Stonehenge tunnel debacle

John Constable, Stonehenge, watercolour, 1835. Collection Victoria & Albert Museum

Like many others, I’m deeply dismayed that the Secretary of State has granted permission for the major road development on the A303 in Wiltshire, UK, including two road tunnels with deep cuttings etc. within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, for negligible benefit, and at unknowable cost. Find out more about these plans on the Stonehenge Alliance website here.

And the costs are not only financial and archeological, but also involve a less tangible, but nonetheless important public good. For millennia, Stonehenge has been visible free to all from track & road. It’s a view that has also inspired artists & writers including Turner, Constable, John Cowper Powys, and many more. (And me! Anyone who’s read my latest novel The Fountain in the Forest will know that it is a detective thriller set in London, at Stonehenge, and on the French Riviera.)

Under the new scheme, Stonehenge will no longer be visible to passing travellers from the road.

Amidst the grosser damage these tunnels will cause to a unique World Heritage Site, that free and ancient view of the stones will now be denied to future generations.

When I was interviewed in 2015 by Russian car magazine Ключавто, I spoke about the government plans to build the tunnel.

If this happens it will all be done no doubt in the typical hypocritical style, using words like ‘safeguard’ and ‘preserve’ while happily smashing everything.

Tony White interviewed in Ключавто

(It came up because editor Timur Ryzhkov had reminded me that that my first novel Road Rage! includes a wholly fictional plan to build roads over ancient sacred sites and stone circles across the UK!) But even then I didn’t fully understand the scale of the project and the damage it would cause within the World Heritage Site, and simply hoped that such an obviously disastrous plan would not go ahead.

The decision goes against the explicit advice of both the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, and the UK’s independent Examining Authority.

And it is even more surprising when you consider that the scheme was greenlit in 2017 by none other than the then Transport Secretary Chris Grayling – he of ‘Brexit ferry fiasco’ fame. On top of everything else, you’d think that this association with ‘Failing Grayling’ would be more than enough justification to drop such a destructive waste of money.

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Please sign and share the petition on the Stonehenge Alliance website

Read Tony’s interview with Russian car magazine Ключавто

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Zombies Ate My (Public) Library

A scary story for Halloween? The closure of 100s of UK Public Libraries, slashing a statutory public service with many jobs lost. That’s what inspired Blast Theory’s and my novella ZOMBIES ATE MY LIBRARY.

ZOMBIES ATE MY LIBRARY follows four young people in the West Midlands—Alice, Gareth, Tommy and Rukhsana—as they plot a sleepover in a haunted library. What could possibly go wrong?

This was part of A Place Free Of Judgement made by Blast Theory and Tony White, with support from Arts Council England Lottery Funding and Arts Connect. It was made in collaboration with young people and staff from Telford Wrekin Council, Staffordshire County Council, Worcestershire County Council and in partnership with young people and staff from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Shropshire Council and the University of Worcester.

(It’s got real ghosts and everything. Seriously, one of the libraries we worked with, on the site of an old hospital, really was haunted.)

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Read more about A Place Free Of Judgement by Blast Theory and Tony White in the British Council’s new public art collection Where Strangers Meet

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RIP Diane Di Prima (1934–2020)

I was sorry to learn today of the death of Diane Di Prima. Better known as a poet, Di Prima’s memorable 1961 short story ‘The Visitor’ was one of my picks for author Jonathan Gibbs’ crowd-sourced short story project A Personal Anthology last year.

‘The Visitor’ is anthologised in The Moderns: an anthology of new American writing, edited by Leroi Jones aka Amiri Baraka, and published in 1963. I can’t remember where I picked up my battered copy of the Mayflower Dell paperback of The Moderns in the early-1990s, but this is where I first came across Di Prima’s writing.

The Moderns is a great anthology, progressive for its time – featuring works by William S. Burroughs, Ed Dorn, Hubert Selby, Jr. and more. LeRoi Jones packs them in too, with two or three or more stories per writer. And no space is wasted: if one story ends mid-page, the next one starts right away. What is striking now is that Diane Di Prima is the only woman included. Her writing also stands out because it is concise and economical – in marked contrast to most of the other contributions.

