Writing on Writing on Performance Writing

Performance Writing is one of those unwieldy terms – not quite familiar enough for us to assume we already know what it means, not quite descriptive enough for us to simply guess. Fitting, then, that this term refers to a field with a willful unwillingness to commit to fixed definitions. In Thirteen Ways of Talking about Performance Writing, a lecture given to all first year undergraduates of Dartington College of Arts on Tuesday 22nd November 1994, in the inaugural term of a new undergraduate degree called Performance Writing, John Hall advocates for definings rather than definitions:

Like ‘writing’ ‘defining’ can best be treated as a gerund, catching the present tense of the verb up into a noun, without losing the continuous dynamic of the verb: the process of the act of defining. If the process were to end in resolution we would move the defining into definition. We would know.

We won’t.

John Hall performing at PW12, Arnolfini

John Hall performing at Performance Writing Weekend 2012, Arnolfini, Bristol, May 2012.

To consider the term Performance Writing in explicitly Performance Writing terms, the intelligibility of the term is intertwined both with the context of its production and of its consumption. At one time those were one in the same. Dartington College of Art was a specialist performance arts institution which operated in South Devon, England, from 1961-2008. It evolved out of a particular and somewhat peculiar mixture of the Dartington Hall experiment in rural regeneration led by Dorthy and Leonard Elmhirst in the 1920s, and the alternative education experiments of both the Dartington Hall School and Schumaker College, which both operated on the Dartington Estate, and the Steiner School movement. Dartington College of Art was also influenced by the cross-disciplinarity and collective engagement and post-modern modes of writing which emerged from Black Mountain College in North Carolina in the 1950s. The term Performance Writing was in use within the Theater department at Dartington as early as 1987. The discussions which led to the development of Performance Writing as a set of independent practices at Dartington began in 1992. The BA was founded by John Hall in 1994, the MA in 1999, and practice-led PhD research in Performance Writing also began at this time.

Steve McCaffery & cris cheek performing Carnival, 2012

Steve McCaffery and cris cheek performing Carnival live at Birkbeck, London, UK, 06 June 2012

Performance Writing pedagogy, methodology, and practices were developed by active practitioner-lecturers at Dartington, including John Hall, Ric Allsopp, Caroline Bergvall, Aaron Williamson, Brigid Mc Leer, Alaric Sumner, Redell Olsen, cris cheek, Peter Jager, Barbara Bridger, Melanie Thompson, Jerome Fletcher, and many others, and enriched by an program of visiting artists from around the world. From the outset, Performance Writing has taken a consistently broad and overtly interdisciplinary approach to what writing is and what writing does in a range of social and disciplinary contexts, exploring writing and textual practice in relation to visual art, digital media, installation, performance, collaborative practices and sound/audio work, as well as book art and page-based media. The democratic, inclusive, and above all extensible nature of Performance Writing methodology has led to its adoption and adaptation by both independent and academic researchers, practitioners, pedagogs, and institutions in places as far flung as: Aarhus, Denmark; Berne, Switzerland; Oakland, California; Banff, Canada.

Erin Robinsong performing at In(ter)ventions 2011

Erin Robinsong performing at In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge, The Banff Centre, February 2011

