David Russamano Launches his first Poetry Collection!

Come along and enjoy poems and drinks in the cellar venue of the historic Flying Horse pub – apparently, the last on Oxford Street, on Saturday May 20th! David Russamano, who has graced Seething Writers meet ups on a number of occasions, launches his first chapbook, (Reasons for) Moving, and we would love you to come and join us to celebrate!

(Reasons for) Moving is published by Structo publishers (read what they say about it here), the wonderful team who publish the Structo literary magazine, which, if you haven’t read it, is really a beautifully produced journal of writing worth seeking out.

What people have said about (Reasons for) Moving:

This is an impressive and enjoyable collection of poems. Russomano deserves readers.

— Wendy Cope

Russomano is an intriguing new poet I expect big things from, based on the poems here, which seem intelligently poised between American and British poetic stances. At once exotic, historical, melancholy, and well-made, these elegant, thoughtful poems of place and change have unexpected outcomes – slipping off into new, submerged possibilities, like the house on the frozen lake, that is not, well, really all that solid. An impressive debut.

— Todd Swift

Russomano combines a serious wanderlust and wonderful evocations of place, with a careful consideration of the value of home. Perfect ingredients for the pull and push of poetry, these poems beautifully dovetail diction with structure. A true delight to the eye and the heart.

— Lucy Furlong

David Russomano’s (Reasons for) Moving records a widely travelled life. ‘Writing Home from Quepos’, ‘After the Revolution: Kathmandu, 2006’, ‘Ankara’, and other vividly compelling poems about distant places interweave with poems located closer to home, such as ‘What Begins and Ends with Water’, the delightful and mordant ‘Saint John’s’, or the chilling ‘Cutting Corners’, about a mall built on the toxic site of a former brake pad factory. Beautifully evoked, this varied and memorable collection only gets better and better with each rereading.

— Ann Fisher-Wirth

Congratulations to Dave! To celebrate he is launching his chapbook  in Central London, at a FREE event in the cosy environs of the cellar bar of The Flying Horse, on the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. More info here.

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Messages to the Future on National Poetry Day

Exciting news! The Time Capsule installation from the pop-up exhibition ∀ – universal quantification, by the art collective futuremellon/not yet art, held at the Museum of Futures back in July, will be part of the event on National Poetry Day.

timecapsule

TIME CAPSULE (installation, 2016) concept & realization futuremellon/not yet art

During the pop-up exhibition ∀ – universal quantification, held at the Museum of Futures in Surbiton, the art collective futuremellon/not yet art, asked visitors to leave their messages to the future. All the letters were kept inside a time capsule, which will be finally sealed during the National Poetry Day 2016.

On the 6th of October 2016 participants will have the last opportunity to leave their personal message addressed to a chosen recipient. By adding a recipient’s contact (email or home address), their messages will be delivered to a special person once the time capsule will be opened into a far in the future day. The opening date of the capsule is still unknown, but it will be drawn by lot after the time capsule is firmly closed. Until then, the capsule and its keys will be safely stored.

So please come and a write a message to someone in the future and be part of this adventure through time.

More information about the events being held at the Museum of Futures for National Poetry Day can be found here and Facebook event is here.

Message Ends….

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‘Say It With A Poem’ at The Museum of Futures

This year’s National Poetry Day theme is ‘Messages’, so come along to the Museum and have some fun creating your own poetic messages. There will be a range of activities and writing exercises to try…and more!

  • From 3pm there will be after-school family writing activities, so come along with your kids and have a go at Poetry Lucky Dip, or write a haiku to your dog, or a poem to yourself in the future…there will be plenty of things to try in a relaxed setting, with help on hand should you need it.

If you or your children would like to bring a favourite poem to read and share, or would like to read the poems you have written there will be a chance to do that too!

 

  • After 5pm – pop in on your way home from work or drop by to take part in activities for generating messages of all kinds using various poetical techniques: an ode to your favourite sandwich. A thank you to the postman. A sonnet to a freshwater Sardine, a cut-up poem to the person who carved you up on Tolworth Roundabout yesterday… See what you can come up with and bring friends – there will be collaborative writing activities too.

chickenreading3

  • From 7.30pm there will be a chance to read the work you have written, come and share favourite poems, or bring your own poems to read.

There is more information to come, so please join the Facebook event and keep up to date with developments.

