Strong Language: full programme, 11–14 Oct 2018

Strong Language is three days of readings, performances, projections, installations and discussions in Sheffield. With new work from Joolz Denby, M. John Harrison, Vlatka HorvatCourttia Newland, Selina Thompson, Tony White and more.

Strong Language is curated by the artist, writer and performance maker Tim Etchells of Sheffield’s Forced Entertainment. Highlighting radical writing and independent publishing in the UK it centres on Piece of Paper Press, a low-tech sustainable publishing platform founded in 1994 by novelist (and former Sheffield art student) Tony White. Each Piece of Paper Press book is made from a single A4 sheet, and titles are always given away free.

Artworks, publications and ephemera from Piece of Paper Press will be on display at Site Gallery throughout the weekend, opening at Strong Language Live #1 on Friday 7:00pm.

Take away your free copies of four new specially commissioned Piece of Paper Press titles – while stocks last.


The Fountain in the Forest – Tony White at Off The Shelf
Thu 11th October 6:00pm

Shifting between Holborn Police Station, rural 1980s France and the Battle of the Beanfield at Stonehenge, The Fountain in the Forest is a crime narrative with a difference. This is an ambitious, iconoclastic novel – an avant-garde linguistic experiment and meditation on liberty.

Tony White will be reading from the novel, and be in conversation with the novelist Nicholas Royle.

“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 Guardian, ‘Book of the Day’

Part of Off The Shelf Festival of Words
Book now: Tickets (In Advance) £6/£5 (concs)
Tickets (On the Door) £7/£6 (concs)
Venue: Site Gallery, 1-5 Brown Street, S1 2BS


Strong Language Live #1
Fri 12th October 7.00–9.00pm

Courttia Newland

Strong Language Live #1 gets the weekend off to a powerful and playful start with readings from the genre-defying authors M John Harrison and Courttia Newland who both have new texts published by Piece of Paper Press available to collect free on the night. There will be additional word play from curator Tim Etchells and from artist Vlatka Horvat who’ll be reading a text related to her brand new projection piece As Things, As Animals on display at locations around the city. Strong Language Live #1 also sees the opening of our enticing exhibition of Piece of Paper Press editions and ephemera.
Venue: Site Gallery, 1-5 Brown Street, S1 2BS


Selina Thompson, RACE CARDS
Sat 13th October

A room containing 1000 questions about race, written by artist and performance maker Selina Thompson in three sittings across 24 hours one weekend in Edinburgh. You’re invited to answer one of them.

65. Are you black, or are you ‘new black’?
170. What is the long term psychological impact of white supremacy on people of colour?
220. My mum does not talk about race any more. It makes her uncomfortable, tired. Will this happen to me?

‘The work isn’t about answering questions; it’s about igniting an internal discussion in each of us that allows for the possibility of self-awareness, analysis and reflection.’ – Harold Offeh, This is Tomorrow.

Free. Venue: Pinball Park, 6 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2QQ (opposite Site Gallery and open for Site Gallery opening hours): Fri 11-18:00, Sat 11 – 18:00, Sun 11 – 16:00


Small is Beautiful
Sat 13th October 1:00–3:00pm

Small is Beautiful is a two part discussion event around the labour of love that is radical print. In the first part artist Penny McCarthy will talk to the artist Janette Paris about her celebrated Arch Comic – ‘Bringing art and life together’ since 2011 – and to Tony White about the ambitions and approaches of Piece of Paper Press, which over the years has seen contributions from artists, performance-makers and writers from Joanna Walsh to Michael Moorcock. In part two, Leigh Wilson chairs a discussion about passion, politics and innovation featuring a rich array of forces to be reckoned with in contemporary independent publishing, from Sheffield-based & Other Stories to Dostoyevsky Wannabe and Longbarrow Press. Both sessions will have lots of space for audience questions and discussion – so please get involved.
Venue: Site Gallery, 1-5 Brown Street, S1 2BS

Strong Language Live #2
Sat 13th October 7:00–9:00pm

Saturday’s Strong Language Live #2 is a bold followup to Friday’s session comprising an inventive and restless evening of performances, readings and installations. Renowned punk poet, author and tattooist Joolz Denby shares the stage with performer Selina Thompson whose work touches on identity, bodies and the environment. Both Joolz and Selina will have new texts published by Piece of Paper Press available to collect free on the night. Lending further grace and gravity to the evening is Piece of Paper Press editor and author Tony White, reading stories including The Holborn Cenotaph – ‘his powerful satirical performance piece’ (Financial Times) – that mix contemporary urban concerns with an approach that’s both gritty and conceptual. Away from the performances watch out for installations and sound-works in another part of the newly opened building by curator Tim Etchells.
Venue: Site Gallery, 1-5 Brown Street, S1 2BS


As Things, As Animals

Vlatka Horvat’s As Things, As Animals imagines and re-imagines human features, conditions, personality traits, and appearance via a collection of commonplace idioms comparing people to physical objects, natural phenomena as well as to animals, insects, and other creatures. Creating a picture of humanity that shifts between the comical, the grotesque, and the poetic, Horvat’s text is a surprising and playful compendium that moves from Strong as an Ox and Frightened as a Mouse to Thin as a Rake and Cool as a Cucumber. Projected large-scale on the walls of location(s) in the city centre, Horvat’s work is visible from 8 to 10pm.
Venue: city centre locations

Full programme also at

Tony White reading at Beaconsfield, London. Photo © Marianne Magnin, 2015


Buy Tony White’s The Fountain in the Forest

Book for The Fountain in the Forest at Off The Shelf, Sheffield, 11 Oct

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