Frightened Rabbit Anthology

Pleased to announce I’ll be working with Aaron Kent in editing an anthology of poetry and prose in response to Frightened Rabbit. I’m anticipating this as a really special project, and a chance to make something collaborative in celebration of the work of a band that touched the lives of so many. I love music! The pandemic knocked some of that out of me for a while, but it sounds good again. Music! I want to write about it all the time. Send us your best odes, ekphrasis, reflections, fiction, mini essays, lyrics etc.

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I went looking for a song for you
— Frightened Rabbit, ‘The Oil Slick’

Edited by Maria Sledmere & Aaron Kent

From the release of their debut album, Sing the Greys (2006), Frightened Rabbit were a phenomenal presence in the lives of many. To be at a Frabbit show, to read the liner notes, to belt the words back at your friends was to feel if not release then solidarity in suffering. To catch love from the greys and live in colour. The band’s inimitable singer Scott Hutchison (also a talented illustrator) penned lyrics that captured the weight and heat of adolescence and its wreck, of joyous chaos and loneliness, of growing into a person, falling in and out of love. Frabbit helped many of us nurture a voice in the woodpile of the dark, and to embrace what happens when it sparks. 

This anthology is a celebration of Frightened Rabbit’s work in both music and community. Their songs inspired many of us to pick up a pen and write, or share our stories and inner lives with others. We are looking for work that engages with the themes of the Frabbit discography: work that takes its cue from a quoted line, a song, a title, a particular performance. Work that processes the memories filtered through music, that delves into the landscapes, emotional topographies and rich imaginaries of the Frabbit world. Work that shows us how the band’s immense legacy continues through our words, and makes tiny changes.

As Tom Johnson, founder of the magazine GoldFlakePaint writes in a heartfelt tribute to Scott, not long after his passing: ‘The songs are right there anyway; they will always be there’. This is an invitation to carry on the songs. Send us your poems, send us your words.

submissions@brokensleepbooks.com 

Please send:

  • Up to 3 A4 pages of writing.
  • All submissions considered, regardless of location. 
  • Simultaneous submissions ok – but please indicate if this is the case in your email.
  • Collaborative submissions are considered. 

Email:

  • Include a short biography and cover letter in the body of an email.
  • Subject: [Frightened Rabbit Anthology] Submission – [Name], [Title]


Deadline is 31st May 2022.

With the Boys

July was such a busy month but one of its delights was working on the design for this book, With the Boys by fred spoliar. I’ve been so buzzed about upcoming SPAM releases (more to be announced soon) and what better way to kick off our 2021 roster than with this vivid purgatorial rush of a book. The cover design is a collage layering of illustrations, colour effects and old woodcuts (including those vomiting sun battle scenes which divide the book into sections and contribute to the faux ye olde vibe) which gesture to the book’s primal scene (imo): the confrontation with the boy laying down >insert meme here: “you winning son??”< as the OG basis for all the boys, are we for or against them, might we let them rest? As fred reminded me at a recent reading in Crystal Palace Park, “masculinity is no joke maria” and this book explores how the cascades of climate crisis, austerity, property relations, ‘fake news’, ongoing colonialism, racial capitalism, transphobia and pandemic are all bundled up in the ancient, ever-mutating violence of patriarchy. The demands the boys place on us and those placed on the boys, we understand them in a camaraderie of the here-and-now that is our future ancestral citation, cracking a cold one for the world that is burning ice and going online. With the Boys is a book of post-internet poetry, an adventure story, a lyric dalliance with historical epic in synchronic form. It’s a book that refuses linear models of transition, progress and accumulation, and ideas of history as a totality; a book that finds residues of love and care among masculinity’s ‘trashfire’ (in Al Anderson’s words). I want to think of it partly in the realm of Keats’ ‘negative capability’, the idea of lyric identification as doubt, the pluralism of the boys as a quivering flame or rippling plasma, capable of being more than what essentialist gender ideology would deem the boys. Your ‘brain on elegy’, your ‘stupid hurt’, your ‘buzzcut chorus’ and ‘apple products’ – humming, ubiquitous, they belong to all of us, in a way.

