordings of the poems made by Riley at home in Cambridge, with ‘noises off’ and musical passages enhancing the intimate, domestic atmosphere.

19 May
Matthew Clegg and Alistair Noon read at The Red Deer, Sheffield. Clegg reads from his new sequences The Navigators and Chinese Lanterns; Noon offers selections from Across the Water and Swamp Area, and from Earth Records (Nine Arches). The idea of ‘the journey’ links the readings; journeys along waterways, across borders, and through history.

Ben Goulder interviews Brian Lewis for Sheffield webzine Incognito. The interview (accompanied by photos from the Red Deer event in May) appears here.

3 June
Phase 2 of The Seven Wonders (an ongoing collaboration between artist Paul Evans and Longbarrow poets) begins with a reimagining of Kinder Downfall, in which Fay Musselwhite’s poem ‘Phlegmatic’ is paired with a new painting by Evans. It is followed in July with Evans / Goodwin’s ‘Hen Cloud’ / ‘Hen Prayer’. Among the other poets confirmed for this new stage of the project are Angelina Ayers and Alistair Noon.

23 June

Matthew Clegg leads the Moving with Thought walk and workshop (commissioned by Occursus/plastiCities) from Shalesmoor to Parkwood in north Sheffield, followed by a reading by Clegg and Fay Musselwhite at 7 Garden Street. Moving with Thought was set up to explore the relationship between walking and poetry – between the body, the mind and the landscape. The workshop participants responded to the invitation with some excellent poems; click here to read them and to access further links to audio recordings of the poems and a short film of the walk.

20-30 September
Call & Response
(co-curated by Paul Evans and Brian Lewis) presents 22 haiku by 10 poets (Angelina Ayers, Matthew Clegg, Abigail Flint, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Chris Jones, Fay Musselwhite, Mary Marken, Andrew Myers and Ruth Palmer) on Twitter and SoundCloud during the 11 days of the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind. Each of the poems is inspired by the mystery of bird calls and songs. You can listen to recordings of all 22 haiku (in broadcast sequence) here and read the poems (in their original pairings) here.

23 September
A Navigation with Matthew Clegg brings an audience of 20 to the Sheffield Canal Basin for a two-hour walk along the towpath towards Tinsley, with Clegg reading poems from his sequence The Navigators (which explores the canals of South Yorkshire) and discussing the culture and history of the waterways and the people who built and lived on them. Part of the Festival of the Mind‘s Arrivals Zone programme. Listen to Clegg reading and introducing the poem ‘Attercliffe’ (recorded in Attercliffe towards the end of the walk) here. An illustrated account of the walk (with 12 photographs by Shaun Bloodworth) appears here.

24-27 October
Longbarrow Press: Scale, a series of newly commissioned films and performances, takes place at Sheffield’s Bloc Projects. The focus of the gallery installation was a 40-minute film loop comprising ‘Cells’ (Paul Evans, Chris Jones), ‘Skin’ (Karl Hurst, Chris Jones), ‘The Seven Wonders’ (Angelina Ayers, James Caruth, Paul Evans, Fay Musselwhite), ‘Cortege’ (Hondartza Fraga, Rob Hindle) and ‘Cave Time and Sea Changes’ (Matthew Clegg, Karl Hurst). A performance of ‘Scale’ on 26 October offered a mix of live readings, film and a new performance devised by Becky Bowley and Mark Goodwin; an artist’s talk by Paul Evans (on 25 October) illuminated the ideas of ‘scale’ at work in the programme. Click here for more information on the Scale project.

Rob Hindle at Hill Top Chapel (by Nikki Clayton)28 October
Rob Hindle’s The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman returns to Hill Top Chapel, Attercliffe, Sheffield (three years after its debut performance), with a new introduction (incorporating the ‘last letter’ attributed to Broughton) and a new cast of supporting readers (Matt Black, James Caruth, Ray Hearne, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite). The performance was followed by a lively and wide-ranging Q&A with the audience (including two of Broughton’s descendants). Click here to read more about Rob Hindle’s (re)telling of the Spence Broughton story.

1-24 November
closer to ground to hear, a collaborative work by Mark Goodwin (audio poems and texts), Nikki Clayton (photographs) and Brian Lewis (sound design), is installed at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield. A merging of Tarkovsky’s Zone (as depicted in his film ‘Stalker’) with a portion of the rurban rim of north-east Sheffield, this collaborative work is reconfigured during the residency, with Goodwin reconstituting a number of the poems and Lewis adding new mixes to the multi-channel soundscape each week. Goodwin presents a selection of poems relating to the installation at Bank Street Arts on 17 November; the reading is preceded by an extended (and unexpected) vocal improvisation in the installation space (based on his ‘Stalker’ poem). Click here to listen to a recording of the improvisation.

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