Monday, July 29, 2013

Poets road to...

As part of the Southbank Centre's ongoing summer-long Festival of Neighbourhood, a free London Lines weekend was organised in July. Southbank, in collaboration with Jaybird Live Literature, invited writers and artists to each represent one of the thirty-three London boroughs with a poem.

Along with some curious choices of poets and artists (and interesting use of creative division between performative, textual and visual labour) the use of one particular road sign to brand 'neighbourhood' as slightly vispo-geographical may be arresting to London avant-gardists and poetical militants.

Poets Road leads to Petherton Road.

89a Petherton Road, for anyone who doesn't know, was the working location and residence of Bob Cobbing up until his death. Basement flat no. 89a housed the print shop and archive of Writers Forum publications and New River Project. It was home and studio of Bob's widow Jennifer Pike up until her recent illness and departure from London for nursing care in the west of England.

Even in terms of political localism and cultural collaboration encouraged by liberal arts-oriented coalitions - the extent to which a borough actually represents real and poetically imagined vent-bubble rewrites, spatial bends, durational warps, secondary worlds - making up deep sea dives and aerial reconnaissance for wildlife, insect patterns, and human misbehaviour - is open to question.

Is there a possibility Islington Council or contracted Environmental Services could roll up sometime during Southbank's poetry-celebrating Festival of Neighbourhood and shove Bob and Jennifer's remaining archive in a skip destined for local tips, remote landfills, or other convolvulaceous neverwheres...



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