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Tenement Press is an occasional publisher of esoteric,
accidental, angular, & interdisciplinary literatures.



My head is my only house unless it rains

Don Glen Vliet



Were a wind to arise
I could put up a sail
Were there no sailI’d make one of canvas and sticks

Bertolt Brecht, ‘Motto’
(Bucknow Elegies)






Rehearsal                                     A corridor of digital matter.  
No University Press
                 An imprint from Tenement Press.
Railroad Flat Radio    
               A broadcast series from Tenement Press
                                                         & Prototype Publishing.
Hotel                                              An erstwhile home for homeless ideas
                                                                     (see Seven Rooms).
Submissions                                 Closed for the time being  ...     †  /  ‡ /  §
    
                                                         †        Tenement’s “Yellowjacket” series; 
                                                         ‡        Tenement’s “No University Press;
                                                         §        Tenement’s “Rehearsal.”
                                                          


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For distribution, ℅ Asterism Books, see here.





Fresh from the
Tenement Wheelhouse
 





Preorders / Forthcoming Works
from the Tenement Wheelhouse



Edwina Attlee
a great shaking

Yellowjacket 12 / 978-1-7393851-8-7
Forthcoming in June


See here



Dominic J. Jaeckle
& Hoagy Houghton
36 Exposures
A bastardised roll of film
John Cassavetes / 978-1-7393851-4-9
Forthcoming in July




Dominic J. Jaeckle
Magnolia or Redbud
Flowers for Laura Lee Burroughs
John Cassavetes / 978-1-7393851-2-5
Forthcoming in July


See here



Giovanbattista Tusa
Terra Cosmica / Traces of Georealism
Yellowjacket 13 / 978-1-7393851-9-4
Forthcoming in August


See here


Maria Sledmere
Midsummer Song (Hypercritique)
No University Press 2 / 978-1-7393851-7-0
Forthcoming in September


See here


Chris McCabe
Dreamt by Ghosts /
Notes on Dreams, Coincidence, & Weird Culture
Yellowjacket 14 / 978-1-917304-00-9
Forthcoming in October



See here


Lucy Sante
Six Sermons for Bob Dylan
Yellowjacket 15 / 978-1-917304-01-6
Forthcoming in November





Recent Releases

See here


Stanley Schtinter  
Last Movies (A book of endings.) 

Yellowjacket 10 / 978-1-7393851-1-8


See here



Seven Rooms
eds. Dominic J. Jaeckle & Jess Chandler
Assorted materials from the ‘Paper Hotel’
Tenement Press & Prototype Publishing / 978-1-913513-46-7
 
An anthology publication, featuring contributions from
Mario Dondero; Erica Baum; Jess Cotton; 
Rebecca Tamás; Stephen Watts; Helen Cammock; 
Salvador Espriu; Lucy Mercer; Lucy Sante; 
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa; Ryan Choi; John Yau;            
Nicolette Polek; Chris Petit; Sascha Macht; 
Amanda DeMarco; Mark Lanegan; Vala Thorodds; 
Richard Scott; Joshua Cohen; Hannah Regel; 
Nick Cave; Daisy Lafarge; Holly Pester;            
Matthew Gregory; Olivier Castel; Emmanuel Iduma;            
Joan Brossa; Cameron Griffiths; Imogen Cassels;            
Hisham Bustani; Maia Tabet; Raúl Guerrero;            
Velimir Khlebnikov; Natasha Randall; Edwina Attlee;            
Matthew Shaw; Aidan Moffat; Lesley Harrison;            
Oliver Bancroft; Lauren de Sá Naylor; Will Eaves;            
Sandro Miller; Jim Hugunin; Levina van Winden;            
Aram Saroyan; Glykeria Patramani; Will Oldham;            
Antonio Tabucchi; Elizabeth Harris; Yasmine Seale;            
Nina Mingya Powles; Isabel Galleymore; Jason Shulman;            
Jeffrey Vallance; Preti Taneja; Stanley Schtinter;            
Wayne Koestenbaum; Sophie Seita; Ralf Webb;            
Jonathan Chandler; Iain Sinclair; SJ Fowler;            
Cass McCombs; David Grubbs; Agustín Fernández Mallo;            
Pere Joan; Thomas Bunstead; Adrian Bridget;
& John Divola

With a foreword from Jaeckle & Chandler,
& an afterword from Gareth Evans.

See here












Joan Brossa, ‘Homenatge al llibre’ / ‘Homage to the Book’ (1994)
© Mireia Miranda / Fundació Joan Brossa


El saltamartí / The Tumbler
Joan Brossa

Tenement #1
978-1-8380200-1-9
333 pp

£17.50

 ORDER DIRECT FROM TENEMENT HERE 

Designed and typeset by Traven T. Croves
Edited by Cameron Griffiths
& Dominic J. Jaeckle

Published 15th April 2021


Joan Brossa creates distilled excitement. He is both wise and wild. His poems are surreal and matter-of-fact, playful and minimalist and utterly original. In his ability to make it new, Brossa is an essential modern poet.

Colm Tóibín


In El saltamartíThe Tumbler, traditional poetic stanzas sit side-by-side with a more liberated poetic form—one Brossa referred to as a synthetic poetry—in which he employs a straightforward, everyday language (it is the language of the working classes with which he identifies). Always the innovator, Brossa reinvigorates this language so as to evince an accessible and archly political poetry that demands our critical and creative participation.

Challenging the very notion of an author’s hold over these texts, Brossa invites us to approach these works with a critical autonomy all of our own, and The Tumbler stands a critical study of freedom. The poet places himself as a critic of established power systems, accepted meanings and held conceptualizations of liberty. His movement towards an aesthetic autonomy (a journey we can charter from his early books on) arrived at its final destination in a complete break with language—his visual poetry—and in this collection we encounter this mixture of verse and visual poems for the first time. An examination of poetic license that proves as pertinent today as it did upon its first publication.