‘The Visitor’ is a story about poetry, but it is also about power and who has it and how they use it and who gets to write.

If anyone is interested to read ‘The Visitor’ and two other of Di Prima’s short stories, I just checked and there are a number of second-hand copies of The Moderns currently available on Abebooks (although they are not cheap).

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Read Tony White on Diane Di Prima for A Personal Anthology…

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Technopagan, 1995

Twenty-five years ago today (or thereabouts) I had my first short story published in Technopagan, the second anthology in Elaine Palmer’s visionary Pulp Faction series. I’d seen a poster for Skin, Palmer’s first anthology, when I was cycling to work along the canal, from Hackney to Islington. So when I saw in Time Out that contributions around the theme ‘technopagan’ were being invited for a second publication, I realised that I had an unpublished story that might fit the bill, which I sent off. My story, ‘A Pagan Day’, was a bit rough around the edges, but luckily I was in some great company as you can see from the contents page below. Pre-publication, I had a call to say that there would be a photo-shoot for contributors out in Limehouse. We all met up at Tower Hill DLR station, where I gave Palmer a copy of Tim Etchells’ short story ‘About Lisa’, which I’d just published on Piece of Paper Press and thought she might like. I’m not sure that I ever saw that Technopagan press photo. Launch events that I and others may have read at (IIRC) were at Cyberia – the world’s first internet cafe, by then moved to Golden Square, Soho – and at the then Dillon’s, Longacre.

Update: Since posting these photos I found a press release, an author letter and a flyer relating to the Technopagan anthology, which turns out to have been launched at Madame JoJo’s in Soho on 6 November, with a further reading at Dillons on 16 November. I think the event at Cyberia may have been the launch of the Homelands anthology being trailed for February 1996. I’ll try and scan these and add them to the post later on.

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The Holborn Cenotaph, tour continues online

I performed my satirical short story ‘The Holborn Cenotaph’ as part of the 50th and final Leap in the Dark on 19 September. Thank you to David Collard for this opportunity, and for curating and hosting such a wonderful, regular literary night. A Leap in the Dark has been a real beacon of light during the lockdown, and an incredible feat of generosity and hospitality besides. David’s Leaps in the Dark began life as a Dadaist literary cabaret night in the derelict former Paddington Conservative Club, in West London, but since the Covid pandemic they’ve instead been broadcast twice a week on Zoom.

his powerful satirical perfomance piece

Financial Times

‘The Holborn Cenotaph’ was first written for a one-off performance in Sir George Gilbert Scott’s wondrous, Renaissance Revival chapel at King’s College London, as part of The Cenotaph and the Public Sphere, a collaborative event devised by myself, the artists Stuart Brisley and Maya Balcioglu, and Dr Sanja Perovic of King’s, as part of a ‘loose collaboration’ (Brisley’s words) that we were conducting at the time. On that first night – and subsequently, where possible – a print edition of the full text of the work was given away after the reading.

Super dry, dark and funny…Glasnost for UK cops

Tim Etchells

Following a second performance at The MAC in Belfast, I was astounded to learn that an artist named Zara Lyness, then a postgraduate student at the University of Ulster, put on their own performance of the work the following day, for a seminar group at the School of Art. In all my years of performing and giving readings, I’ve never known this to happen before. Here’s how the artist Shirley MacWilliam who was present described the event:

One of the students, Zara Lyness—to whom I think you spoke during the evening—read the whole thing. Very well. And brought the listeners to silence the way you did. Certainly it is a performance text—like a saprophyte that attaches itself to its host in time and space.

I of course retrospectively authorised Lyness’s performance. Since then, ‘The Holborn Cenotaph’ has become an ongoing, touring project, with more than forty performances to date in the UK, Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in bookshops, arts centres, and spoken word nights, in workplaces and libraries, at festivals, dinners, and bookfairs – from the British Library to the London Radical Bookfair, from Brixton Book Jam to Turner Contemporary, from TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in Galway to Festival Poligon in Mostar. My policy where possible has been never to turn down an invitation to perform the work.

