Join us for an evening of countercultural poetry as Greta Bellamacina launches Poemas (2015-2018), her latest collection, published in a bilingual (English/Spanish) edition by Valpaaíso. She will be joined by poets from New River Press reading from current and forthcoming releases, including Robert Montgomery, Niall McDevitt, Brit Parks, Sophie Naufal, and Heathcote Ruthven. Link on Shakespeare and Co website here.
New River Press has been described by Autre magazine as “one of the UK’s edgiest and most exciting poetry imprints” and Tom Stoppard as “always rewarding”. The editors and poets take their cues from indie music record labels like 4AD and Sub Pop, concrete poetry, and punk poetry. Seeking out poetry that is visual, elegant, and rebellious, their cry is NEW LANGUAGE FOR SAD TIMES.
Greta Bellamacina is a poet, actress and filmmaker. She was born in London and trained at RADA where she performed a variety of theatre roles, before going on do a B.A. in English at King’s College London. Greta Bellamacina was shortlisted as Young Poet Laureate in 2014. Since then her poetry has been highly praised internationally, she has edited three books of poetry including Smear an anthology of contemporary feminist poetry. And has released four collections of her own poetry. She regularly performs her work live and on the radio. Dazed Magazine said Greta "unapologetically confronts self-image, body autonomy and our relationships with each other, celebrating the imperfect, frank woman”. Last year she was commissioned by the National Poetry Library to write a group of poems for their Odyssey series. Her latest collection Selected Poems 2015-2017 published by New River Press has been republished into a bilingual Spanish edition by Valparaíso Ediciones, 2019. Her film Hurt by Paradise premiered at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019. It was nominated for the Micheal Powell Award for Best British Feature Film and Best Performance in a British Feature film.
Robert Montgomery is a Scottish visual artist and poet who co-founded New River Press. He follows a tradition of conceptual art and stands out by bringing a poetic voice to the discourse of text art. He creates billboard poems, light pieces, fire poems, woodcuts and watercolours. Dane Weatherman in Black & Blue Journal wrote that “to encounter his work is to have your body filled with a sad thunder and your head filled with a sad light. He is a complete artist and works in language, light, paper, space. He engages completely with the urban world with a translucent poetry.” Montgomery was the British artist selected for Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012, the first biennale in India. He has had solo exhibitions at venues in Europe and in Asia, including major outdoor light installations on the site of the old US Air Force base at Tempelhof. The first monograph of his work was published by Distanz, Berlin in 2015. With New River Press he has published Coltash, a solo collection containing the longer poems that many of his art pieces are drawn from, and Points For Time In The Sky, a book of collaborative written with Greta Bellamacina.
Niall McDevitt is an Irish poet resident in London, author of three critically acclaimed collections of poetry, b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010), Porterloo (International Times, 2013) and Firing Slits: Jerusalem Colportage (New River Press, 2016). He leads psychogeographic ‘wandering lectures’ around London for New River Press exploring the paths of Shakespeare, Blake, Rimbaud, and Yeats. Heathcote Williams described his work as “savagely witty”. Babylon (a neoliberal theodicy), which adapts Akkadian-Sumerian texts to critique western globalism, is forthcoming with New River Press.
Heathcote Ruthven is a writer and editor. He has edited poetry anthologies including Year Of The Propaganda Corrupted Plebiscites and When They Start To Love You As A Machine You Should Run, as well as the 50th anniversary paper relaunch of International Times. His writing has appeared in publications including International Times, The Idler, The Independent, Vice, The London Magazine. He is currently working on I Am Not Who You Think I Am, a collection of poems and prose poems by people who have experienced homelessness, in collaboration with the novelist Miranda Gold and charity Crisis.
Brit Parks is a poet, artist, and scholar. She is the Art Editor and Features Writer for UNPOLISHED Magazine. Her poems are featured in the book SMEAR, edited by Greta Bellamacina, RINE Journal, RX Magazine Editor’s Choice, and New River Press Yearbook. Parks’ visual work has been exhibited at Vedanta Gallery, Arena Gallery, and Sullivan Galleries. Her films have been screened at the Chicago Underground Film Festival and Chicago Filmmakers. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Writing and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lived in New York City for a decade.
Sophie Naufal is a London based British Lebanese composer, musician and performer. As a film and theatre composer Sophie blends a vast array of samples from around the world with her own instrumentals creating innovative, textured soundscapes. Most recently she scored Claudia Legge’s Negotiating The Mind, an art piece exploring feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia through an underwater world. As a singer-songwriter she writes wry, dark, and sharply observed narratives of modern life. Her intricate guitar and vocal melodies draw on a wide range of ethnic and historical styles giving her music a timeless quality She frequently performs her music at poetry events around London. Her long awaited debut EP is forthcoming this September 2019.