Joan Brossa, tr. Cameron Griffiths, ‘Preludi’ / ‘Prelude’

Challenging the very notion of an author’s hold over these texts, Brossa invites us to approach these works with a critical autonomy all of our own, and The Tumbler stands a critical study of freedom. The poet places himself as a critic of established power systems, accepted meanings and held conceptualizations of liberty. His movement towards an aesthetic autonomy (a journey we can charter from his early books on) arrived at its final destination in a complete break with language—his visual poetry—and in this collection we encounter this mixture of verse and visual poems for the first time. An examination of poetic license that proves as pertinent today as it did upon its first publication. 


For an excerpt in The London Magazine, see here.

For an excerpt on the Hotel Archive, see here.


Due to the book’s anti-Franco sentiments—and Brossa’s distinct support of the Catalan independence movement—both the first and second Catalan editions of The Tumbler suffered due to censorship. Publishers of the first Castilian translation released only a selection of works from the manuscript due to the political implications of this poetry (leaving out fifty poems in total), and the lion’s share of Brossa’s bibliography remains untranslated. Cameron Griffiths’ new translation is the most extensive English language publication of Brossa’s poetry to date.



Joan Brossa, Poema Objecte / Object Poem (1967)
MACBA Collection, Barcelona, © Fundació Joan Brossa


For the attention of ‘brick & mortar’ bookshops,
order copies of Brossa’s El saltamartí via our distributor,
Asterism Books.



These gloriously acerbic, droll, at times political poems offer minimalist conundrums that refute solution anddissolution. Joan Brossa’s brilliantly oblique juxtapositions, micro-observations, and deadpan takes on the quotidian are enigmatic without being obscure. El saltamartíThe Tumbler is protoconceptual pantomime: ‘The words are here, whether you read them or not. And nothing on earth can change that.’

Charles Bernstein


Playful, sharp, unbelievably fresh, ironic and free, Brossa’s poetry translates wonderfully into English as an ode to irreverence, a work of art and a magician’s trick. As the curtain rises the words appear, the wordsmith is here, the wizard is here. Hold tight. Abracadabra.

Irene Solá





Price Poetry
or The Left Ventricle
in Times of Trouble


A refraction of the first popular festival of Catalan poetry at the Gran Price Theatre (Barcelona, 1970) / A radio broadcast commissioned by the Institut Ramon Llull for the 2022 edition of the London Book Fair & the “Spotlight” programme on Catalan literatures.  

Price Poetry features archival recordings,
readings & contributions from
(in order of appearance)...

Ona Balló Pedragosa,
Joan Brossa,
Jon Auman,
Lucy Mercer,
Joan Oliver / Pere Quart,
Stephen Watts,
Diamanda La Berge Dramm,
Dominic J. Jaeckle,
Salvador Espriu,
Agustí Bartra,
Aidan Moffat,
Francesc Vallverdú,
Harmony Holiday,
Gabriel Ferrater,
Stanley Schtinter
& Cameron Griffiths.




Pere Portabella, Poetes Catalans (1970), courtesy of Films 59


A collaboration between the Institut Ramon Llull, Films 59 and Tenement Press, Price Poetry is a work-for-the-radio curated and edited by Dominic J. Jaeckle in response to the London Book Fair’s “spotlight” on Catalan literatures in translation; a special broadcast—a work of collage and sonic assembly—to commemorate and respond to the first Popular Festival of Catalan Poetry, May 25, 1970.

 
 

Held in Barcelona’s Gran Price Theatre—and in solidarity with political prisoners incarcerated under the Franco regime—the festival hosted readings by Agustí Bartra, Joan Oliver (Pere Quart), Salvador Espriu, Joan Brossa, Francesc Vallverdú and Gabriel Ferrater to a packed auditorium. Documented by Pere Portabella in his short film Poetes Catalans (1970), these readings and performances as accommodated in this underground assembly are emblematic of the central seat that poetry stakes in a history of Catalan social and cultural movement; they essay a persistent reminder of the ways in which an autonomous poetry underpins the political, playful, and acute dynamics of a people set on articulating forms of freedom in moments of authoritarian rule; and act as a significant document of an engaged avant garde tradition that resonates in our present moment.

Price Poetry employed archival recordings of readings from Bartra, Oliver / Quart, Espriu, Brossa, Vallverdú, and Ferrater as catalysts, inviting contributions, correspondence, and reaction from contempoary poets and songwriters to materials delivered at the inaugural edition of this festival of poetry.







© Fundació Joan Brossa


Since 1969, El saltamartí has not lost even a crumb of its subversive gift and luminous capacity to surprise and arouse the unexpected in the hinge of silence and colloquy. The reader’s anxiety will arise precisely from the apparent obviousness; from the anti-poetic or a-poetic nature that, at first glance, Brossian texts appear to present. It is, in fact, a total rejection of the expressive conventions to which poetry is generally ascribed as a literary genre. The distribution of sentences or phrases in lines or stanzas seems arbitrary and arrhythmic; the poems can appear to lack construction, the themes and images can seem externally trivial or, simply to not exist: in short, the reader may experience some resistance to accepting them as poems. 

Pere Gimferrer




In addition to being one of the most interesting and striking poets of his period, Brossa had a sensitivity and a receptive capacity that made him an extremely rigorous and acute reader-viewer. Painting, cinema, music ... all were present in his day-to-day literary activity. He fed voraciously off one or other of these mediums and, from the outset, his critical vision was decisive for many. Brossa has always been a solid reference point; and remains an endearing and comforting presence.

Pere Portabella


A breath of fresh (Catalan) air or a scream? This book, in the original & in this excellent English translation, is both at the same time. It is fresh in the plain openness and open plainness of the language, & a scream of pure delight when you discover that the tumbler of the title is the people, who, despite despotic abuse, will ever land on their feet. This is a poetry all in support of that tumbler, doing its best to help right itself—bluntly, without irony, and with the iron of conviction that freedom is a core value. As Brossa says elsewhere, there are some books that can’t be put down—this work is one of them. 

Pierre Joris


Brossa asks us to look, then look again; to think, then think again. Like the flaneur carrying a small mirror through the streets, his glimpse becomes a view. We see the world for a moment—clear, extracted, never magnified and so, large as life. How wonderful that Tenement Press has brought Brossa’s wry, wise, and rueful gaze to new readers.  

Anne Michaels


Brossa was one of the most important writers in post-war Europe and transformed the way we think about poetry. This collection is a testament to his continuing ability to move, tease and provoke.