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Picnics and Paintings…24 hours in Seething

It started, as it so often seems to in Seething, with the Guinea pigs… shopping for picnic ingredients in Sainsbury’s. And then a hop, skip and jump to St Andrew’s Square, frilly with bunting and with Lefi in attendance. Rum punch galore and fine music played by a man in the baggiest trousers I have witnessed outside of Glastonbury. Could one want for any more on a scorchio August Bank Holiday in the suburbs?

But there was more- after the picnic came the art- a marathon of it- at the Lamb, with the promise of a cape to be fashioned, looooooong pictures for colouring in, competitions to enter, metal to be twisted into new and exciting shapes, large pieces of fabulous art on the gates outside the pub, and on the wall in the garden.

Not forgetting of course, the small matter of a Fairy staying up through the night to magic up a wonderful watercolour…

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And- even more- the next day,beginning this morning, Sim running a stained glass workshop in the garden!

 

All for charity, with the finished pieces to be auctioned later this year and you can still donate here for Creative Youth – because all of this was done to raise funds for this superb charity.

I still wonder if all these amazing things can really be taking place in the sleepy town where I grew up…but they really are.

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By Lucy Furlong

www.lucyfurlong.com

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Seething Writers of the Walking Kind

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So, Seething Writers of the Third Kind, as it was billed on Facebook, became Seething Writers of the Walking Kind… our first foray into what I have been calling Seethingography, and this was it- a walk around Seething Wells for just over an hour. We met at the Museum of Futures and the walk began with a small reading from Phil Smith’s wonderful book ‘On Walking’, followed by the famous Walt Whitman lines:

now voyager

It was great fun, and we were very lucky to be accompanied by Seething experts Simon Tyrrell and Howard Benge who have studied the history of the filter beds and Seething Wells water works, amongst other local history. It will be interesting to see what writing comes out of this psychogeographical exploration of the area.

view from the lambeth waterworks steps
view from the lambeth waterworks steps

The next Seething Writers meeting takes place on Monday August 22nd, from 7.30- 9pm at the Museum of Futures in Surbiton. There is a Facebook Group here or email seethingography@gmail.com to be added to the mailing list.

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The Wordsmiths

Before, there was just sound.


Noise.

Gutteral utterings.

Inside a need

Outside, no form.

 
Then they came

A wandering band of vagabonds

A higgledy piggledy group of artisans

Skilled craftsmen and women all

A cart filled with wondrous tools

Cases packed with abundance

Dragged with joy from settlement to settlement

Infectious energy and smiles

Captivating hearts and faces

 
Their arrival a source of excitement

Their purpose as yet unknown

They stop and unpack their wonders

 
They are the Wordsmiths

 
An ancient band of creators

Capturing the sounds and making real

 
Once established they sit and wait

Slowly people come to forward

Sit, eyes captivated by what they see

Silence speaks volumes

 
A Wordsmith steps forward and points

The ‘tree’ is big with heavy boughs.

He points to one of the children and back

Slowly the child realises and makes the noise

 
The Wordsmiths scream with joy

Repeat the sound until it is fixed and set

Others join in chorus loud

 
With one gesture silence falls again

The Wordsmiths set to work

Tools blur, materials carved, sewn,

Forges lit, bellows strained

 
Effort precedes the emergence of

The word

TREE

Made real

There in front of them

A sound now physical and fixed

TREE

 
From their cart they take a case

Words tumble from it to the floor

Previous language captured

Now shared, passed, owned.

 
As dawn come up an empty space

Dents in the grass where once was

And

TREE

writ large

 
An elder turns to the assembled

“They have gone.”

Nods of understanding

 
Before, there was just sound.

Noise.

Gutteral utterings.

Inside a need to communicate

Outside no form.

 
Then they came

A wandering band of vagabonds

A higgledy piggledy group of artisans

Skilled craftsmen and women all

A cart filled with wondrous tools

Cases packed with abundance

Dragged with joy from settlement to settlement

Infectious energy and smiles


Captivating hearts and faces



Robin Hutchinson

http://spiritofseething.blogspot.co.uk/

What is Seethingography?

FUSbadge with FUSin it (1)

What is Seethingography? The etymology of ‘graphy’ is the process of writing or recording. I am certainly a Seethingographyer, as is anyone who writes on this blog, posts a Facebook status or sends a text about having a great day at a Seething event. I have spent a many fun years being a Seethingographyer, even producing a PhD Thesis on Seething for University College London and the Free University of Seething.

