July 3 - 31: Poem Brut: Poetry Without Words exhibition at Boston Tea Party Cafe, Stokes Croft, Bristol daily between 8 - 5- all work made by participants of #PoemBrut workshops for Second Step Bristol Recovery College, workshops run by Ali McAllister & Paul Hawkins

What is Poem Brut?

Poem Brut celebrates artistic creative writing - embracing text and colour, space and time, handwriting, composition, abstraction, illustration, sound, mess and motion - affirming the possibilities of the page, the voice and the pen in a computer age. Through over a dozen live events, nearly 100 commissions, exhibitions at The Poetry Society and Rich Mix and a series of brand new books, Poem Brut has offered an alternative understanding of 21st century literature since 2017. Poem Brut roots it’s activities in a mindful thinking through of the potentials and possibilities of neurological and physiological diversity for a literature that expands our understanding of what the medium can do. Rooted in an exploration of cognitive difference, of everything from autism, dyslexia, aphasia and dyspraxia to mental health conditions, Poem Brut seeks to ask whether it is in service to original and powerful writing for writers and poets with these experiences to try and ‘escape’ them into sense and order, rather than embracing how their brains understand language. Poem Brut has generated over a dozen events since 2017, alongside multiple exhibitions, workshops, conferences and publications.

I’ve been involved with the Steve Fowler curated Poem Brut since 2017; as performer, publisher, curator, artist and supporter. I’ve also recently started running some Poem Brut workshops for the Bristol Second Step’s Wellbeing College, which will culminate in an exhibition to celebrate new creative works in November, 2020. More on the 6 week Poem Brut workshops here.

Poem Brut has given me new impetus, focus, and awareness of the latent possibilities within artistic creative writing as well as performance. I’ve had the good fortune to have met and worked alongside some wonderful people, and published some of their work.

Poem Brut update : Steve Fowler on Phase 3 of Poem Brut. Take a look here

Visit the Poem Brut website for more information, exhibitions, a huge film archive of performances, commissions, interviews and much more.

There are over 100 Poem Brut-ish works at 3:AM Magazine, take a look here

Over at Hesterglock Press, we’ve published a number of books in the Poem Brut tradition. Do take a look here