In the UK, Performance Writing methodologies and sensibilities have spread – primarily through graduates of the the program at Dartington – into a rich diversity of artistic forms and institutional formulations, including but by no means limited to: performance in/with digital literature, as explored by Jerome Fletcher in the context of the HERA-funded research project ELMCIP; thematic multi-diciplinary writing workshops, as led by Devon-based Writing&; digital glitch literature and electronic voice phenomena performance, as explored by Liverpool and London based Mercy; conceptual writing and small press publishing, as explored by Leeds based Nick Thurston, and language and voice as explored by Bristol-based salon series Tertulia. In 2005 Text Festival in Bury hosted Partly Writing 4: Writing and the Poetics of Exchange, a session with which a number of Performance Writing people were involved. Text Festival continues to present work which is profoundly ‘Performance Writing’ in nature. Affinities with Performance Writing are also evident, though not in name, at Birkbeck, at Royal Holloway, and in the MFA in Art Writing led by Maria Fusco at Goldsmiths University (though information about this program is not turning up on the website any more, which does not bode well). Performance Writing sensibilities are also evident the Writing-PAD initiatives at Goldsmiths University, which include the publication of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, which will put out a special issue dedicated to Performance Writing late 2013 or early 2014. And in Open Dialogues: critical writing on and as performance, a writing collaboration that produces writing on and as performance founded by Rachel Lois Clapham and Mary Paterson in 2008. Performance Writing sensibilities also appear to be emerging within the CRASSH research centre at Cambridge University, which recently held the excellent seminar: Beyond the authority of the ‘text’: performance as paradigm, past and present.

Performance Writing as paradigm (at present) appears to be expanding from a disappearing centre (its past). Which is to say, Performance Writing is currently undergoing a paradigm shift.

Oana Avasilichioaei performing at Environmental Utterance, UCF, 2012

Oana Avasilichioaei performing We, Beasts at Environmental Utterance, University College Falmouth, 2 September 2012.

In 2008 Dartington College of Art merged with University College Falmouth, Cornwall. The relocation to Cornwall was completed in 2010, at which point, University College Falmouth, incorporating Dartington College of Art, as the institution became known, ceased recruitment to the BA Performance Writing. It has not resumed. The MA Performance Writing, led by Jerome Fletcher, continued to run at Arnolfini, a major European art and performance centre in Bristol, UK. Two Performance Writing Weekend festivals have been held at Arnolfini: PW10, and PW12. Recruitment to the MA Performance Writing was ceased in 2012. It has not resumed. Performance Writing continues at the postgraduate and research level at what is now called Falmouth University, where I am now nearing the completion of a practice-led PhD, which will in fact be awarded by University of the Arts London, but which in my mind remains entwined with the pedagogy, methodology, and practices of Performance Writing, Dartington College of Art.

What’s in a name anyway?

Earlier in this post I proposed that the intelligibility of the term Performance Writing is intertwined both with the context of its production and of its consumption. How can this term and the sets of practices it refers to be understood in its current institutional context? On the current Falmouth University website, the four slight paragraphs dedicated to the Performance Writing Research Group page trail off with an ellipsis… All trace of Performance Writing programs and pedagogy past have been erased from both the Dartington and the Falmouth websites. As there is no new student intake, Performance Writing is not being taught at either the undergraduate or graduate levels. Thus, Performance Writing is divorced from both the context of its own production and the possibility of its own consumption.

Writing & the Body workshop, Arnolfini, 2012

Writing & the Body workshop, Arnolfini, Bristol, 2012.

In addition to its willful unwillingness to commit to fixed definitions, Performance Writing has long eschewed any suggestion of a fixed corpus, preferring rather to assemble a fresh corpus around each new set of questions posed. Perversely, my question here is: what comprises the corpus of writing on Performance Writing? Paradoxically, as Performance Writing expands and evolves in new contexts, its corpus grows exponentially, but so too do its variables. Art Writing. Conceptual Writing. Performance Poetry. Sound Poetry. Digital Literature. Alt Lit. As these terms and conditions shift their names become many, which makes writing on writing in the field harder and harder to Google.

Here then is a collection of texts which directly address (or perform) Performance Writing in the Dartington sense of the term. This list is neither means exhaustive, nor fixed. Please. Send names and links and references. I’ll gladly add them. Note that by the time you read this list it may have been amended from what it once was and after you read it it may yet be amended again. Already I am indebted to John Hall for additions to this list and clarifications on points in this post as a whole:

Ric Allsopp, “Performance Writing,” in PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. Vol. 21, No. 1, 1999. pp. 76-80.