‘The Holborn Cenotaph’ differs from most short stories in that a final form is never fixed, and the text has to be updated continually: before each live performance, or new publication.

I really miss doing and going to live performances! But with the live literature scene and most live book appearances currently curtailed, I have been looking for ways to adapt my work to the current restrictions, and have rewritten ‘The Holborn Cenotaph’ for Zoom and other live platforms. Saturday’s event was an opportunity to try out this new version of ‘The Holborn Cenotaph’, which is now specially adapted for online performance.

I mocked up this tour T-shirt after the first twenty-nine performances

Thanks again to David Collard and Laura Hopkins for fifty Leaps in the Dark! The new online version of ‘The Holborn Cenotaph’ got an incredible response on Saturday (many thanks to everyone for the generous comments), so I hope it may be possible to find some new partnerships and opportunities to do more online performances as part of other live-streamed performance and literary events.

I am always keen to hear from readers, friends and colleagues about possible opportunities to perform readings of my fiction. So if you can think of an opportunity to present the new online version of ‘The Holborn Cenotaph’, do feel free to get in touch.

‘The Holborn Cenotaph’ at London Radical Book Fair, 2015 © Chris Dorley-Brown, 2015

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This work has been supported by an award from Arts Council England through the Arts Council Emergency Response Fund: for individuals.

What is resolved here?

I took something down from the wall above my desk, and found this underneath. It had been there since maybe June 2015. I posted the photo on my Instagram, and some friends asked for more info – thanks all! Dermot wondered if it was taken in Berlin, neon_grime asked if it was something to do with forensics, while Andrea said ‘Do tell’. So I will ;)

In fact that’s my handwriting, and the Post-it and the question date from the early stages of writing my 2018 novel The Fountain in the Forest. Meaning that this will be a rare post about some aspects of novel-writing process, behind-the-scenes stuff – so if that’s not your thing look away now.

I was in the early stages of writing the novel – no more than half-a-dozen chapters in – and looking at what I needed to do and to make happen. Hence the question: ‘What is resolved here?’ It’s not that I believe particularly that stories or novels need resolutions per se – even (postmodern) detective novels – but there was something about Chapter 28 that I could see coming a long way off.

When I started work on The Fountain in the Forest I’d found that I needed to draw out a sort of calendar, a 30-panel grid on a sheet of A2 paper, to help me plan and structure the novel; to summarise stories, to visualise its ‘shape’, and how it might work through time. I’d post a photo here, but it would be hard to do without spoilers. The Fountain in the Forest and the next two novels in the trilogy investigate the continuing impact today of a pivotal moment in British social history: the 90 days between the end of the Miners’ Strike and the Battle of the Beanfield on 1 June 1985. All three novels of the Fountain Trilogy are mapped against this period. So 90 days = 90 chapters in total i.e. 30 chapters per novel. This grid was calendar-like because I was using the French Republican Calendar with its 10-day weeks as a frame for the novel. And viewed through this lens, those 90 days in 1985 become nine revolutionary weeks.

I ended up making three of these calendars, covering the whole 90-chapter trilogy: including Revolutionary Calendar elements, the Oulipo-inspired ‘mandated vocabulary’, etc. (I’ve written and spoken about those sources in more detail elsewhere BTW, not least in the preface and afterword of The Fountain in the Forest itself, but also on the Guardian Books podcast, for the Big Issue North, and on Little Atoms, among others.)

Grid for Volume III

I often pin something on the wall when writing a novel: a list, or some kind of ongoing diagrammatic representation. (Just not usually quite so detailed as with The Fountain in the Forest.) As the writing progresses, there’ll likely be a gradual accretion of highlighter pen, scribbled annotations, and Post-its rather like this one.