Process sketches for the book cover.

There is something about a (re)birth in this book; fred has called it ‘a purgation’. Something been set on fire or released, the way of touching abysses of sleepless thinking and facing up, fuck, to the impossibilities of work and not-work. To morph, mourn, join together, be commoning or calling out, be warm or hard or wet or sore, be there and gone. One thing that resounds is the refrain, the sonorous sense (something Verity Spott commented on at our recent launch, and something I love about Verity’s work also) of lyric in the book as a musical sprawl, fever, affirmation. For me, this is totally synaesthetic and electric, ‘a crucial magenta song’ and ‘like aleatory dance departing’ in the sacred gatherings of the rats — the animals that survived 2020 (their epic and terrible year) and will go on thriving beyond us. Like, we are not supposed to be here. Like, we crawl over the language that won’t want to hold us and we throw out this ask. Are we to be comrades? Sometimes you read fiery poetry that enflames and hisses (kisses) and makes you want to attend the protest, make the call, offer your body to the line (the book’s closing poem, ‘kludge time‘, was written in response to the recent Kenmure Street anti-raid action), and With the Boys summons this fire, but also sings in the muscly erotics of its cinders. These cinders which catch in the breath before and after the poem, which can’t be reduced to this or that reading; which burn with occasional satire, twinge and catch of meaning.

You want to say the boys are a folk knowledge, they are song, they are the startup code that ceaselessly reboots until lyric glitches in ‘fertile crevices’. They are a compost, the dregs of bad schooling, an institution of historical impotence, a gesture of care and play (‘I push you on the swings’), an orientation towards the vibe, a grammar of suspension ‘stopping by the interchange‘, a big fucking ‘nova‘ that hopes to find you well. Hi, hello, hi. *WAVE*. Everyone in some sense knows them. They are obviously so much more. I’m this hush-breath away from saying the boys are a hyperobject. You decide. The boys are shoegaze distortion all over capital’s weeping, the road less travelled, dazzling and pregnant and ‘wilding’. They will do your makeup and hum the ‘harmonic law to / love to leave to love’ — bright pink and chartreuse. You better have a go at them.

With the Boys is available for £8 from SPAM Press. You can get in touch with the editors for review copies or to stock in your bookstore at spamzine.editors[at]gmail.com.

Sonnets for Hooch: Summertime Social

Sonnets for Hooch: Summertime Social is the sophomore offering of a four-part pamphlet series of sonnets attuned to the weirding seasons. Structured around 22 intervals of the day and its explosion, from golden hour to gloaming, breakfast to millennium, this bumper book of sonnets is full of clandestine snacks and wavy moments. In celebration of wasting time, biting into the lemon of attention and trading intimacies, this is a long, sweet hit of lilac to whet your utopian appetite. An ‘affordable metaphysics of care’ imagined at the scale of the world as ‘a dream governable / by beginning’, ‘a rare green / species of hooch’ and ‘this hypersonnet’ of ‘a lifetime on tape’. The poets of Summertime Social find comradeship in IDM producers, dedications to friends, calorific density and dreamwork; the brevity of the sonnet form affords ‘a sun net cutting over unfinished’. You want to ask, where does the sun set on the internet? What does it mean to be ‘rat ascendant’”? Here on the ‘skylark octave’, the hooch poets have really come into their own.

by Mau Baiocco, Kyle Lovell & Maria Sledmere
[100 pp.  //  A5 // Perfect-bound  // Run of 100 ]

Order copies from Fathomsun Press for £8 here.

The Palace of Humming Trees

Excited to announce a collaborative exhibition with artist Jack O’Flynn and curator Katie O’Grady, happening until 8th August at French Street Studios in Glasgow.