Caroline Bergvall, What do we mean by Performance Writing? (PDF) a keynote address delivered at the opening of the first Symposium of Performance Writing, Dartington College of Arts, 12 April 1996.

Barbara Bridger, Dramaturgy and the Digital in Exeunt Magazine, 2013.

Barbara Bridger & J. R. Carpenter, “Call and Response: Toward a Digital Dramaturgy,” in Journal of Writing and Creative Practice. Goldsmiths, London, UK (forthcoming)

David Buuck, What is performance writing? in Jacket2, 2013.

J. R. Carpenter, Performing Digital Texts in European Contexts, commentary column on Jacket2, 2011.

J. R. Carpenter, Where performance and digital literature meet…, The Literary Platform, May 2012.

cris cheek, Reading and Writing: the Sites of Performance in How2, Volume 3, Issue 3, 2009.

Rachel Lois Clapham, assemblage, Inside Performance Volume 24. no.1, 2011

Jerome Fletcher, Performing …Reusement. E-composition / Decomposition (PDF), inCybertext Yearbook, University of Jyväskylä, 2010.

Maria Fusco, Michael Newman, Adrian Rifkin and Yve Lomax, 11 Statements Around Art Writing, Freize, 2011.

John Hall, Performance Writing: a Lexicon Entry, in A Lexicon: Performance Research Volume 11, No. 3. September 2006. pp. 89–91.

John Hall, Thirteen Ways of Talking about Performance Writing, Plymouth: PCAD, 2008.

John Hall, Essays on Performance Writing, Poetics and Poetry Vol. 1. On Performance Writing, with pedagogical sketches, forthcoming from Shearsman Books, October 2013.

Carl Lavery & David Williams eds, Good Luck Everybody: Lone Twin – Journeys, Performances, conversations, Performance Research Books, 2011.

Della Pollock, Performing Wiring (PDF), in The Ends of Performance. eds. Peggy Phelan, Jill Lane, NY: NYU Press, 1998. pp 73-103

Alaric Sumner, Writing & Performance, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, PAJ 61 (Volume 21, Number 1), January 1999

&Now Awards anthologyRemediating the Social catalogueA Global Visuage

Three recent anthologies which have no idea how Performance Writing they are.

In addition to the above list, there are numerous works which, although not expressly performance writing in name, are profoundly performance writing in nature. Listed here are but a very few of those:

Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, Harvard University Press, 2002.

Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, U of Minnesota Press, 1986.

Jean-Jacques Lecercle, A Marxist Philosophy of Language. trans. Gregory Elliot. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2006.

W. G. Sebald, Rings of Saturn, Vintage, 2002.

Situationist International Text Library

Gertrude Stein, How To Write, NY: Dover, 1975.

McKenzie Wark, A Hacker Manifesto. (PDF) Harvard University Press, 2004.

The field of Performance Writing has of course produced a rich corpus of creative works, far too numerous to mention here.

For more information about Performance Writing, and/or to participate in ongoing workshops, events, and activities, visit:

Performance Writing entry on Wikipedia
(this page needs updating)

Performance Writing group on Facebook
(1,157 followers at the time of this writing)

Writing & multi-diciplinary writing workshop series
(led by former Dartington Performance Writing Faculty)

Tertulia
(Bristol-based salon series)

In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge residency program at The Banff Centre
(where I am Performance Writing Faculty)

JRC PhD

I’m going back to school this week, for the first time in a very long time. I’m excited. What took me so long? I graduated with a BFA in Studio Art from Concordia University in Montreal in 1995, the year Netscape came out. Remember Netscape? No? Well it was a really big deal at the time. It changed my life, anyway. I have been using the internet as a medium for the creation and dissemination of non-linear inter-textual hyper-media narratives ever since.