John London



Joan Brossa au musée de Céret, 1990
J. Lahousse, © 1990





Joan Brossa (1919–1998) was born in Barcelona into a family of artisans. He began writing when he was mobilised in the Spanish Civil War and, following an introduction to surrealism by way of the friendship and influence of Joan Miró and Joan Prats, would fuse political engagement and aesthetic experiment through sonnets, odes, theatre, sculpture and screenplay within a neo-surrealist framework. Brossa founded the magazine Dau al Set in 1948 and, during the fifties and sixties, his poetry was increasingly informed by collectivist concerns. His collection El saltamartí (1963) presented a synthesis of themes both political and social, and the subsequent publication of Poesia Rasa (1970), Poemes de seny i cabell (1977), Rua de llibres (1980)—and the six volumes of Poesia escénica (published between 1973 and 1983)—saw Brossa stake his place as a central figure in contemporary Catalan literature.

Cameron Griffiths studied History and English Literature at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. His poetry has appeared in journals in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. He lives with his family in Spain.



Joan Brossa, ‘150 Homenatges’ / ‘150 Homages’ (1994)


Brossa’s ‘Preludi’ was read and recorded by Ona Balló Pedragosa for use in an event titled Acció Santos—a Carles Santos tribute act—featuring Barcelona ’92 Olympian Derek Redmond, Daniel Blumberg, Winstanley Schtinter, Billy Steiger, Tom Wheatley, Magí Canyelles & Maria Mollol Moya. Acció Santos was performed at Café Oto, London, on December 17th, 2019 as a part of a complete retrospective of Pere Portabella’s film works, A Worm’s Tail View is Often the True One, organised and curated by Stanley Schtinter.






Five men watching fire crews tackle a night-time blaze
at Riverside Mills, Glasgow (The Glasgow Herald, 1957)


The Liberated Film Club
Stanley Schtinter, et al

Tenement #2
978-1-8380200-3-3
408 pp

£17.50

 ORDER DIRECT FROM TENEMENT HERE 

An anthology publication,
featuring contributions from
John Akomfrah
;
Chloe Aridjis;
Dennis Cooper;
Laura Mulvey;
Chris Petit;
Mania Akbari;
Elena Gorfinkel;
Juliet Jacques;
Ben Rivers;
Dan Fox;
Sean Price Williams;
Adam Christensen;
Stewart Home;
Stephen Watts;
Tony Grisoni;
Gideon Koppel;
Astra Taylor;
Miranda Pennell;
Gareth Evans;
Adam Roberts;
Tai Shani;
Anna Thew;
Xiaolu Guo;
Andrea Luka Zimmerman;
William Fowler;
Athina Tsangari;
John Rogers;
Shama Khanna;
Shezad Dawood;
Damien Sanville;
& Stanley (& Winstanley) Schtinter.

(Eds.) Stanley Schtinter,
with Dominic J. Jaeckle
& Jon Auman

Published 23rd October 2021



Stavros Tornes (1977)


You know the gig: I really don’t know what the film is, so I’m not sure how what I have to say will help. But it struck me that one possible thing I could do was remind you how in many ways the premise of this event, or these events, is in fact the premise of cinema. The impossible relation implied by the term itself is that you will be in anticipation, waiting for something to come, which despite all pretensions or claims to the contrary . . . will not come. That is the cinema.

John Akomfrah


The Liberated Film Club—running from its birth to its death, 2016 to 2020—would guarantee a wide wing-span for critical conversation. Screening “Liberated film” (a loose category designed to scaffold the show), a guest would be invited to introduce a film; an audience seated to watch it through; but there’d be an interruption to that typical format. Neither the audience nor the guest would have any idea what film would be shown, and this anonymised format would invite broad and antagonistic perambulation on the what, the why and the how of film.

An interrogation of what we do when we sit in a cinema; a reckoning with the kind of posture we should assume when we frame a film for further talk. Playing with the various ways we should consider and reproach the institutions built around all of our cultures of making and the manners and methods of all of our cultures of consumption, the Liberated Film Club was a rare reflection on the act of reflection itself.



John Akomfrah [Top] & Tony Grisoni [Bottom]
introducing the unknown at The Liberated Film Club
at Close-Up Film Centre, London


Starting out as a pirate DVD/USB company, issuing irregular mail-order catalogues of films otherwise unobtainable (an activity which it maintains), the club ran as a regular event series at the Close-Up Film Centre, London, curated by Schtinter. This anthology is a complete and unabridged collation of these introductions.


For the attention of ‘brick & mortar’ bookshops,
order copies of The Liberated Film Club via our distributor,
Asterism Books.






Schtinter, recording an ‘introduction to an introduction,’
Wadi Rum Film Festival (2020)



In which Stephen Watts reads his poem
‘I AM A FILM,’ a coda to The Liberated Film Club,
to Huw Wahl’s camera


I’m a sucker for genre-defying “What is it?” books, and this one is further enhanced as well as complicated by chronicling a London film club that’s no less eccentric and transgressive in its refusal to stand still and behave reasonably or even (on occasion) coherently. This is plainly an anarchist book designed for insiders, and I’m an outsider—or maybe one could say that this is an anarchist book designed for outsiders, and we’re all outsiders interested in redefining what an alleged inside might consist of.

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Screen Slate


Schtinter runs with wolves. His Liberated Film Club was, throughout its brief, perfect existence, the antidote to contemporary cinephilia. It was impious and sexy, mysterious and unsober, a ululatory free zone for refuseniks, a place of magic and mayonnaise. If you never made it to one of its mad, baffling nights, this book is guaranteed to make your loss all the more deliciously unbearable.

Sukhdev Sandhu


Herein lies the Exquisite Corpse of The Liberated Film Club, to align in ways you never would have expected and in order to show you something new.

Matilda Munro, Sight & Sound


There are more and more curators of experimental cinema, which is great; but unfortunately still few experimental curators. Stanley Schtinter offers us a fascinating and liberating example.