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The Palace of Humming Trees is a collaborative project between artist Jack O’Flynn, writer Maria Sledmere and curator Katie O’Grady which took place from April to August 2021. This collaboration will be showcased in an exhibition at French Street Studios, Glasgow, featuring new works from O’Flynn and Sledmere which travel through poetry, sculptural entities and dreams of impossible possibilities.

This project was formed in a concert – along mixtapes, Tarot readings, zoom calls and shared research. We present it here as multiple sensual journeys; to an exhibition of hyper-foxes and tenderly crumbling foliage, through a publication of lichenous illusions and rummaging thought and in a selection of music and voices which trailed our imaginings. 

Intertwining themes of ecological thought, world building and re-enchantment we sought to un-ravel the question: how can we act and think in this present moment to ensure positive change to our relationship with the world around us? The action and thinking which we wandered became located in small and monumental formats – enacted in the everyday and in how we create and build the future. We were enveloped by uncertain certainty, whether apparent through non-human thought, the possibilities of visual art and poetry or the endorsement of magic. Living in a world brimming with unease by climate crisis and extreme inequality – brought upon by extractive capital, far-right strategies and carceral logics – we wished to communicate a different model of awareness that could refuse these structures and re-imagine being a Being. 

Exploring this sentiment O’Flynn and Sledmere have created a body of work that opens a portal to a forest of vibrating thought. One of galloping states, lockdown meanderings and a lyrical suffusion through language and art that prompts how we can think and imagine differently. 

Please enjoy this digital showcase of The Palace of Huming Trees and, if you can, come to visit its physical iteration at French Street Studios, 103 – 109 French Street, Glasgow. Open July 30th to August 8th 11 AM to 5 PM (closed Monday and Tuesday) with a preview on July 29th 6 PM – 9 PM. Book to attend exhibition via Eventbrite here and to attend preview here.

More info at the exhibition website.

The exhibition also comes with a book of poetry, illustration and essaying, The Palace of Humming Trees.

Available to order for £12.99 – Contact details for ordering available on the website above.

(NEW PAMPHLET) Polychromatics

SNACK DROP!

A new pamphlet-length poem, ‘Polychromatics’, responding to the textile and ceramic work of Anna Winberg, is out now with Legitimate Snack (Broken Sleep Books).

Cashless, the snow fell in your dream 
three million times osculation 
of this surface once was grass, soft silhouette
in pink snow. I scoop masses
of this snow 
to carry around for hours. 

🍬🍭🌨️🎨🍬🍭🌨️🎨

Paper: Gmund Cotton Linen Cream (110gsm)
Cover: Pastel Pink (210gsm)
Endpaper: Pink Gold Vellum
Titles: Gravesend sans (Medium, 8pt)
Text: Mokoko (Regular, 8pt)
Thanks to Aaron Kent for gorgeous assembly & publication! 

Order for £6 here.

New publication: Miss Anthropocene

Miss Anthropocene is a selection of short lyric, ‘ethereal nu metal’ poems responding to the Elon Musk/Grimes complex, from intimations of emerald fortunes to billionaire shares, conceptual infinity and big e-girl energy. Through academic research, poetry and music criticism, I’ve been hinging on the ‘miss anthropocene’ project for some years now, and the arrival of Grimes’ 2020 album of the same name, on the brink of pandemic lockdown, was the final impetus to write this. Responding to the record’s conflations of misanthropy and our current geological epoch, Miss Anthropocene explores weird desire, gender, material intimacy, temporal distortion, apocalypse vibrations, pop music and a petropoetics of excess and residue within the frenzied dramaturgy of late capitalism and climate crisis. In lieu of the doom scroll, this is a post-internet ecopoetry of ‘massive dance lament’, lyric survival, surface tension, sexy ambience, dreamplay and visions

56pp / 148x148mm
Perfect-bound 130gsm (silk)
200gsm gloss cover (gloss-laminated)

£6 including UK P+P.

