Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Making of The Frock Enquiry

Work in progress

Work in progress

The title of this post is quite literal. It’s not about the writing of my forthcoming Annexe Magazine pamphlet The Frock Enquiry, it is about the physical process of putting it together: the typesetting, printing and binding.

The Frock Enquiry is both an exposé and a celebration of women’s work. It is based on the Women’s Industrial Council’s investigations into the conditions of female sweated labour at the beginning of the twentieth century but also the archive of the London College of Fashion with its evidence of highly skilled professions carried out by women. The pamphlet might seem to be looking over its shoulder at the past but it is only to contextualise and expose the history of what remains true for women in many parts of the world today. It is concerned primarily with gender and work.

How appropriate , then, that not only have I worked with a woman editor (the marvellous Claire Trévien) but also a woman typesetter and bookbinder: Lucie Forejtova of Oxford-based Immaginacija Bindery (website here http://www.immaginacija.com).

As so many of the poems in The Frock Enquiry deal with the hands-on techniques of a number of trades that have since become automated, it has been a particular thrill to follow the progress of Lucie’s work. Her photographs offer a peek into the process of making The Frock Enquiry and fellow Annexe-poet JT Welsch’s The Ruin.

I love seeing how Lucie works and the tools she is using.

Hard at work

Hard at work

And here are the pamphlets emerging:

Nearly there

Nearly there

 

 If you are interesting in pre-ordering one of a limited edition run of The Frock Enquiry and JT Welsch’s The Ruin, you can do so here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pre-order-copies-of-annexe-pamphlets#/

Lucie is binding a piece of vintage sewing pattern into each of these limited edition copies.

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Launch dates have been confirmed for:

London Vout-O-Rennees 7pm Friday 23rd October

Oxford Albion Beatnick 7pm Sunday 8th November

York Venue tbc Last weekend in November date tic

See you there?

PS for anybody curious about the reading of Maths Poetry at the Maths Institute, it was a blast! Here’s Kiran Millwood Hargrave who organised the event (and me)  in the exquisite new Maths building. Astrophysics next? Or coding?

Maths and Poetry

Maths and Poetry

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Illegitimate Objects

Despite what you might think,  the title of this post is not referring to my poems. It is true that people still argue from time to time about  the ‘legitimacy’ of prose poems, collage poems and poems that contain ‘found material’ – which accounts for about 99% of my work. Not what this is about.  It is also true that I find the idea of illegitimacy quite interesting and provocative, however that is still not what this post is about.

Object of Questionable Legitimacy

Object of Questionable Legitimacy

It is in fact the title of a group exhibition put together to celebrate the opening of Oxford’s new Mathematical Institute. I have so enjoyed being part of such an interesting project and working alongside some brilliant poets and artists. The poets are: Agnes Davis, April Pierce, Claire Trévien, Daisy Johnson, Dan Holloway, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sam Guglani (and me). The artists:

 

Katrina Blannin  Elaine Le Corre  Bella Easton Tim Ellis Gabrielle Hoad  Sally Howkins  Stephen Lee  

Iavor Lubomirov  Ruth Millar  Luke Ralphs  Felicity Shillingford 

Kate Terry

 

metroncollaborative: Diane Jones-Parry  Annabel Ralphs

Click on the above. Pretty legit.

But here’s the illegitimacy. Me. Maths. Big faker. But read the quotation below and it seems I fit right in……

 Illegitimate Objects

Illegitimate Objects is a group exhibition for which artists and poets have made work in response to the Mathematical Institute’s collection of models of geometric surfaces. Made in the nineteenth century, and most likely purchased by JJ Sylvester, these models have a timeless appeal to mathematicians and artists alike.

The models were not ‘evidence’ in any sense of the term. They were boundary objects, good for trading meanings and for showing figures but illegitimate as objects of pure mathematics….’ (from Mathematical Models by Herbert Mehrtens, in Models, The Third Dimension of Science. eds Soraya de ChadarevianNick Hopwood, Stanford University Press 2004).

The exhibition is curated by metroncollaborative and its website is here. The exhibition runs from 17 September to 18 November 2015, with a Poets’ event on Saturday 17 October (2–4 pm)..

Do drop in. I dare you.

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It’s no good. I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it….

…as The Pointer Sisters put it. And it’s true, I can’t keep quiet about it anymore. You have to imagine this is one of those musicals, or Glee perhaps, when the character just has to burst into inappropriate song. This entire post should be accompanied in your mind by The Pointer Sisters. And what is the reason for this uncharacteristically toe-tapping post? The Frock Enquiry, my Annexe Magazine pamphlet, is due to be launched very soon now. I’m about to lose control and I think I like it….
First of all, there’s the cover thanks to a very talented designer. Unveiling it right here:

The Frock Enquiry

The Frock Enquiry

Then there’s the series of launch events. The first is in London on the 23rd October, followed by November launches in Oxford and York. A mini-tour! UPDATE: OXFORD LAUNCH IS SUNDAY 8th NOVEMBER 7pm ALBION BEATNIK.

Details of the London launch at a very cool venue are here:

7pm Vout-O-Reenee’s the crypt of 30 Prescott Street E1 8BB

https://www.facebook.com/events/152498905099069/

Yes, this is the night we’re gonna make it happen…Not just the launch of these two final Annexe pamphlets but also a celebration of the amazing work done by Annexe Magazine.

And then there’s the fact that I’m going to be launching The Frock Enquiry alongside poet JT Welsch’s pamphlet The Ruin.  Here, to whet your appetite:

The Ruin

The Ruin

Sadly we will not actually be wearing co-ordinated frocks or hairdos on the night. But nevertheless we’ll have a good time baby don’t you worry…

And to be absolutely sure you wrap your hands around one of these signed, limited edition, beautifully hand-bound pamphlets, you can pre-order here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pre-order-copies-of-annexe-pamphlets#/

Do come along. Again to quote The Pointer Sisters, the sweet memories will last a long, long time.

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