Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize

Twitter and a lovely email tell me that I am one of the top three prize winners for the Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize in the age 22-26 Poetry category.

I’m unsure of how to post about this kind of thing, so here’s some information from the website:

the streetcake experimental writing prize will be one of the first of its kind, aimed at young people (18-26 years old) who are creating writing that extends the possibilities and boundaries of the contemporary literature mold. we want to recognise and develop writers in this age band, who will shape the future of experimental writing and bring new ideas to the genre.

I normally avoid writing competitions because I don’t find that my writing style fits with what the judges are looking for, but seeing ‘experimental’ and ‘Streetcake’ I figured why not have a go? It was only £1 to enter a single poem too, which made me very happy considering entry fees are also one of the main reasons I don’t enter many things. So the whole thing felt accessible to me in every sense.

There’s an awards ceremony in September that I’m supposed to be attending, but it also feels very formal and I don’t know how I’ll feel near the time. I decided against attending my graduation for the same reason (and no regrets honestly). Hopefully even if I decide not to attend I’ll be allowed to go to the workshop beforehand though as I desperately want to meet Sascha Akhtar.

The poem I submitted is called dogwalkslowly and will appear on the Streetcake Magazine website and in a hardcopy anthology.

tongue 83

My visual poem tongue 83 has been published in issue 10 The Projectionist’s Playground.

I’ve been told that it’s difficult to read, and though I’m happy to have multiple strange readings of it, part of it was intended to be read a certain way

what is the thing that connects the tongue
over a matter / doesn’t matter / over a fondness / are we enemies?

are we enemies was borrowed from one of Kafka’s letters to… Max Brod? I’m not sure, it’s been a while since I wrote my essay on him.

Aside from the Sidekick Books Headbooks this is my first visual poem in print. I’ve posted pictures of it on Twitter though plan to upload a copy of the original image at some point.

Copies of The Projectionist’s Playground are available here.

a queer anthology of sickness

My contributor copy of a queer anthology of sickness arrived yesterday from Pilot Press.

It features my poem selvhjelp, an abstraction and muddling of the cognitive diamond that my friend Madelen sent me after having kindly translated it from Norwegian.

It’s not something I can copy and paste part of easily, but I posted pictures of it on my Twitter.

I’m really trying to work on making poetry that takes up more space on the page, and this poem was an arguably symbolic way to start.

The anthology is available for purchase here and may also be found in Tenderbooks.

forthcoming: Immurement and Theatre of Failure

My second pamphlet Immurement will be published with Broken Sleep Books on April 17th. I began writing it as an exploration of interior in terms of rooms and objects, spending many an hour in museums among other places, but it grew thematically to encompass the interior in a broader sense, including that of the mind and how we may immure ourselves.

From the publisher:

Yvonne Litschel’s Immurement unfurls a hand of disturbed grammar and syntax. Occasional phrases jut out awkwardly like a dislocated spine, or a pier on dry land, provoking moments of strange pleasure and sensory discord. A “catchment area for mismatched absences” which leaves the reader unsettled and entranced.

On April 17th I will also be reading some poems from Immurement, as well as a few from Moth Dust, as part of the Theatre of Failures held at Nell of Old Drury in London. I’m not sure that I’ll have the physical copies in time to sell them there but hopefully it won’t matter too much if I don’t. There are also a number of other talented creators reading on the night, and the event is completely free, so if you’re able to come along I recommend it.

sleepless aside

My poem sleepless aside has now been published in Volume 4 of Foxhole Magazine.

an actor who wears a stuffed toy is called “a stuffed toy”
degradation which goes around pretty appearance is a problem
filling the insides moulded to resemble animals certain

The poem is composed of fragments of a Japanese Wikipedia article on plush toys, translated back and forth several times in order to further warp the semantics. This is likely why it ended up fitting into the Information Issue of the magazine – which is beautiful by the way, the kind of thing you might buy for the cover alone (designed by Matthew Kay, for anyone wondering) only to be delighted that the rest of the magazine matches up.

Find out more about the publication here.

two poems: sk and Lambeth

My poems sk and Lambeth have now been published in Issue 69 of Tears In The Fence.

button up shirt collar
starched to a stiffness
ensuing past asphyxia

an elbow’s depth
he cannot swallow
life’s gristle   […]

Three lines from each. I don’t tend to submit multiple poems to publications, just because I feel that any links are cumulative rather than standalone in terms of my own writing. These poems will be featured as part of a collaborative project which will only come to light in the significantly far future. Lambeth is not the place, taken from a bus stop which is a place, but not.

The magazine is only available in print, so there isn’t a page I can link to with the full poems, but if you want 174 pages of creative content the option is there. You can find me on page 77, which makes me very happy as it seems like a nice number. Other pages I like are… actually there are too many. But names I recognise and would also recommend are Serena Mayer on page 26, Jazmine Linklater on page 45, and Lisa Kiew on page 169.

Find out more about the publication here.

Phoetry & Photolit performance with Olga Kolesnikova

Olga and I collaborated once more, this time for the opening night of the Phoetry & Photolit exhibition at Museum of Futures in Surbiton.

phoetry & photolit

Some behind the scenes info: originally part of the performance involved the bear having something wrong with it and needing an operation. The something wrong was that when the bear’s stomach was pressed it produced the distorted garble of something that was presumably once a human voice. However when I tested the bear the night before, instead of warped vocals it clearly uttered I love you!, much to our dismay.

Essentially we had to overhaul the entire concept the night before. And so rather than the slightly sombre strangeness we had initially planned, it became something more visceral.

Following the performance I ended up having to reassure several people that the bear would be fine. Though I’m afraid I can’t say that he’s been stitched up yet, as there are a few more things he’s needed for. After that I intend to create something Ernesto Stewart-inspired, so that’s something to look forward to.

More information about the event, as well as videos of other performances from the evening, may be found here. Photograph taken by Alexander Kell.