I never got around to doing a masters degree, mostly because I could never figure out what on earth to do one in. It seemed silly to go get another degree in the same subject I just got a degree in. But the more work I did in areas I had never studied the less qualified I seemed to be to pursue those subjects academically. Yes, Creative Writing MA, I’m talking to you. Categories confuse me, as do departments and disciplines. Some of my best friends are academics. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just never met the write, I mean right M(F)A for me. Besides, I’ve been busy. The past fifteen years have been full of thinking and making and teaching and showing and writing and trying all kinds of things in all kinds of forms and forums, by writing into them, learning from them and watching them shift and change.

Things have changed muchly lately. For one thing, the non-linear inter-textual hyper-media narrative thing I’ve been slogging away at for so long is now an actual real thing. The electronic literature community has been incredibly good to me. And much of the electronic literature community’s activity is academically based. Increasingly, the opportunities, communities and collaborations I engage in are aided and abetted by academic institutions in some way. I’m cool with that. I like research. I like conferences. I especially like going to conferences and meeting fascinating people who have research labs in fascinating places which then sometimes invite me to and if I can go I get to meet even more neat new people and all the while I’m hearing about new work and talking about my work and selling everybody zines. No really, sometimes it really happens that way.

In May 2009 I went to an E-Poetry conference in Barcelona and met someone from the Performance Writing area at Dartington College of Art in the UK. Within a few months I was teaching an electronic literature workshop in the Performance Writing area at Dartington and thinking: Wow, electronic literature basically IS Performance Writing. And damn, if I had heard of the MA in Performance Writing at Dartington I would have done it years ago. But I am really glad I didn’t. Because now Dartington College of Art has merged with University College Falmouth in Cornwall, and I have been awarded a studentship to do a three-year practice-led PhD research degree at University College Falmouth in partnership with University of the Arts London. I will live in South West England, where it hardly ever snows, travel here and there, use the heck out of the nation’s libraries, meet lots of new people, try and sell them all zines and keep on doing the thinking, making, teaching, showing, writing and trying all kinds of things that I’ve been doing all along, only with funding, structure and support.

Now seems a fine time to go back to school.

Wild Party – Skype Tea with World Tea Party at Centre A

Part slumber party, part jungle party, WILD PARTY goes on 24/7 in a bedroom in an 18th c country house in South Devon, England. The kettle is always on in this wilderness of laptops, iPods, data projectors, bad puns, random theories, tea trivia, tea lights, throw pillows, paper cut-outs and painted plywood trees. Drop in on a fiction writer in stripy dressing gown, a teenager in a wolf suit, a butler in track pants, a stuffed cow in a plush coat and a panda in a bikini for a cup of Wild Berry Tea.

J. R. Carpenter, Aphra Kennedy Fletcher, Jerome Fletcher, Mooey and Panda, with guest appearances from Couch Potato (who is basically a potato) and The Zebra Socks, will broadcast one hour of their ongoing WILD PARTY live via Skype from Sharpham House, South Devon, England, to Centre A, 2 West Hastings St., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, February 13, 1400 PST / 2200 GMT

WILD PARTY is part of WORLD TEA PARTY
Celebrations of global Tea Culture
Presented by Centre A
February 12-28 & March 12-21, 2010
Gallery Hours: 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Free admission before 6:00pm
Opening Reception: Friday, February 12, 7:00 pm

Centre A is pleased to present World Tea Party, animated by lead-artist Brian Mulvihill (aka Trolley Bus), one of the world’s leading tea masters and calligraphers based in Vancouver. Mulvihill is producing a special Olympiad edition of The World Tea Party.

Previous versions have been presented for large publics at the Winnipeg Pan Am Games, the Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Canada, the Hollywood Bowl, the Eiffel Tower and other venues. The project is based on the notion that humanity shares in the drinking of tea a spirit of generosity and understanding that both celebrates and transcends our cultural diversity. Tea is the most common beverage in the world community.

The World Tea Party is a “social sculpture” that involves the creative empowerment of the audience and the general public. Its interactive aspect makes the World Tea Party an effective vehicle for a debate about the relationship between the Olympics and the Downtown Eastside.

