Friday, 31 January 2014

Peter Riley at Free Range

Last night Peter Riley gave a very fine reading in Caterbury in the Free Range series at the Veg Box. This venue's funds are shrinking and one can only hope that it finds ways to stay open. It's a tight space but the acoustics are good, resident pianist Sam Bailey is always inventive, selflessly leading in to the advertised performers, and the audiences are as receptive as any I've seen. The mix of style and approach works in this place for all of these reasons and Riley's poems were heard loud and clear.

Monday, 27 January 2014

quote unquote

Rummaging through my files I came across these quotations, kept but never used. They seem to run together reasonably well:

…there is a composition by John Cage called Imaginary Landscapes #4 for twelve radios. Two performers sit at each radio, one controlling the volume, the other the station dial . . . each performer has specific instructions concerning what to do at each moment with the knob . . . he or she controls . . . The conductor is admonished to be very strict. There is a story in circulation about a performance in Town Hall, New York, in which one of the radios caught strains of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and someone in the audience yelled ‘Leave it on.’
     - Leo Tresler, ‘History & music’ in New Literary History 21/2, 1990

The language is not like throwing a sweater over the topography of referents. Rather it is like light, without which color itself would not be possible, let alone shape, perspective & a whole host of other features. Our language & what we know of it is not separable from the world that shines through.
                                                - Ron Silliman

Colouring the world is always a means of denying it.
                                                - Roland Barthes, Mythologies

Critics will never rate you ABOVE the estimate you give yourself: If he says he's dumb I'd be stupid to ignore him, I guess is the thought process.
                                                - Ken Bolton

My will to live completely overcame my desire to win.
                - Alfred Hajos, German winner of the 1896 Athens Olympic long distance swim, held in icy four metre high seas a kilometer off Piraeus. Many contestants had to be rescued.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Outcrop in the UK

Last night Michael Farrell, Claire Potter and I read at the University of Kent in connection with Corey Wakeling and Jeremy Balius’s Australian anthology Outcrop: radical Australian poetry of land (Claire appears to the immediate right of Michael in the above pic). There hasn’t been very much publicity about this collection as yet but we hopefully did our bit this end of things. Despite my own (and Pete Spence’s) appearance in the volume it consists mainly of the work of younger poets and is an overdue view of the works of several writers. It’s worth getting hold of for this reason alone. The book was published by Black Rider Press last year.