So what is Seething? Well if you ask Seethingers it is likely that they will mention, community, togetherness and, as I was once told, being a bit a little bit stupid just because life is a little nicer when those things are involved. I once described the State of Seething to other anthropologists at a conference. I showed them pictures of myself with a giant paper sardine on my head, an image of the then UK environment minister sliding precariously skiing down a hill with blocks of ice laced to his feet and a video of a mildly drunk man dressed as a 15 foot giant, hurtling towards oncoming cars whilst balancing on a segway. Anthropology is the study of the things people do and want to do to make them feel more human. As such many of the other anthropologists in the room studied such things as the rituals of Papua New Guinea, the emerging religious ideologies of China, the ways in which new manufacturing techniques are shifting global understandings of economy and notions of work and so on and so on. After listening patiently one anthropologist asked ‘it sounds like your work is a lot of fun, how is this anthropology?’

The answer is simple; having fun is a thing most people do or want to do (some don’t, I met one once, they ask awkward questions at conferences). So what if we take stupidity seriously for a minute, we can ask, what does this actually do? How exactly does it help us be more, well… us? Let’s start with the heritage of suburbs. Many people imagine suburbs as that place of twitching net curtains, of rows of mowed lawns and commuter monotony which induces a suburban zombie death (bear with me). My friend and fellow academic, Helen, once wrote an excellent piece which argued that Seethingers take the non-history and this imagined dullness of suburbs in order to play, that is, to insert life into the imaginary of suburbs through the very myths, stories and histories it lacks. Around these myths much fun, togetherness and community building is had, all fueled through being a little bit stupid. But still what is this ‘stupidity’ precisely? The Oxford English Dictionary says that ‘stupid’ is the lack of sense. Now take the Sardine Festival parade, which consists in part of four (sometimes five – important to note) guinea pigs pulling a cart full of sardines through the streets of Surbiton, following the fishing catch from the Thames which was aided by a good serenading of Seething shanties. The parade is followed by Seethingers replete with banners, fish hats and giant cheese costumes along to a park where drinking, dancing eating and drinking is had in plenty. One could say that this would, upon first viewing, make little sense and whilst not wrong, it’s not quite right either. If you live in, or even pass through, or just know a little about the borough of Kingston then you will know that the symbol of the fish are everywhere. They can be found on street signs, on bins and lamp-posts and on all council correspondence. The fish, as the symbol of the borough, relate to the historic link to the doomsday book of 1086, where three fisheries were recorded upon the site of Kingston. So the sardines, being as they are fish, have some link to Kingston, so there is some sense, perhaps? One Seethinger once told me of how he once walked Kingston’s streets and thought of the fish he saw as the symbol of a stuffy local council, of a deep history to which he didn’t relate and of a royal association (via the fish pond in Hampton Court). The fish were a symbol of a social hierarchy of which he was not a part. However he went on to tell me, in beautiful detail of how, since the Sardine parade he sees the fish as little reminders of singing sea shanties on a sunny day, of watching the community dress up and confuse the local traffic through being fish and of dancing and sharing food in a local park, which until then he had seldom used. Now he sees the fish and smiles as the fish remind him of something, something fun, happy and, just a little bit stupid. So stupidity, or almost stupidity, which is making something make slightly less sense, has the ability to take something, such as the idea of suburb, or the way a fish symbol makes you think, and change it a little into something else. This little change, where there is less sense but still sense makes things different. What is that difference? It is the difference between smiling and not, between fun and dull, between being somewhere and living in a place which is yours, ours. In this way being a little bit stupid is hugely important.

As I learnt more about Seething I asked a number of Seethingers to take me on walks. Eventually a series of Free University of Seething walks were done together in groups making a map and some films in the process. We learnt from each other, told stories and wandered streets. In the process the Free University of Seething was established. This did a very Seething thing, it took what a university was, stuffy, hierarchical, expensive, and made it Seething, fun, for everyone, for free. Currently, we have a Facebook page where you can enrol; we have curated exhibitions and had a number of lectures. Even though Seething, and its university are a little bit stupid I take my PhD from FUS as seriously, if not more seriously, than the one from UCL as it’s the one that does something, makes it from somewhere and means something great. This is why I encourage you to blog, post, write, and share. Take FUS for your own, for Seething and please, remember to be just a little bit stupid.

Jeeva