Nicole Brenez


Stanley Schtinter confronts us with an inescapable case of “Forced Platonism”: The Idea [ἰδέα], or eidos [εἶδος] and its archetype precede each and every imagistic representation (aka le film du jour). In other words, he has lured us into Plato’s cave, but we are unable to see the shadows cast on the wall by the fire. Stanley compels us to look the other way. Blinded by the glaring, amorphous light of the projector, to our utter dismay we can only join master Socrates’ cry, “Scio nescio!” I know that I know nothing! And so we see, the philosophical implications of The Liberated Film Club’s concept are immeasurable...

Peter Tscherkassky


As someone who screens a great number of films every year, what the Liberated Film Club reminded me of was the missing half of every screening event: a film or any projectionable audio-visual material is only fifty-percent of the deal; The other fifty-percent is how you project it, whether facilitating the mood and the premise of the film or breaking it apart and subverting it, giving the audience the ease they might need for viewing a work of cinema or taking it away to get a more hidden message across. Stanley Schtinter practiced the Art of the Second Half to perfection.This is a book about the allures of presentation and the forgotten art of projection as poetry. Also a book on how every individual in the dark theatre having an impact on the meaning of the film. In the concept behind the Liberated Film Club the fellow seated next to us is as important as Anna Magnani up there.

Ehsan Khoshbakht


This is a chronicle of addiction, written blindfold by the light of a flickering screen to a soundtrack of Russian roulette loaded against prediction.

Brian Catling





Notes on Contributors


Stanley Schtinter
has been described as an ‘artist’ by the Daily Mail and as an ‘exorcist’ by the Daily Star.

Shezad Dawood works across film, painting and sculpture to juxtapose discrete systems of image, language, site and narrative, using the editing process as a method to explore meanings and forms between film and painting. His practice often involves collaboration, working with groups and individuals across different territories to physically and conceptually map far-reaching lines of enquiry. These networks chart different geographic locations and communities and are particularly concerned with acts of translation and re-staging.

Chris Petit is an internationally renowned author and filmmaker once described by Le Monde as “the Robespierre of English cinema.” His films include the definitive Radio On (1979) and have been the subject of several foreign retrospectives.

Andrea Luka Zimmerman is an artist, filmmaker and cultural activist whose engaged practice calls for a profound re-imagining of the relationship between people, place and ecology. Focusing on marginalised individuals, communities and experience, the practice employs imaginative hybridity and narrative re-framing, alongside reverie and a creative waywardness. Informed by suppressed histories, and alert to sources of radical hope, the work prioritises an enduring and equitable co-existence.

William Fowler is a film historian, writer and musician, and an archive curator at the BFI. His co-authored book, The Bodies Beneath: The Flipside of British Film and Television was published by Strange Attractor Press in 2019. blue thirty-three, by his band The Begotten, is out on Blue Tapes; Wire magazine called it ‘a great noisy slug.’

John Rogers is a writer and film-maker based in London. He is the author of This Other London—Adventures in the Overlooked City (Harper Collins, 2013). He directed the feature documentaries The London Perambulator (2009), featuring Will Self, Iain Sinclair, Russell Brand, and Nick Papadimitriou; Make Your Own Damn Art—the world of Bob and Roberta Smith (2012), London Overground (2016) with Iain Sinclair, and In the Shadow of the Shard (2018). Rogers was psychogeographer-in-residence for Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019. He produces a regular series of videos on his YouTube channel.

Ben Rivers is a filmmaker, born in Somerset, lives in London. He has made over 40 films, with his first feature Two Years at Sea winning the International Critics Prize at 68th Venice Film Festival. Other awards include twice winning the Tiger Award at Rotterdam Film Festival, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists and the EYE Art Film Prize. He was commissioned by Artangel to make The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, shown at the former BBC Television Centre and The Whitworth Museum, Manchester. Most recently he collaborated with Anocha Suwichakornpong on the feature film Krabi, 2562. He co-ran and programmed Brighton Cinematheque, 1996-2006.

Gideon Koppel, “Born in London in 1960, and still looking for a place [he’d] like to die...

Gareth Evans is a London-based writer, curator, producer and presenter.

Adam Roberts—born in Bogota, Colombia—has made films and videos since the mid-90s. His film Mickey Finn won the Grand Prix du Jury at Angers international Film Festival. His collaborators have included film-maker Jack Hazan, choreographer Jonathan Burrows, composers Kevin Volans & Matteo Fargion, and the dancer Sylvie Guillem. His work has shown at Whitechapel Gallery, Hayward Gallery, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Maxi Gallery, Rome, and BFI Southbank. He produced and filmed an unprecedented series of interviews with long-term survivors of HIV (the AIDS Since the 80s Project, now The HIV Story Trust), housed in the London Metropolitan Archives, indexed and catalogued with support from the Wellcome Foundation. With Joanna Hogg he founded A Nos Amours, which has programmed screenings, curated exhibitions, and staged conferences. A Nos Amours has also published a book, the Chantal Akerman Retrospective Handbook, arising from a celebrated complete retrospective of Akerman's work at London's ICA. An exhibition at Ambika P3 of Akerman's installation work followed. His published writing includes chapters and journal papers, and the book Lamentation—In the Stuart Croft Archive, published by Ma Bibliothèque in 2020.

John Akomfrah is an artist and filmmaker, whose works are characterised by their investigations into memory, post-colonialism, temporality and aesthetics and often explores the experiences of migrant diasporas globally. Akomfrah was a founding member of the influential Black Audio Film Collective, which started in London in 1982 alongside the artists David Lawson and Lina Gopaul, who he still collaborates with today. Their first film, Handsworth Songs (1986) explored the events surrounding the 1985 riots in Birmingham and London through a charged combination of archive footage, still photos and newsreel. The film won several international prizes and established a multi-layered visual style that has become a recognisable motif of Akomfrah’s practice. Other works include The Unfinished Conversation (2012); Peripeteia (2012); Mnemosyne (2010); Vertigo Sea (2015); Purple (2017); Precarity (2017) and Four Nocturnes (2019).

