October 18, 2013
The Text Festivals - the Book
On occasion, I think, people interested in the ideas we have been working with in Bury have been stymied by my preference for the next project rather than the past project. But the Text Festival has been breaking new ground since 2005 so maybe inevitably it has developed a history that needs to be acknowledged. The Text Archive developed by Holly Pester through the AHRC funded partnership with Birkbeck Contemporary Poetics Research Centre responded to that imperative. And now hot off the Plymouth University Press, "The Text Festivals: Language Art and Material Poetry". You can acquire this must-have publication from here or via Bury Art Museum shop (slightly cheaper). Tony Lopez has done a great job - not least getting me to do my bit for it. As he wrote in his blog the field of enquiry that the festival has opened up urgently needed focused secondary work which can inform and develop the ongoing dialogue. Phil Davenport's seminal anthology The Dark Would clearly operates in this capacity.
The new book includes new essays by me, Derek Beaulieu, Christian Bök, James Davies, Philip Davenport, Robert Grenier, Alan Halsey, Tony Lopez, Holly Pester, Hester Reeve (HRH.the), Carolyn Thompson, Carol Watts and Liz Collini - whose work is also on the cover. (Indulge me, I can't resist quoting the Plymouth site):
"It is a remarkable phenomenon that the foremost among recent sites of this interrogation of boundaries has been a series of festivals located in Bury, on the outskirts of Greater Manchester. World leading artists and poets have been brought together in a range of exhibitions and performances that demonstrate a new and productive collision of different cultural enterprises and expectations."
Anyway, now the Light Night is done and the Sculpture Centre announced, my next job is completing the curating of the future Festival opening in May 2014 (which got delayed by the other two); being part of this 'remarkable phenomenon' should be in your diary already.