Free Tea and Large Scale Video Projections
During gallery hours, tea is offered for free, both inside the gallery and at times on the street, while video projections are shown on the building’s exterior windows daily from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Two 5,000 lumen video projectors will be used to project images 40 feet wide across the front windows of the gallery. Content will include works by commissioned artists, live images of performances, pre-recorded tea images, documentation of the World Tea Party in different contexts

Special Events
The World Tea Party features a number of special events, including Skwxumesh First Nations artist Cease Wyss, who will host a First Nations welcome event on Sunday, February 14, featuring indigenous herbal teas. On Saturday, February 20, Jun Oenoki, who is Associate Professor, Communication Studies, Tokyo Keizai University and artist-in-residence at Centre A, will produce a teleconference with partners in Yokohama which will be streamed live to the Internet and edited for outdoor display. The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is presented by the Urasenke society of Vancouver. The relaxed atmosphere of the World Tea Party invites conversation and informal performances. New additions to the line-up will be posted to the website.

Local Network – “Bright Light” partnership of 10 DTES arts groups
World Tea Party is key station in the City of Vancouver’s Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program: Bright Light, an initiative that provides pedestrian friendly light-based public art works, projections and performances along Carrall Street, Hastings Street and in the neighbouring area. The project brings together a consortium of 14 creative partners, including Access, Helen Pitt, Downtown East Cultural Centre, Artspeak, LIVE, UBC Architecture and others. Centre A acts as a hub and meeting place for Bright Light.

Come have a cup of tea!

Please see these websites for complete event schedule:
www.worldteaparty.com
www.centrea.org
http://bright-light.ca/
. . . . .

Darting Stories Remix

As E-Writer-in-Residence at Dartington College, in Devon, England, this fall, I led a workshop on electronic literature with a concentration on literary mapping with first year Performance Writing Students. Over the course of the workshop students generated short texts for zines, postcards, epitaphs, blog posts and web maps. Though written separately, these texts explored common themes of place, mapping, the River Dart, Dartington and the past occupants (fictional or otherwise) of Dartington Hall. The workshop exercises and the texts they produced are archived on a group blog: Darting Blog. These texts are presented collectively as a final project on a Google Map: DARTING: A Collective Story Map

The last session of the workshop focused on remixing. I created a Darting Stories Remix by taking sentences from the various (and varied) texts archived on the Darting Blog and fed them into one of Nick Montfort’s Python story generators. I had used this same method earlier in the year to create Excerpts from the Chronicles of Pookie and JR.

For the purposes of this Darting Stories Remix, I shortened some of the sentences or selected excerpts from longer sentences to fit into the Python story generator format, and changed them all into the present tense and first person. Otherwise, these remain sentences written separately by separate authors remixed by a Python script to make collectively authored stories.

To read the Darting Stories Remix, download this file to your desktop and unzip: Darting.py On a Mac or Linux system, you can run the story generator by opening a Terminal Window, typing “cd Desktop”, and typing “python Darting.py”. Hint: look for Terminal in your Utilities folder. This Python story generator runs on Windows, too, but you will probably need to install Python first: version 2.6. Once Python is installed you can double click on the file and it will automatically launch and run in the terminal window. Every time you press Return a new version of the story will appear. For example:

Here are a few more examples of stories generated by this script:

Darting Stories:
How do I write an epitaph about myself in the first person?.
Through the depths of the water I reflect far and wide.
Hadrian’s Wall might have mostly come down, but it’s there in spirit.
Mad, that’s what they call me.
I crave little more than my freedom, my air, and my land.
I will walk directionless, till the unknown end.
Striving to connect with something natural.
To be continued…

Darting Stories:
At the start, I look for the lights.
What do names matter when worlds whirl together?.
I don’t live in a house, where they could watch me.
I live along the Dart but not around the towns where they patrol.
I pass out in the dirt-floored cellar most nights.
Sunlight barely reaches the stone floor.
I am a fervent keeper of horses, ponies and barns.
Websta’s brother died in the Dart. Had his throat slit.
The sea is a place I understand is rather nice.
Introvert, extravert, ingreen.
This the most achingly beautiful place to come across a little death.
To be continued…