Shama Khanna is an independent curator, writer and educator from London. They are the founder of Flatness (flatness.eu), a long-running platform for artists’ moving image and network culture invested in curating through a decolonial feminist lens. The project has been described as a ‘digital site of resistance’ (Dr Sylvia Theuri), decentring narratives of the arts and normalcy from the margins of the online. As well as with the artists featured on the site, Khanna has collaborated with numerous publications and organisations including: documenta 14, Athens; NANG, Seoul; Western Front, Vancouver; Microscope, NYC; Art Monthly; Afterall; LUX Scotland; Jerwood Arts; Herbert Gallery; Camden Arts Centre; The Women's Art Library, Goldsmiths; Feminist Review Journal; Chisenhale Gallery; Syllabus; and CCA, Glasgow (all UK). They are currently producing a Flatness book commissioned by Axisweb & Manchester Metropolitan University in partnership with the artist workers' co-operative not/nowhere. Khanna is a lecturer in Curating at the Royal College of Art, a Cultural Tenant at Studio Voltaire Studios, and a proud Trustee of not/nowhere.

Tony Grisoni worked in many different areas of film making before turning to screenwriting. Queen of Hearts (1989) was his award winning first feature directed by Jon Amiel. He has worked closely with a number of directors including Michael Winterbottom, John Boorman, Sean Durkin and Marc Munden, and has co-written with Terry Gilliam, including Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1998); Tideland (2005) and that ship of fools, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018). Other works include In this World (2001); Brothers of the Head (2005); Red Riding (2009); The Unloved (2009); Southcliffe (2013); The Young Pope (2016); Crazy Diamond (2017); and The City and the City (2018).

Damien Sanville is the founder of Close-Up Film Centre.

Mania Akbari is an internationally acclaimed artist and filmmaker. Her provocative, revolutionary and radical films were recently the subject of retrospectives at the BFI, London (2013), the DFI, Denmark (2014), Oldenburg International Film Festival, Germany (2014), Cyprus Film Festival (2014) and Nottingham Contemporary UK (2018). Her films have screened at festivals around the world and have received numerous awards including German Independence Honorary Award, Oldenberg (2014), Best Film, Digital Section, Venice Film Festival (2004), Nantes Special Public Award Best Film (2007) and Best Director and Best film at Kerala Film Festival (2007), Best Film and Best Actress, Barcelona Film Festival (2007). Akbari was exiled from Iran and currently lives and works in London, a theme addressed in Life May Be (2014), co-directed with Mark Cousins. This film was released at Karlovy Vary Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary at Edinburgh International Film Festival (2014) and Asia Pacific Film Festival (2014). Akbari’s latest film A Moon For My Father, made in collaboration with British artist Douglas White, premiered at CPH:DOX where it won the NEW:VISION Award 2019. The film also received a FIPRESCI International Critics Award at the Flying Broom Festival, Ankara.

Xiaolu Guo is a Chinese/British filmmaker and novelist. She has directed 11 films, including features How Is Your Fish Today (2007) and UFO In Her Eyes (2011). Her fiction She A Chinese received “the Golden Leopard" award at the Locarno Film Festival 2009. She self-produced all her documentaries. Once Upon A Time Proletarian (2011) premiered at the Venice Film Festival. We Went To Wonderland (2008) premiered at the MOMA in New York. Five Men & A Caravaggio (2018) premiered at the BFI London Film Festival. She has had film retrospectives at the Whitechapel Gallery in London (2019); Swiss Cinematheque (2010); and Greek Film Archives (2018). Her memoir, Once Upon A Time In The East, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, 2017 and A Lover’s Discourse is her most recent novel.

Sean Price Williams is a New York-based cinematographer, known for producing some of the most colourful and thrilling images in independent cinema today. He shoots both film and digital across categories of narrative, documentary, and experimental cinema. Some of Williams’ notable recent credits include Her Smell (2018); Marjorie Prime (2017); and Good Time (2017).

Chloe Aridjis is the author of three novels, Book of Clouds (2009), which won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in France, Asunder (2013), set in London's National Gallery, and Sea Monsters (2019), recently awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Aridjis has written for various art journals and was a guest curator at Tate Liverpool. She stars in Josh Appignanesi’s psychodrama Female Human Animal (2018) and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. She is a member of XR Writers Rebel, a group of writers who focus on addressing the climate emergency, and dreams of a world in which animals cease to be exploited.

Athina Tsangari is a Greek director and producer. Her first work in cinema was in a small acting role in Richard Linklater’s Slacker (1991). She went on to produce work by Linklater, as well as that of Yorgos Lanthimos. She is best known for directing the feature films Attenberg (2010); Chevalier (2016); and Benaki Museum (2013).

Juliet Jacques is a writer and filmmaker based in London, UK. Trans: A Memoir (2015), was published by Verso, and her most recent book, Variations (2021), was published by Influx Press. Her short fiction, essays and journalism have appeared in numerous publications, and her short films have screened in galleries and festivals worldwide. She hosts the podcast Suite (212), which looks at the arts in their social, cultural, political and historical contexts.

Anna Thew is a painter turned filmmaker, writer and performer. Her work has been screened and celebrated literally everywhere.

Adam Christensen is a London-based artist who makes performance, video, fabric and text works, and performs with the music project Ectopia, which was Wysing Arts Centre’s band-in-residence in 2016. He has previously performed and presented work at Overgaden Institute for Contemporary Art; Copenhagen Baltic Triennial; as well as Almanac; David Roberts Art Foundation; Southard Reid; Institute of Contemporary Arts (London); Hollybush Gardens; Goldsmiths CCA (London).

Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of Visual and Other Pleasures (Macmillan, 1989/2009); Fetishism and Curiosity (British Film Institute, 1996/2013); Citizen Kane (bfi Classics series, 1992/2012); Death Twenty-four Times a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (Reaktion Books, 2006) and Afterimages: on Cinema, Women and Changing Times (Reaktion Books, 2019) as well as three co-edited collections of essays. She made six films in collaboration with Peter Wollen, including Riddles of the Sphinx (1977) and Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti (1980). With artist/filmmaker Mark Lewis, she made Disgraced Monuments (1994) and 23 August 2008 (2013).

Astra Taylor is a writer, documentary filmmaker, and activist. Her films include Zizek! (2005); Examined Life (2008), and What Is Democracy? (2018). Her books include The People’s Platform (2014) and Democracy May Not Exist But We’ll Miss it When It’s Gone (2019) and, as co-editor, Occupy! Scenes from Occupied America (2011). She is a Fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation for her work against predatory debt.

