LONDON AFTERSHOCK:    Museum of London Salon Script


This is the full script for a  salon organised by LivingMaps at the Museum of London in December 2017, as part of their City Now, City Future programme.


The chair and two speakers seated on platform , with lectern and mikes.



In Town Tonite sound/music sequence with accompanying visuals , freeze on STOP

Announcers Voice :We halt the mighty roar of London’s traffic  to bring you :

Welcome to our salon.… Read the rest

March Blog: Living with Painting

 Living with painting  

The works which constitute the life and fame of artists decay one after the other by the ravages of time. Thus the artists themselves are unknown, as there was no one to write about them so that this source of knowledge was not granted to posterity     Giorgio Vasari

Writing is present in the margins, painting is spread over ‘vacant’space’ –  Stephane Mallarme

My responsibility  towards these paintings  is to make you see them, only that.… Read the rest

Paintings by Jean McNeil

These paintings by Jean McNeil are from her current portfolio of work inspired by the land and seascapes of East Anglia. They will feature in  Graphologies  to be published in May  by Mica Press. To see more of her work  go to her website:

” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] … Read the rest

Like as Not

This is a fictional memoir  featuring the mysterious K, who might just be a refugee from The Castle or a close relative of Brecht’s Mr Keuner.  The eponymous hero, Arnold Kvaktum,  recalls a journey of self-discovery as he explores the surreal landscape of his childhood and youth growing up in a  dystopian society of the future where ‘soapspeak’ and ‘knowgov’ are the only permitted discourses.… Read the rest

Scenes From A Missing Childhood

 Introduction:   ‘Scenes from a Missing Childhood’ is based on the author’s experience of growing up in London during the blitz; it consists of a sequence of short prose poems depicting screen memories associated with the V2 bombs,  his being sent away from home as an 18 month old baby to his grandmother in South Wales and the subsequent return. These pieces seek to create a narrative from fragments of experience which remained embedded like shrapnel in a badly damaged landscape and to convey a some of the feelings that had to evacuated in order to hold on to a sense of identity, however tenuously sustained.The… Read the rest

Between Prospect And Refuge


This is a series of poems that explore the hinterland of commonplace experience from the vantage point of the ‘other scene’ and across a range of idioms and genres. There are love poems, poems of separation and loss, narrative poems, concrete poems and comic verse, and poems occasioned by the impress of landscapes and seascapes, or particular encounters and events.… Read the rest

On Pseudonyms

 This essay briefly surveys  the history of the   pseudonym, its  changing contexts  and uses, and  draws on Kripke’s theory of baptismal naming to consider some of the implications for understanding the games people play with identity. The paradox of the literary pseudonym, that it takes on a new lease of life once it is revealed, is discussed, and  also its function as a virtual identity.… Read the rest

The Cultural Olympiad: Carrying the Torch for Art?

This text explores the cultural politics and poetics of the London Olympics. It begins by looking at the   growth of ‘feel good’ art in the context of the economic recession.   It goes on to discuss the contemporary role of poetry in public culture ,  and the  relationship b between the aesthetics of sport and literature. It concluded with a detailed reading of the poetry commissioned for  the Olympic Park.… Read the rest

Living in Time


I first met Phyllida Salmon when she was a colleague of mine at the London Institute of Education in the 1980’s. I was immediately struck by the precise and considered way she talked, as if she had given the matter a lot of thought and honed her perceptions accordingly. There was nothing pedantic about her approach – she just cut to the essentials of an argument, and expressed her ideas with the greatest clarity.… Read the rest

The Occasions of Poetry

The Occasions of Poetry   (text)

This text  sets out one possible approach to applying  sociological concepts, especially those of Bruno Latour,  to understanding trends and traditions in poetry writing. In contrast to the  mainstream sociology of literature, which  looks to the social content or  context of the poem, and/or the social mileu and attitudes of the poet, the focus here is on how  the formal properties of the poem   are produced and function within a distinctive community of practice, involving both readers and writers in a shared poetics.… Read the rest