Darting Stories:
Stories run off the Moor with it’s river waters.
I stride up hill holding hands with a friend named for the greatest flower.
William, sweet or otherwise, has never been my name.
I scare their dogs by trying to speak with them in their own language.
Graceless truths of tears clutch at the mirage in my room.
The ponies look more listless and less majestic.
It gets so muddy here; no wonder all the cows around here are brown.
The wind gives the landscape something of a facial peel.
Splash water into mud, trip me.
Smouldering timber and melancholy permeate my lungs. I stick to the path.
This the most achingly beautiful place to come across a little death.
To be continued…

Darting Stories:
On this hill the world as we know it collided.
Intoxicating tongues speak of Giants, Merlins, Padfoots and Beasts.
Geoffrey of Monmouth’s accounts are unfounded, possibly fabricated.
The clay on the wheel beneath my fingers, whirling a world on its axis.
William, sweet or otherwise, has never been my name.
I crave little more than my freedom, my air, and my land.
I don’t live in a house, where they could watch me.
I live along the Dart but not around the towns where they patrol.
I will walk directionless, till the unknown end.
I am a fervent keeper of horses, ponies and barns.
To be continued…

Darting Stories:
Stories run off the Moor with it’s river waters.
I will walk directionless, till the unknown end.
Fear and bliss live with me and the room contains me.
Websta’s brother died in the Dart. Had his throat slit.
Black looms in the distance, the air thick with distaste.
The Waters of the Dart run across stones fallen from foreign clouds.
Map the most important places around the River Dart.
Exmoor, outmore, out the door, more doors.
More floor, less flaws, less cause, pour, pore, sweat, regret.
Skip over Kandinsky pavement, follow the water.
Flotsam on a tidal river is a strange mixture of oak leaves and seaweed.
To be continued…
. . . . .

DARTING: A Collective Story Map

Over a period of five weeks a collective of writers of the River Dart worked collaboratively on a web-based writing project about the River Dart and the history – fictional or otherwise – of Dartington Hall. A series of short texts were written separately, for zines, postcards and blog posts. These texts were then collected, found texts and images were added, and all were collated onto this Google Map:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&t=h&msa=0&msid=109811778856642161490.00046c5ac479d9ec8655d&ll=50.443513,-3.841095&spn=0.538733,1.454315&z=10


For more information on how the writers of the River Dart came to collectively create DARTING: A Collective Story Map, visit their blog: http://dartingmap.blogspot.com/
. . . . .

To See The Sea

On a clear day, and there aren’t very many of those, from a spot at the top of the drive you can see south to the sea. This is confusing, because the sea appears to float above a wave of hills. A thin strip bluer than the sky.

Lower down the drive, a view of the River Dart opens north to Totnes. I would say this driveway boasts the best views in England, but so far it’s the only driveway in England I’m familiar with.

[The Dart from the Sharpham Drive, North to Totnes]

Sometimes I lie awake and think about the river carving its path through the night, north to Totnes, south to Dartmouth. North to the Dartmoor, south to the sea.

Amanda said, For some reason I imagine if you’re thinking about it you can hear it and the thought of the sound of a river makes me happy today.

Linda said, I went for a walk by the ocean yesterday, the sound and smell makes me happy, too.

I can’t hear the river from the house, but I can see it from the bedroom. Last week there were gale force winds and rain for two days. When the storm stopped in the night the silence was so sudden it woke me. I lay awake and thought about the rain-swollen river opening its muddy mouth to the sea.

On Sunday I said, I’m going to the seaside to see the sea.

Sonia said, Please do sell some sea shells.

I confessed to Sonia that I was sorely tempted to wheel a wheelbarrow through streets wide and narrow singing cockles and mussels alive alive oh. But, this being Devon, there were no streets wide, only narrow.

