Wednesday, 10 November 2010


Last night’s reading at The Lamb, featuring Rachel Lehrman, James Wilkes and Christopher Gutkind, typified the lively and eclectic nature of many of the London readings these days. Rachel Lehrman moved here in 2002 after completing an MFA at the University of Arizona. She launched her first book, Second Waking (in Oystercatcher’s very attractive pamphlet series), then read from works in progress. James Wilkes has done a great deal of collaborative work (often with Holly Pester) but his accompanists this particular evening were a set of radios. These already antiquated objects gave forth a charming mix of voice and static. In the break Harry Gilonis said to me ‘they won’t be able to do this when the conversion to digital is complete. It reminded me of some of the radio collages produced in Germany in the sixties and seventies that I’d listened to back in my media teaching days. Wilkes handles it all with an impressive calm. He also read from Conversations After Dark (Sideline Publications). Chris Gutkind came here from Montreal in the late eighties but didn’t publish a full collection until Inside to Outside (Shearsman) in 2006. He read newer work from Options (Knives Forks and Spoons Press) and Making the World Better (a pamphlet from Kater Murr’s Piraeus series). This poem was a scroll-like reading of another event on another 9/11.

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