The ‘Hainault Loop’

When I was writing my novel Foxy-T back in 2000, I drew a tiny map on a Post-it and stuck that on my wall. That map – really just a line running from left to right, west to east – simply showed the main geographical movements of the main characters – Foxy-T, Ruji-Babes and Zafar – in relation to the flow of the narrative, from the start to finish of the novel. After staring at this for a few weeks I finally noticed that it looked a bit like a map of the Central Line on the London Underground: two lines join in the west, travel together for a while, then in the east one line veers off before returning a bit further along, a bit like the Central Line’s so-called ‘Hainault Loop’.

(Incidentally, there’s a great schematic of the Central Line on the wonderful Clive’s Underground Line Guides – to me this still looks a lot like the ‘shape’ of Foxy-T.)

Fast forward a few years to the writing of The Fountain in the Forest and the calendar-like grid on my wall. Probably in common with many writers, I use Post-it notes to record ideas at speed when I’m writing novels (like, actually sitting at my desk and writing) because it’s not too distracting and I can quickly place them on/at some approximately relevant point in the structure – or the diagram of the structure – that is emerging and unfolding as each project progresses. I wrote this Post-it – ‘What is resolved here?’ – and stuck it on or near the panel for Chapter 28 of Fountain… (for short) shortly after realising that for all kinds of reasons Chapter 28 was going to have to be some kind of finale, in the theatrical sense of a prolonged final spectacular sequence of multiple parts, in this case complete with the representation of an actual historical battle.

Here – without Post-its – is how the panel for Chapter 28 looked on the plan. I’d already marked the chapter out for special attention by putting it between a pair of zig-zag lines (no less!) and with a spiral to show that this finale might take the form of some kind of (perhaps psychedelic) ‘vortex’ in the text.

If you’ve read the novel you will know that The Fountain in the Forest (and in fact this applies to the trilogy as a whole) doesn’t simply tell the story of those 90 days in 1985 by plodding through them in chronological order, rather it freely moves backwards and forwards in time and to all points in between.

Gertrude Stein is good on literature not needing to simply relay events in sequence. ‘You can tell that so well,’ she says,

in the difficulty of writing novels or poetry these days. The tradition has always been that you may more or less describe the things that happen you imagine them of course but you more or less describe the things that happen but nowadays everybody all day long knows what is happening and so what is happening is not really interesting, one knows it by radios cinemas newspapers biographies autobiographies until what is happening does not really thrill any one, it excites them a little but it does not really thrill them.

Gertrude Stein, WHAT ARE MASTER-PIECES AND WHY ARE THERE SO FEW OF THEM

There’s always more to say about Gertrude Stein, so maybe I’ll save some for later. I’ve been reading Stein since I was a teenager. I’d read an interview with the artist Laurie Anderson, maybe in the NME, the Guardian or Time Out (this must have been in the autumn of 1982, around the time of her Laurie Anderson: Artworks exhibition at the ICA, London, and her performance of the immense United States I-IV as part of ICA:NY, both of which I saw) in which she cited/recommended Stein’s novel The Geographical History of America. And even now, thirty-eight years later I find that I’m not yet finished with Stein’s writing. Just this year I’ve been taking part in a durational group reading/performance of Stein’s The Making of Americans, put together by Irene Revell and Anna Barham, which began in a South London living room, then moved online, and at time of writing is still ongoing, and which you can listen to here.

IIRC, Anderson also mentioned John Dos Passos’ USA, and Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow perhaps in that same interview – both leads that I also followed up. Incidentally, much of my reading as a teenager came from references in songs and on record sleeves or in the music press, as well as my local public library. I can really relate to that line of Mark Fisher’s in his article ‘Why K?’, which serves as an intro to K-Punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004–2016) – he’s talking about ‘theory’, but it could equally apply to literature:

No sob stories, but for someone from my background it’s difficult to see where else that interest would have come from.

And it’s the more experimental detective novels, by Stein and others, that I remain interested in and which have influenced the Fountain Trilogy. (ICYMI at the time, I wrote about ‘experimental thrillers’ for the Guardian a couple of Christmases back, and followed up with more recommendations drawn from the readers’ comments here.)