Dennis Cooper is the author of nine novels as well as numerous books of poetry and non-fiction. He has made two feature films in collaboration with artist Zac Farley, Permanent Green Light (2018) and Like Cattle Towards Glow (2015). His most recent publications are a novel, The Marbled Swarm (2011) and four works of fiction composed of animated gifs, most recently the gif novel Zac’s Freight Elevator (2016) and a short gif fiction collection, Zac’s Coral Reef (2018). Cooper has written the works of French theatre director and choreographer Gisele Vienne since 2004, and has recently completed his tenth novel, I Wished. He is currently working on Room Temperature, his third film with Farley. He lives in Paris and Los Angeles. See also, denniscooperblog.com.

Stewart Home, author, is the only person on earth who is visible to the naked eye from outer space. He really does burn that brightly. The London Review of Books has praised Home by saying: “I really don't think anyone who is at all interested in literature has any business not knowing the work of Stewart Home.” However, this notorious egg bagel eater prefers to liken himself to “a proletarian comedian with Tourette's spewing obscenities.” Home much prefers standing on his head and reciting sexually explicit passages from his work at public events to courting the literary establishment, but nonetheless Home has recently published Re-Enter The Dragon: Genre Theory, Brucesploitation & the Sleazy Joys of Lowbrow Cinema (2018); and, previously, Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie (2010); Sixty-Nine Things To Do With A Dead Princess (2002); Slow Death (1996); and The Easy Way to Falsify Your Credit Rating (2005), to name but a few.

Dan Fox is a writer, filmmaker and musician living in New York, USA. He is the author of the books Limbo (2018) and Pretentiousness: Why It Matters (2016).

Miranda Pennell originally trained in contemporary dance and later studied visual anthropology. Pennell has produced a body of award-winning film and video work that explores forms of collective performance, whether dancers, soldiers or fight directors. Her most recent moving-image work uses colonial archives as the starting point for investigations into the colonial imaginary. Pennell’s films include You Made Me Love You (2005); Tattoo (2001); Fisticuffs (2004); Why Colonel Bunny Was Killed (2010); and The Host (2015).

Elena Gorfinkel is a senior lecturer in film studies at King’s College London and the author of Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s (2017). Her criticism appears in Sight & Sound, Art Monthly, and Cinema Scope, among other publications.

Tai Shani is a Tutor in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art. Shani's multidisciplinary practice, comprising performance, film, photography, and installation, revolves around experimental narrative texts. Shani recently published Our Fatal Magic (2019)—a work of feminist science fiction that anticipates a post-patriarchal future.






長谷川 等伯 / Hasegawa Tōhaku, 
松林図 屏風 / ‘Shōrin-zu byōbu’ / ‘Pine Trees’ (1595) 



Agitated Air: Poems After Ibn Arabi
Yasmine Seale & Robin Moger

Tenement #3
978-1-8380200-4-0
149 pp

£16.50

 ORDER DIRECT FROM TENEMENT HERE 

Published 28th February 2022


Seale and Moger’s back-and-forth process reveals interpretation’s foundational place in translation: the poems can be read like palimpsests in which voices interweave and entangle.

Reem Abbas, PN Review



‘In Abraqan’ (Seale & Moger)


Born in Murcia in 1165, Ibn Arabi was a prolific Muslim philosopher and poet. He travelled extensively before settling in Damascus, where he died in 1240. Tarjuman al-Ashwaq, or The Interpreter of Desires, is a cycle of sixty-one Arabic poems. They speak of loss and bewilderment, a spiritual and sensual yearning for the divine, and a hunger for communion in which near and far collapse.

Agitated Air is a correspondence in poems between Istanbul and Cape Town, following the wake of The Interpreter of Desires. Collaborating at a distance, Yasmine Seale and Robin Moger work in close counterpoint, making separate translations of each poem, exchanging them, then writing new poems in response to what they receive. The process continues until they are exhausted, and then a new chain begins.

Translated and re-translated, these poems fray and eddy and, their themes of intimacy across distance made various, sing back and forth, circling and never landing. Absence and approach, knowing and unknowing, failure and repetition: Ibn Arabi’s cycle of ecstatic love shimmers with turbulence. Seale and Moger move into and against these contending drifts, finding in the play of dissatisfaction and endurance a prompt for new poetry. 




Marina Warner, Yasmine Seale & Robin Moger
at the Warburg Institute, April 27th 2022



Yasmine Seale & Robin Moger recorded
for the New Lines Magazine podcast 


For the attention of ‘brick & mortar’ bookshops,
order copies of Seale & Moger’s Agitated Air via our distributor,
Asterism Books.







Yasmine Seale is a writer and translator. Her essays, poetry, visual art, and translations from Arabic and French have appeared widely—in Harper’s, Poetry Review, Wasafiri, Apollo and elsewhere. Current projects include a new translation of The Thousand and One Nights (W. W. Norton) and a translation of the poems of Al-Khansa (NYU Press). After five years in Istanbul, she lives in Paris.

Robin Moger is a translator of Arabic to English recently moved from Cape Town to Barcelona. His translations of prose and poetry have appeared in Blackbox Manifold, The White Review, Asymptote, Words Without Borders, Seedings, and others. He has translated several novels and prose works, most recently Haytham El Wardany’s The Book of Sleep (Seagull) and Slipping by Mohamed Kheir (Two Lines Press).


A White Review ‘Book of the Year’ 2022


In this heavenly and heartbreaking collection, the nasibs, preludes or love-songs of Mohieddin Ibn Arabi are translated to vividly retell the human erotics of divine love. The dialogic method of the translator-poets means that each poem is a collaborative attempt to retrieve a passion that is elusive and ‘steady;’ set to ‘sliding scales,’ the lyric like a ‘waterski’ on the distance between them. The imagery is touching and evocative, sweet and spiritual. The reader is reminded of a love that is active and ongoing, told in a linguistic tense that subtly, tragically, holds the sought for moment away from us. We may never find anything that gets as close to the deferring grammar of love as the phrase, ‘when held.’

