Building on apprenticeships including writing three 'novels' - two fantasy, one urban as a teenager, a vast archive of poetry and fiction including 100 poems on one subject alone, and comprising eight stuffed stacker boxes ever-expanding, half a BA in Writing, an MA in Writing from Plymouth University, many magazine publications of poetry and fiction in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, including in The Argotist Online, Spokes, 20x20 Magazine, Poetry Manchester, The Bathyspheric Review, Fickle Muses, EveryDay Poets, DogmaNet, the 'North Yorkshire One Nine Nine' anthology published by Shutter Books, most recently by Pemmican Press, and after a set of pamphlets (including 'Masques & Mazeworks'), reading a LOT of books, and countless public performances and open mikes, some projects have evolved/emerged/withstood the tests.
PROJECT 1; Fiction Novel (with Talks/Readings/full Porlock the Warlock Show). Commercial
Porlock the Warlock (aka The Porlock Trilogy)
Historical time travel adventure of around 80,000 words aka 'Porlock the Warlock & the Indigo Swan' a 200 page paperback. Concerning the intertwined destiny of the real C10th Exeter Book and equally real Epic of Gilgamesh - the oldest poetry in what we would know recognize as English and mankind's oldest story respectively. Strongly influenced by Viking Sagas, the three heroes also encounter some Vikings along the way as they journey back in time to make one legend and break another; - to 2nd Millennium BC and Ancient Mesopotamia, to destroy - much against Porlock's better judgement - a tablet of the Epic, and then on to Saxon Exeter and Viking York, on the trail of the missing Exeter Book... A profoundly rewarding and strangely beautiful as well as quirky and funny take on history, for all fans of Michael Wood's In Search of...historical documentaries, J.R.R.Tolkien's The Hobbit (for which it is an affectionate homage), The Exeter Book, Epic of Gilgamesh, Dr. Who, and all those who found Richmal Crompton's Just William REALLY funny... Add good food, environmental concerns, real science and astronomy, and you have...Porlock the Warlock. Even die hard Harry Potter fans have been won over - one is even now studying Physics as a result!
The intention is that it will be a trilogy...Book 2 -
Porlock and the Monad Machine - is all mapped out, and the first 10,000 words written. A combination of C17th hydraulic automata, Stern Oliver Cromwell frightening the life out of everyone, those terrible creatures 'The Mop Mops' (all called Red, just to confuse things), a Leibnizian machine calling things unwanted from other times and parallel worlds, a raided library and... - who will unlock the secrets of Lady Dreadlock and Lord Deadwood on their folly filled estate at Temple Hill...? Also...why the hell is Porlock called 'Porlock'???
And in the third book...will Porlock get to meet Snorri Sturlason of Icelandic Saga fame at last? Who knows, it hasn't even been started yet......
Porlock is available from the www.cartwheels-collective.co.uk Webshop and at shows and events priced at £7.50 (plus p&p from the WebShop).
PROJECT 2; Performance/s and Chapbooks
The Books of...Trilogy - The Books of... series are satirical, topical, comical, powerful and sometimes startling takes on the state we’re in - to set the stage on fire!
The Book of Contentions
- ‘Fractious fragments for fractured times’ - 150 bizarre aphorisms on subjects from space satellites to painting your room blue (don’t), the Book and its friends the Shepherdess and the Shepherd, take us on a tour through the hall of Contentions. ‘Poor platitude! to need stating so often that everyone hates it...’
The Book of Indictments
- Deals with invasions, occupations, wars on concepts and places, heritage, slavery, citizenship and patriotism, to the Magna Carta and teacosies. It itself is a complete Book, but if it was a river it would have many tributaries... Which manifest themselves as; An ever expanding list of Indictments (in case anybody ever wanted to Indict anyone about anything, that is...)
The Book of Offences
- Not to be confused with the Swedish Book of Offences of 1734, and undoubtedly not its companion, The Book of Punishments... From climate change, feudalism, billionaires and coconut macaroons to giant pandas and the ‘spork’ - all life is here! The hardly-awaited Book of Offences promises to be a good friend to the Books of Contentions and Indictments, and not to let either of them down...
The Book of Convictions
The fourth in the Trilogy! If the previous Books covered occupation, slavery, heritage, civil liberty, identity, patriotism, capitalism, The Book of Convictions taken the theme further, deeper and into even murkier waters and darker spaces, tackling imperialism, the rich/poor gap, immigration, slave labour and globalization. Oh, and cracker toys.
The Book of Contentions is not number one, but number nought. Allow the hardcore lyrics of One, Two and the coming Three to lead you back to the source in the more avant garde and quirky Book Zero... Three concept albums in the grand traditions of say Cut the Crap by The Clash or Swans' Greed, and sundry political hip hop... (preceded by a Poetry Society-friendly 2,500 word prologue, i.e. The Book of Contentions).
All available from the Webshop of the cartwheels-collective.co.uk site and on sale at events listed on the Events page.
The Book of Contentions £3.40
The Book of Indictments £3.80
The Book of Offences ££3.80
The Book of Convictions £3.80
Special Offer - buy all 4 for £12. (All plus p&p if buying from the WebShop)
PROJECT 3; Performance - ideal for slots/cabaret etc. Can be a full Show. Commercial.
Things That Can't Be Shared (But Must Be Said).
Heart stopping, heart rending accounts of betrayal, adultery, lust and desire in dozens of different situations from the mythical Circe and Odysseus' best mate the Hunter, to the person you REALLY shouldn't have fallen in love with...
Involving for commissioned shows, pink organza, hearts aplenty, tonnes of confetti, and a tutu.