So, Chapter 28 of The Fountain in the Forest was marked out early on as a kind of finale. This was for various reasons including that it was just two chapters from the end of what was to be a thirty chapter novel, but it was also because Chapter 28 was aligned with a particular date in 1985 that, when converted into the French Republican Calendar, was dedicated to the Hatchery. A lot of the buried themes and stories threaded and incubated throughout the novel would need to hatch in this finale. The Post-it might just as well have asked, ‘What hatches here?’

With The Fountain in the Forest being the first part of a trilogy, the un-asked question of course is, ‘And which stories are carried over to Volumes II and III?’

Once The Fountain in the Forest was done, I took that old plan down. And a new calendar grid for Volume II of the trilogy got pinned onto the wall in its place, inadvertently covering over this old Post-it. And I forgot all about this question – ‘What is resolved here?’ – until a month or two ago, when I took that later grid down off the wall and found this Post-it still stuck to the wall underneath. Coincidentally, this was when I was approaching writing a sort of finale to the next novel – the forthcoming volume II of the trilogy – but had realised that I needed to visualise aspects of this new novel’s shape, its stories, and its narrative machinery in a different way than a grid.

So for the past month or two there’s been a six-foot-long horizontal scroll hanging along the wall above my desk. I wish I could post a photo, but it would be hard to do without giving away spoilers to the next book. This new scroll has helped me to complete a new novel with a new shape and – compared to The Fountain in the Forest – a completely different series and species of reckonings. I can’t wait to share it with you, although I’m keeping the title under wraps right now ;)

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Buy Tony White’s latest novel The Fountain in the Forest via publisher Faber and Faber

If you’d like to hear about the publication date for Volume II of the Fountain Trilogy, and other publications, gigs and events, you can sign up to receive invites and other goodies via my very occasional newsletter

This work has been supported by an award from Arts Council England through the Arts Council Emergency Response Fund: for individuals.

Special offer on trade paperback

If you need more Pantone 802c fluro green on your bookshelf and in your life – and let’s face it, who doesn’t? – right now Faber and Faber’s gorgeous Royale-format trade paperback of The Fountain in the Forest featuring Luke Bird’s sumptuous cover is currently 22% off on Amazon.

(N.B. Obviously this is a time-limited offer, but the info is correct at time of writing!)

“rich, riveting … White is always convivial company … His books [are] characterised by stylistic innovation, a feeling for place, a love of rogues and rebels. The Fountain in the Forest is no different. It’s also the opening salvo in a trilogy. I’m already awaiting the next.” Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian, ‘Book of the Day’

“It is absolutely terrific … it can be enjoyed at the level of a thriller, and yet it does all these other fascinating things, and best of all it’s the first in a trilogy … It’s such a good book.” Andy Miller, Backlisted Podcast

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Script credits

Alongside my work as a novelist, I have written scripts and worked as a script editor or consultant on a number of critically acclaimed and sometimes prize-winning projects by renowned artists.

We try to work with Tony as much as possible, he expands what we think we can do.

Blast Theory, winner Nam June Paik Art Center Prize, 2016

A new page on my website now lists my script credits, with testimonials received from artists I’ve worked with, as well as links to further information about each. These projects include film, interactive digital, and sound works.

I strongly recommend Tony as a script consultant.

Oreet Ashery, Turner Bursary recipient, 2020

Visit Tony White’s NEW: SCRIPT WRITER / EDITOR page…

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This work has been supported by an award from Arts Council England through the Arts Council Emergency Response Fund: for individuals.

A Leap in the Dark 26

A special Zoom event for Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown, was at 8pm, Saturday 27th June 2020

Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown is a collection of stories, flash fiction, poems, autofiction and conceptual writing gathered during the April and May Covid-19 lockdown, bringing together UK-based writers, poets, performance makers and artists. Published in a PDF format by Unstable Object, an imprint launched by Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat, the book is available to buy on a pay-what-you-choose basis, with 100% of proceeds to be donated to the Trussell Trust, a UK food bank charity. Here’s the link:

www.thisisunbound.co.uk/products/seen-from-here

The writing in Seen from Here is extremely diverse – spanning enigmatic fiction, poetry, powerful autofiction, prescient language artworks and compelling performance texts. While some of the work reflects directly or indirectly on the lockdown experience and the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, other pieces offer glimpses of past events, other realities and fictional landscapes. All but one of the texts included in the collection are previously unpublished and most are newly written, emerging from the isolating state of the lockdown to form a hallucinatory portrait of the concerns, intimate realities and fragile fantasies of the UK in the pandemic zone of 2020.