Through these translations of ancient poems, we remember that love produces a relationship with time. The lover of a love poem is looking forward to it, already in its wake, mourning and restarting to yearn. It’s like a spiritual lesson in how to love God, where the erotics of times’ surfaces react to each other, causing a space like grace, and a situated feeling ‘Regardless of where you are’. In nuanced and humble syntax, Seale and Moger recreate in English the event of fresh longing in every word, as accurate as it is provisional. They do this with tender and careful poetry, finding in the original a fleeting but piercing voice, as if from underneath another voice, fragmented and reaching for its reply. Small elliptic lines, ‘no fun being locked here,’ create all the more agitated air for intimacy.  

Love told as poem is always an act of devotion that is always in the a priori of wanting. Here the poems offer details of a life already lived together and prepared for loss. The lovers are longed for in third-person, with ‘he’ and ‘she’ passed back and forth, so, rather than the lyric emphasis of you spoken to in the Song of Solomon, these poems create a distant field of someone off the page, the one who is loved but isn’t there.

Holly Pester 

Antiphonal, intimate and virtuoso, these variations respond to the sense that the interpretation of desires can be endless—it can dance this way and that, and then turn and turn again. The exchange of voices, singing lines that meet and part, pick up on the presence of the lover and the beloved in the poems; as Yasmine Seale and Robin Moger pass each newly wrought phrase back and forth between them, the distance between Seale in Istanbul and Moger in Cape Town is bridged, and so are the centuries that separate us from Ibn Arabi, his motifs, his mystical ascents and descents, and his anguished yearning. This is translation as intrepid and inspired re-visioning, a form of poetry of its own, as forged by Edward FitzGerald, Ezra Pound and Anne Carson.

Marina Warner




I love these poems by Yasmine Seale and Robin Moger, where translation is performed as a process of collaboration and rewriting, a conversation—until the reader gradually suspects that this might be a model to follow for any future writing. It’s as urgent as it’s beautiful, and therefore I’m grateful that there’s a publishing house like Tenement that can make this kind of project possible.

Adam Thirlwell


Agitated Air is a compelling and charming book; potentially infinite in the way its exchanges reach out and into each other’s, and the reader’s, heart. Seale and Moger offer more than elegant variation between ‘alphabets / of thorn’ and ‘bosky mazes’. Some texts beg to be recited; others are shapes to be dwelt upon. The mutual versions build and decline into sharp triangles and airy blocks, with the intimacy of pieces of a puzzle that do not fit together, yet are part of one scene. Seale’s lover can be candidly ‘scared’; Moger’s soliloquizes on ‘terror’. Here desire (whether for a mortal or immortal Beloved) and its translation are both naked and overwrought, clad in a wealth of traditions. Utterance, dry-mouthed, springs out in a fountain of words. In the title sequence, Moger’s answer catches the breeziness of Seale’s experimental layout, the air becoming ‘full with sweet release’; Seale replies by homing ‘sweetness in agitated air’ in the building-block of a prose poem; Moger then takes on the same body, but opens it out, punctuating for breath. Such relationships of form unfold aspects of significance: thunder as sound-event, thunder as ripple of soundwave.

Agitated Air creates wonderful and vulnerable ways into knowing as yearning: source texts and original responses, expansions and contractions, song and sigh.

Vahni Capildeo


The perils of translating ancient poetry from the East into English (say Arabic, Persian or Tamil) are many: the rich images and archaic language often trigger a fawning orientalism that dilutes the complexity of the material. The text risks slipping into the abyss of easily accessible platitudes. As the poems flip back and forth between Seale and Moger, they accrue a kind of poetic difficulty that is hard to reduce to cliches. The translations are approximations of a source poem—in some instances there is a flash of clarity, in others a profusion of ambiguity. They defy the expectation that a translation must decipher or explicate—the poems flicker in the margin between the known and unknowable. For all that the book conceals, the process reveals itself fully—the translator’s hand is plainly visible, their calibrations conspicuous.

Janani Ambikapathy, Modern Poetry in Translation


In Agitated Air, Seale & Moger muddy the waters between poetry and translation by responding to the ecstatic poetry of the 12th Century Muslim poet Ibn Arabi. Both translate Arabi's poems from Arabic into English, and go on to respond to each other's translations in a process that lets language mutate, flower and dissolve in playful and unexpected ways. This wonderful idea is executed with grace and care: while each “poem” (translation? version? response?) stands individually as a heartbreaking, gorgeous expression of spiritual or sensual yearning, the collection as a whole emphasises the rich mutability of language and meaning, making us reflect on just where the heart of a poem really is.

Will René, The National Poetry Library
Staff Picks, Summer ‘22





MUEUM
SJ Fowler

Tenement #4
978-1-8380200-6-4
153 pp

£16.50

 ORDER DIRECT FROM TENEMENT HERE 

Published 28th June 2022


A showcase, ransacked with horrid delight. Fowler’s MUEUM presents the placid, lurid violencesof surveillance and exhibition with startling and brutal stylishness. A seething triumph.

Eley Williams 

A book as powerful, monumental and strangeas Alasdair Gray’s Lanark in miniature.

Joanna Walsh


A novella of ludic menace, a puzzle without pieces, SJ Fowler’s MUEUM pictures the amassing and dismantling of a public edifice, brick by brick, in prose that refracts and breaks the light emitted by history’s ornaments and history’s omissions.

Suspended in unknowable time there is a city; in the city, an event, a conflict. Amid the ash, fog and cloud, there is the manufacturing of a space—a many-winged museum on the make. On the plinths, exquisite remnants of life present and past—adorning the walls, portraits of gentle torture sit hand in hand with brutal and statuesque portrayals of camaraderie—and the gift-shop is littered with plastic curios and gilt revulsion. Goya, as atmosphere rather than artwork, hovers amid iron age ghosts, bronzed ideas, and antiqued anxiety.

Pacing the hall, atrium and corridor, there are those who keep the museum—the various midwives to the building’s demands—and those, like the reader, who merely visit; those who pass through the vacant galleries adrift with questions. What can I touch? What is next to Egypt? What is hidden in Mesopotamia? Where do we eat? Drink? Where is the entrance? The exit? Following the tradition of the Nestbeschmutzer authors (“one who dirties their own nest,” vis-à-vis Bernhard and Gombrowicz, et al), in Fowler’s curt, spiralling, and acute work, the museum’s keepers will answer.