PROJECT 4; Collection of Short Fiction Pieces / Prose Poems / Monologues. Could be performance pieces also or a full Show.
The History of This House in 50 Objects
Taking real objects from a real shared house lived in by many real people who have left shedloads of stuff there, these pieces take sundry objects left behind by a variety of people, and unwinds from each one, the story belonging to it.
Sometimes it touches on why they left it, or the relationship between them and the person who eventually finds it, what it means to chart the history of a house in the rubbish people leave in it: To let go of your past and leave it in safekeeping with others whom you trust, or leave it out of carelessness because you can't be bothered, leave it behind because you think someone will find it and like it, instead of a present, or leave it because you're so off your head on drugs that you've forgotten it's there...to leave it out of spite because you've fallen out with those who are staying on and you know they'll have to sort it out, to leave it because you want 'someone else to sort it out' as you would do with the rest of your life if you could...to leave it because you can't get anyone to drive it to the tip for you, or because you know you won't have any room for it in the next place, to leave it because you're changing who you are and intend to make a completely fresh start elsewhere, to leave it because you know that where you're going, it would only get stolen, or you couldn't look after it, it would get damaged, to leave it intending to come back...to leave it because you can't bear to look at it any longer.
The History of This House in 50 Objects...'You won't believe what's happened here. If we'd set up a webcam in the kitchen we could've outdone Big Brother...this baby, is Real Life. This is...all too much for me...'
PROJECT 5; Literary Poetry Chapbook Themed Sequence
Geometrica. NOW IN PRINT! and available from the WebShop and at events for £3.80. Worth it for the visuals alone!
Vol. 1 - At the heart of a complex thing lies a stellated dodecahedron...a sixty-sided shape in the form of a star. These pieces, hewn from rock crystal and hammered out of malachite, are inspired by Philosophy, Geometry and Architecture. The aim is for Borges' Labyrinths to meet up with Jamnitzer's constructions and go on a trip to meet Gaudi's Casa Batllo, and Cellarius' Star Atlas...where they then decide to hold a party in a Spinozan temple to celebrate the contribution of Geoffrey Hill to our architectural heritage (patent pending). (NB; Nifty futurecasting!)
A collection of poems of a literary nature punctuated with visuals drawn from three disciplines. Da Vinci, Jamnitzer, Cellarius and the Flammarion woodcut feature, amongst others.
Chromatica (Vol. 2)
Has it ever bothered you that most writing about colours, the spectrum and the rainbow are seriously trite or written for church meetings or schools or children's workshops? Well this is the colour spectrum from an adult perspective. Copper, Bronze, Magenta, Black, Grey, Turquoise, Oak and others get the full low down in a dazzling sequence of beautiful vignettes that will spring to mind the next time you check out cathedral stained glass or look at a Tiffany book... Unusual associations and fantastical conjunctions all go to make up a collection both exquisite in beauty of words and also just a little bit eccentric...
This sequence of volumes (which may or may nor at this stage include Astronomica, Cartographia etc.) is also linked to the making of visual textworks, post-concrete poetry and poem films, due to their visual nature and preoccupations. It is hoped that enough works will result for an exhibition entitled 'Words in Light, Colour and Form'.
PROJECT 6; Non commercial. Performance Installation
Archive; The Book of Fragments.
Transcripts, recordings, detritus, tickets, belongings, some that act as monologues from a street gang of five. Anti-media, -big corporations, environmental destruction and establishment repression like the CJA, the five became activists, and in an arson related incident at a Cargill headquarters one of them was probably killed, and the leader of them was sectioned. He almost certainly killed himself in a mental institution/secure unit. Another died whilst adapting a vehicle for illegal speeds. Only two remain. Eventually they meet again. One has become a successful garden designer. The other lives on the margins, making a living emptying toilets at festivals. These fragments are from all five members, from their mid to late teens onwards. From things left in pockets to throw away comments to vital conversations, speeches to nothing, altar gear from what was mistakenly believed to be a Satanist cult, bits from Mike's garage, Blade's oath, notes transcribed from Pyro's trial, to what ended up in the stair cupboard at Orchard Court. The present Jake gave Kes. THIS IS...THE BOOK OF FRAGMENTS
An audio visual text exhibition waiting for a venue. Perhaps it is right that their fights, struggles, manifestoes, ideals, actions, loves, deaths and lives remain private after all...Who knows in the end 'what Pyro would have wanted'?
PROJECT 7; Prose Poem (chapbook length).
The Legend of Dantemore.
Evil 'family history' based on 'real life' and how you (and I certainly am) could be / are related to just about anybody... Identity, lies, truth, fiction and fact combine in a cold detached look at a genealogy of imperial nightmares, incidents, and chance happenings across the course of a century, and continents, interwoven with a backdrop of differing kinds of disturbed childhoods. It shows how we are shaped by what we have heard and what we are told even more than what's really so or what happens to be accurate/true, and also by what's in front of us rather than people we're related to but will never meet. Ultimately it ends with a challenge - which could be uplifting or frightening depending, that WE make up what we are or become in the end - as it's up to us to reject what we don't want or need, or to quit reacting negatively to negative chains of incidence. And that our only hope for independence or individuality lies in our 'everyman' quality. - That we can choose our influences from strangers or things we pick up along the way, to fashion and forge a less pre-determined path.
Linking 'The Legend of Dantemore' and 'This History of this House Fifty Objects' is also strand of work called 'The Don't Belong Children'. If the Legend was the prototype or the model, and the History was the outcome of it, then this strand explains how the one came to fruition in the other. Kind of.
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