GO DINE ON YOUR OWN FACE,
GO MAKE SOME OF YOUR SERIOUS 'LITERATURE',
GO BACK THE WAY YOU CAME,
GO TELL THE OTHERS, QUICKLY,
GO TO THE VERY END OF THE TUNNEL BEFORE LOOKING BEHIND YOU,
GO TO YOUR ROOM,
GO BEHIND OUR BACKS, WOULD YOU,
“A poet of fantastic inversions.” Poetry London
Hi. I'm Jon, and I make books. Mostly I write, but I'm also an editor and one half of a London-based small press called Sidekick Books, so I illustrate, design and occasionally bind.
This is a quick guide to me and this site.
My work includes collages from contemporary manga, procedurally generated poems, hypertext poems and modern versions of obscene Medieval Welsh poems. I've been published in anthologies of formal adventure, imitation, science fiction poetry and mildly erotic verse as well as British, US, German and international literary journals.
You can find a full biography, as well as links to various old interviews and contact details, in the ABOUT section.
I published a full collection, School of Forgery, with Salt Publishing in 2012. I've also written shorter volumes, including e-pamphlets and two collaborations with Kirsten Irving. As an editor of Sidekick, I've published anthologies of computer game poems, bird poems and the like.
You can find details about all of these in the POEMS section, as well as a fairly comprehensive list of individual poems published.
Finally, I also write articles, polemics, posts, reviews and general criticism. In the NOT POEMS section, there's links to articles published elsewhere, and to three tumblrs I keep. Channel 1 is general news updates, Channel 2 is writing on computer games, and Channel 3 is a collection of miserabilist/pessimist quotations.
You can also read the latest posts from these tumblrs just below.
School of Forgery plunders the treasure-filled territories between original and derivative, fabricated and found, real and imagined. Here, through the medium of translations, travesties, knock-offs, collages and impersonations, through wrong-footing, fluid forms and wild tales, the slipperiness of language and identity is revealed for what it is. School of Forgery does manga and sixties spy thrillers, mustard and mimic octopuses. It dices up blogs, books and Tom Jones. It's on the hunt for honesty in every form of treachery ... and occasionally finds it.
“These are poems with an edge, or rather, multiple sharp edges, poems as elaborate 'fabrications' challenging conventions of form and voice. This is an inspired, integrated debut, endlessly inventive, with a lively intertextuality and a wide frame of reference. The language is both playful and hard-wrought, words at high voltage, words as collector's items.”
PBS Selectors' Comments
“The sincerity of affectation, the aesthetic sentimentality, of these poems, is a new beast. There is skill, craft, technique here, and off the shelf pop references, but also a step-change level of intricate game-playing. For want of a better word, this really is dandyish. It's European stuff. Rich, thick, arty, revelling in the accessible opacity, the frostwork jouissance.”
Mixing existing poems by well-known performers like Ross Sutherland and Nathan Penlington with newly commissioned work from a plethora of young writers, Coin Opera 2 uncovers the surprising similarities between the two mediums: the hidden rules and restrictions, the role of rhythm and structural repetition, the need to access that vital space between ‘too hard’ and ‘too easy’ which snares the human imagination, and, fundamentally, the importance of play.
“The talent on display bends, breaks, and celebrates those strange commonalities between poetic form and video game aesthetic, and, though the results are sometimes jarring, they’re always captivating. They move from light-hearted musings to anecdotal epiphanies, all the while toying with not only what poetry is but also what poetry does.”
“Even if you’re not into poetry, Coin Opera 2 is a fantastic curio to have on your bookshelf. Where else are you going find a poetry collection with titles such as ‘Daley Thompson plays Daley Thompson’s Supertest on a ZX Spectrum Emulator?’ No-where. That’s where.”