Nora said, How bout a beautiful pea-green boat?

There are Owls roosting all up and down the River Dart. But no Pussycats.

And I am a Carpenter, after all. As such, I assured Nora, when the Walrus said, “The time has come to talk of many things,” I immediately brought up the subject of the beautiful pea-green boat, but he kept going on about shoes and ships and sealing-wax, cabbages and kings and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.

[The sea at Blackpool Sands, South to Slapton Ley]

This photo of Blackpool Sands came out kind of dark. Possibly because the beach has black in its name. And, although the sun was shining on the sea, shining with all his might, this was odd, because it was the middle of the night.

The Walrus and I were wearing wellingtons and walking close at hand; we wept like anything to see such quantities of sand.

Nora wondered, as did the Walrus, ..if seven maids with seven mops swept it for half a year, do you suppose that they could get it clear?

Wait, I said to Nora. Is one of those maids my Bonnie? My Bonnie lies over the ocean, and, if you’ve seen her, could you please bring back, bring back, bring back my Bonnie to me, to me?

The Bonnie bit may seem a bit tacked on after that Walrus and Carpenter bit, but Amanda, Linda, Sonia and Nora all lie over the ocean, and that’s what made me think of it.
. . . . .

E-Writer in Residence, Dartington Campus, UCF

This fall I am the Performance Writing E-Writer in Residence at University College Falmouth’s Dartington Campus, located on the Dartington Hall Estate, a 1,200 acre mixture of arable and pastoral farmland, woodland, residential and commercial accommodation. Written records of this site do not begin until the thirteenth century, but there is evidence of considerable activity in the area during the Roman occupation and the manor of Dartington is mentioned in a Royal Charter of 833 AD. The buildings and structures situated on the estate range in age from Deer Park Wall and Earth Works at North Wood which date from the Bronze and Iron Ages, to the main Hall which was built in 1388, to those properties which were built by the Elmhirsts in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The site has been continuously occupied for well over a thousand years, but this is the last year that Performance Writing will be located here, so I feel most fortunate to be here at this time.

My duties at E-Writer in Residence mostly involve sitting in my office, working on my work. The above photo is not a view from my office, thankfully, or I’d be too busy staring out the window to get any work done. One of my favourite things about the campus is how, to get from one side of it to the other, you have to walk across part of a cow pasture with actual cow pats in it (not pictured). I do this sometimes just to go to the library to visit the copy of my novel that they have there. I’m also leading an electronic literature workshop with the Performance Writing undergraduates, with a concentration on literary mapping. And I’ll do a public reading on the Dartington Campus Thursday 3 December, 7.30pm in Studio 3 (free). This will be the last in a series of three performances dedicated to readings featuring innovative and dynamic writers. For more information on this event, visit The Arts at Dartington.
. . . . .

A Reading at Sharpham House – November 3, 2009

Hosted by Alice Oswald

Tuesday, November 3rd 2009 at 19:30 Sharpham Centre.

Alice Oswald will welcome and introduce J R Carpenter, a Canadian novelist, short story writer and web writer based in Montreal. She is the winner of the QWF Carte Blanche Quebec Award (2008), the CBC Quebec Short Story Competition (2003 & 2005), and the Expozine Alternative Press Award for Best English Book for her first novel, Words the Dog Knows, which was published by Conundrum Press in 2008. Her electronic literature has been presented at the Musée de Beaux-arts (Montréal), the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto), The New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Jyväskylä Art Museum (Finland), The Web Biennial 2007 (Istanbul), Cast Gallery (Tasmania), and in the Electronic Literature Collection Volume One. She serves as President of the Board of Directors of OBORO, an artist-run gallery and new media lab in Montreal, and is currently the E-Writer-in-Residence at Dartington College UCF.

You are warmly invited to bring a poem to read aloud.
7.30pm in the Octagonal Room, Sharpham House. Donations please
http://www.sharphamtrust.org/
. . . . .