There’s no charge for taking part in A Leap in the Dark, but please make a donation, no matter how large, to The Trussell Trust.

The Programme

Introduction by Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat | 1  WHAT STUCK   Season Butler | 2  YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING OUT THERE   Tony White | 3  SMILE, CLAP, DANCE, SING   Andrea Mason | 4  WE ARE THE KING OF VENTILATORS   Chris Thorpe | 5  MARKET   Rachel Genn | 6  AND THEY SHALL CLAP   Fernando Sdrigotti | Interval | 7  IDEAS FOR PANDEMIC SHORT STORIES   Jacob Wren | 8  BECAUSE EVERYTHING IN THIS DAMNED WORLD   Lara Pawson | 9  SABIO   Marvin Thompson | 10 LAND LOCKED   M. John Harrison | 11 TOGETHER (PART 1)  Caroline Bergvall | 12 The Pale Usher signs off 

Fernando Sdrigotti reading for A Leap in the Dark 26

The Company

Caroline Bergvall is a writer, artist and performer who works across art forms, media and languages. The recipient of many international commissions, she is a noted exponent of writing and performance methods adapted to contemporary audiovisual and contextual situations, as well as multilingual identities and translocal exchange. Voice composition ‘TOGETHER (part 1)’ was commissioned by MAMCO, Geneva & Espace 2 Swiss National Radio in 2014. 

Season Butler is a writer, artist, dramaturg and lecturer in Performance Studies and Creative Writing. Her writing, research and art practice centre around intersectionality and narratives of otherness, isolation and negotiations with hope. Her debut novel, Cygnet, was published in spring 2019 and won the Writer’s Guild 2020 Award for Best First Novel. 

Tim Etchells is an artist and writer whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment, and has exhibited and presented work in significant institutions all over the world. He is currently Professor of Performance & Writing at Lancaster University. His collection of short fiction, Endland, was published by And Other Stories in 2019.

Rachel Genn works at Manchester Writing School/School of Digital Arts. Formerly a neuroscientist, she has written two novels: The Cure (Constable, 2011) and What You Could Have Won (And Other Stories, 2020). As Leverhulme Artist- in-Residence (2016) she created The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret, spanning installation art, VR and film (ASFF, 2016; SXSW, 2017). She is currently working on Hurtling, a collection of investigations into immersion and the creative act; a binaural experience exploring paranoia with Human Studio; an ACE-funded collection about fighting and addiction to regret; and Blessed, an oral history of her family’s injuries. @RachelGenn

M. John Harrison tweets @mjohnharrison, blogs at ambientehotel.wordpress.com & lives in the West Midlands. Two new books are due in July 2020: a novel, The Sunken Land Begins To Rise Again, from Gollanz; and from Comma Press, Settling the World, selected short stories introduced by Jennifer Hodgson.

Vlatka Horvat is an artist working across sculpture, installation, drawing, performance, photography and writing. She is a former Yugoslav, a former Chicagoan, a former New Yorker (always a New Yorker) and a current Londoner. Her work is presented internationally in different contexts – in museums and galleries, in theatre and dance festivals and in public space. She’s a lecturer in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. 

Andrea Mason has published short stories in a number of art and literary journals including The Happy Hypocrite and New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing. Her debut novel, The Cremation Project, is forthcoming with Inside the Castle, USA, in 2021. 

Lara Pawson lives in London. She is the author of a fragmentary memoir, This Is the Place to Be (CB editions, 2016), and an indignant historical investigation, In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre (IB Tauris, 2014). ‘Because Everything in This Damned World’ is an extract from a book in progress.