SJ Fowler & Gareth Evans in conversation
for Resonance Extra


SJ Fowler & Eley Williams in conversation
for Montez Press Radio




A reading at Brick Lane Bookshop to mark publication,
with SJ Fowler, Iain Sinclair, Chloe Aridjis, Chris McCabe
& Gareth Evans


For the attention of ‘brick & mortar’ bookshops,
order copies of Fowler’s MUEUM via our distributor,
Asterism Books.







Tenement Press presents MUEUM / Resonance Extra


A four-part serialisation of Fowler’s novella recorded for broadcast on Resonance Extra for Tenement’s rolling and roving sonic series, Railroad Flat Radio. MUEUM (for the ears) was produced by Dominic J. Jaeckle and Milo Thesiger-Meacham, and recorded on location in Resonance’s Bermondsey chapel studios, London (Spring 2022).




SJ Fowler, photographed during the ‘chapel sessions’
for Resonance Extra, London 2022


Shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize
for Small Presses 2022/2023 


Deeply, beautifully unsettling, and somehow so complete that I have screwed up and rewritten this endorsement seventeen times. As a text, MUEUM seems to eat any potential response to it. Sometimes I called it a mesmerising, bravura meditation on work, power, and subjugation; sometimes I called it the psychopathology of the institution; sometimes I just made sub-animal noises. Initially I just felt awe at how compelling Fowler can make the sheer tedium of labour, in an environment terrifyingly regimented, curious (and intimate, like being let backstage behind existence itself), but this was gradually replaced by an increasing suspense and horror which got its claws into me for the whole last half of the novella. Anyway. It makes me very happy—and also insanely jealous—that works like this are being written.

Luke Kennard


Down in the mire of London's grimpen, above the drained marshlands and drift of the fatbergs, exist the cultural centres that shine like jewels in the mudcake of the greatest city on earth: London's museums. Their great domes are craniums through which pass the crazy, unbidden thoughts of a culture always moving closer to madness. With the apocalyptic vision of Ballard and the acerbic attitude of Céline, MUEUM scatters human detritus over the shiny Perspex of our most dearly loved vitrines. Rimbaud's visits to the British Museum reading room come to mind: scratching himself down for lice as he flicked through the latest encyclopaedias. And Bataille, assembling curios so strange the Surrealists wouldn't touch them wearing gloves. MUEUM is a novel of watchers and the watched, a testament to the fact that people are always more interesting—and far stranger—than things. And nothing is stranger than people’s obsession with touching objects from the questionable past. Prepare to travel the world, from Rome to Japan, with a travelling troupe of unforgettable characters who walk the world each day but never leave a building. SJ Fowler's MUEUM is an essential artefact for our troubled times, proving that travel of the mind is always more powerful than the real thing.

Chris McCabe


A strange, absurd, difficult book by a hero of London’s poetry scene, MUEUM is disconcerting and enlightening. Reading it feels like walking beside the author through a lucid nightmare — as real and unreal as our own dreams, as illogical and packed with implication, but taken to horrendous extremes. At his best, Fowler shows us what would happen if we could freeze-frame and pursue the bits of our own daily lives that make it into our sleep states: a terrifying array of the small and menial alongside the vast, ghastly, and symbolic. Without affectation, in a voice very much his own, he comes close to the uncomfortable truth-telling of Ballard, McCarthy, Céline, and the rest of the minatory canon who form the backdrop to this remarkable fiction debut.

Guy Stevenson, The Los Angeles Review of Books


SJ Fowler is arguably the most influential, tirelessly generative and expansively generous English artist working in experimental literature today. No other contemporary writer is as comprehensively, and ambitiously, engaged with Europe’s histories of the avant-garde in addition to such vital participation in its present. Whether in poetry, essays, fiction, painting, scrawling, sculpting, film, performance, theatre, sound, or in happenings without definition, his art draws its volatile experience of language into the mobile and embodied possibility of language as experience. Emerging in feral exploration between the poetry of Tom Raworth and the prose of László Krasznahorkai, this is a shape-shifting and omnivorous body of writing; uncompromisingly alive in the playful, violent, oblique and confrontational. When language chases and inhabits the mess of living it cannot sit neatly, and only, in a book (though there are nearing 50 publications to date) there is always more. In addition to his own work, Fowler is endlessly and inventively supporting other writers. For a singular writer-as-artist-making to support and creatively involve so many others has a rare and historic momentum: from founding and organising the vast and inclusive European Poetry Festival (whilst also teaching, editing, curating, and collaborating) to fostering truly international communities and building events that have grown and changed a generation of UK avant-garde poetry. Returning in amidst such travelling energy to the page, the reader of such unique work will encounter the disarming gristle of being-as-struggle, but they will also find the resounding depths and laughter of a strange companionship in that struggle. No other contemporary UK writer is as comprehensively, and ambitiously, engaged with Europe’s histories of the avant-garde. Bracing challenge doubles mischievously as an embracing welcome within SJ Fowler’s experimentation that is, at its barbed and brilliant core, a language of extreme and unfamiliar honesty.

David Spittle





Steven J Fowler is a writer and poet living in London. His collections include Fights (Veer Books, 2011), The Rottweiler’s Guide to the Dog Owner (Eyewear Books, 2014), {Enthusiasm} (Test Centre, 2015), The Guide to Being Bear Aware (Shearsman Books, 2017), I will show you the life of the mind (on prescription drugs) (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2020) and The Great Apes (Broken Sleep Books, 2022). His work has become known for its exploration of the potential of poetry, alongside collaboration, curation, asemic writing, sound poetry, concrete poetry, and performance. He has been commissioned by institutions such as the Tate Modern, The Photographer’s Gallery, Wellcome Collection and Southbank Centre, and he has presented his work at over fifty international festivals, including Hay Xalapa, Mexico; Dhaka Lit Fest; Hay Arequipa, Peru; and the Niniti Festival, Iraq. Fowler was nominated for the White Review Short Story Prize, 2014, and his short stories have appeared in anthologies, such as Isabel Waidner’s edited collection, Liberating the Canon (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018). Incidentally, from December 2007 to November 2014, Fowler was an employee of the British Museum.



                                                   
editors@tenementpress.com

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