Fernando Sdrigotti is a London-based Argentine writer and cultural critic. He is the founding editor of the journal Minor Literature[s]. His latest book is Jolts, a collection of short stories published by Influx Press. minorliteratures.com and influxpress.com/jolts

Marvin Thompson was born in London to Jamaican parents and now lives in south Wales. His debut collection, Road Trip (Peepal Tree Press), is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. In 2019 he was shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize. Reviewers have described his work as ‘moving’ and ‘a virtuoso performance.’

Chris Thorpe is a writer and performer from Manchester. He works as a playwright, most recently with the Royal Exchange, Unicorn and Royal Court, for whom he’s currently writing the Methuen Climate Commission. Collaborations include ongoing work with Rachel Chavkin, mala voadora, Third Angel, Yusra Warsama, Hannah Jane Walker, Rachel Bagshaw and Javaad Alipoor.

Tony White’s latest novel The Fountain in the Forest is published by Faber and Faber. White is the author of five previous novels including Foxy-T and Shackleton’s Man Goes South, the non-fiction title Another Fool in the Balkans and numerous short stories. He is editor and publisher of the artists’ book series Piece of Paper Press, founded in 1994. Tony White would like to acknowledge the support of Arts Council England through the Arts Council Emergency Response Fund: for individuals.

Jacob Wren makes literature, collaborative performances and exhibitions. His books include: Polyamorous Love Song, Rich and Poor and Authenticity Is a Feeling. With the interdisciplinary group PME-ART he’s co-created performances such as: Individualism Was A Mistake, The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information and Every Song I’ve Ever Written.

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Published by Unstable Object, June 2020 | ISBN: 978-1-8380422-0-2 | 382 pages | Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown is available to buy from the online bookshop Unbound, a Live Art Development Agency initiative.

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In aid of the Trussell Trust: Seen From Here

Published in aid of the UK foodbank charity the Trussell Trust, Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown is a collection of stories, flash fiction, poems, autofiction and conceptual writing gathered during the April and May Covid-19 lockdown, bringing together UK-based writers, poets, performance makers and artists.

I’m really proud to join the diverse line-up of contributors to this unique book featuring some of my favourite contemporary writers and artists.

Published in a PDF format by Unstable Object, an imprint launched by Etchells and Horvat for this occasion, the book is available to buy on a pay-what-you-choose basis, with 100% of proceeds to be donated to the Trussell Trust, a UK food bank charity.

Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown
ON SALE now at: https://www.thisisunbound.co.uk/products/seen-from-here

The writing in Seen from Here is extremely diverse – spanning enigmatic fiction, poetry, powerful autofiction, prescient language artworks and compelling performance texts. While some of the work reflects directly or indirectly on the lockdown experience and the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, other pieces offer glimpses of past events, other realities and fictional landscapes. All but one of the texts included in the collection are previously unpublished and most are newly written, emerging from the isolating state of the lockdown to form a hallucinatory portrait of the concerns, intimate realities and fragile fantasies of the UK in the pandemic zone of 2020.

The book is edited by Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat and designed by David Caines.

Tim Etchells and Vlatka Horvat at Strong Language, Site Gallery, Sheffield, 2018. Photo: Chris Saunders

Contributors: Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press, Caroline Bergvall, Aisha Mango Borja, Season Butler, Hester Chillingworth, Augusto Corrieri, Will Eaves, Tim Etchells, Rachel Genn, Chris Goode, M. John Harrison, Vlatka Horvat, Wendy Houstoun, Sophie Jung, Andrea Mason, Harun Morrison, Courttia Newland, Katharine Norbury, Lara Pawson, Deborah Pearson, Fernando Sdrigotti, Maria Sledmere, Marvin Thompson, Selina Thompson, Rupert Thomson, Chris Thorpe, Tony White, Eley Williams, Aaron Williamson, Jacob Wren.

Published by Unstable Object, June 2020 | ISBN: 978-1-8380422-0-2 | 382 pages | Seen from Here: Writing in the Lockdown is available to buy from the online bookshop Unbound, a Live Art Development Agency initiative.

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Tony White would like to acknowledge the support of Arts Council England through the Arts Council Emergency Response Fund: for individuals.