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To order a copy, paypal
mariasledmere[at]outlook[dot]com
+ add your address to the note.
For delivery costs outside the UK, drop me an email. 🙂

(NEW BOOK) the weird folds: everyday poems from the anthropocene

Announcing a new anthology I’ve been working on with the wonderful Rhian Williams and indie publishers Dostoyevsky Wannabe. Copies are now available to order…

Edited by Maria Sledmere and Rhian Williams and with a foreword by Tim Morton, the weird folds intervenes in more traditional canons of nature and ecopoetry to offer a poetics of the anthropocene which is thoroughly generous, queer, sensuous, formally innovative, relational, occult, fugitive and critically sensitive to the mediations of technology and culture which shape our encounters with the more-than-human.

BOOKSHOP.ORG
WATERSTONES
BLACKWELL’S
AMAZON

NOTE: If cover images are missing from any of the above links, please be aware that the books are still available for purchase.

Pages: 296
Dimensions: B Format
ISBN: 978-1838015619
Cat No: DW-001-97
Imprint: Dostoyevsky Wannabe Originals
Publishing Model: Tailored

The Author

Edited by Maria Sledmere and Rhian Williams and with a foreword from Timothy Morton), the weird folds: everyday poems from the anthropocene features contributors working at the intersections of lyric, cultural critique and hybrid forms. The contributors in order are:    Pratyusha, Kashif Sharma-Patel, Jay G Ying, Sarah Cave, Samantha Walton, Rebecca Tamás, Daisy Lafarge, Jane Hartshorn, Francesca Lisette, Max Parnell, Calum Rodger, Miranda Cichy, Alice Tarbuck, fred spoliar, Iain Morrison, Gloria Dawson, Vahni Capildeo, Sascha Akhtar, Fred Carter, Katy Lewis Hood and Therese Keogh, montenegro fisher, Nat Raha, Mike Saunders, Jane Goldman, Harriet Tarlo, Rosie Roberts, Lila Matsumoto, Colin Herd, Paul Hawkins, nicky melville, Kat Sinclair, Nasim Luczaj. 

Praise

This vital gathering tells slanted anthropocenic truths, re-cognising the manifold everyday as a crucial space-time of enquiry, excavation and entanglement. Performing kaleidoscopic arts of noticing, the works within these pages render traces of a changed and changing planet with tangible immediacy. Here is poetry as a barometer of the times.

-Mandy Bloomfield, author of Archaeopoetics: Word, Image, History (University of Alabama Press, 2016)

These are poems of the future glimpsed through its shards and fragments here and now – they are unhomely and familiar, revealing a skewed new normal: they are fieldnotes from a world to come.

-David Borthwick, Lecturer in Environmental Literature at University of Glasgow 

Anthropocene is the impact human beings have on the planet, while the trillions of cells making each human body are composed entirely of the fire, soil, air, and water of the earth. In this anthology, the poets are voices for a war the planet is having with itself through its human bodies, and I am very grateful for their reports. I wonder if it is unfair to think of poets as war correspondents, but this book proves we are possibilities for so much more.

CAConrad, author of While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017)

New Book: Chlorophyllia

Chlorophyllia: a pamphlet of poems written in April and May 2020 in the midst of lockdown, feeling falling, light sensitivity, the body as plant life and panic. Released as part of a 5-part series alongside Carolyn Hashimoto, Suki Hollywood, Ruthie Kennedy and Emily Uduwana.

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Chlorophyllia is a glassy architecture for gathering the leafswirls of those moments of seeming contingency, the offcuts of correspondence, and nourishing them in the hothouse of lyric hyperbole. Maria Sledmere offers up a pamphlet of weird dialectics and conversation: where dreams eat into ~reality, where herbal remedies glitch in the feed they’re found in, where green and blue meet zanily under the breeze of ‘Jolene’, where sleep is yet daylight’s constant longing and language is photosynthesised. Elon Musk crawls out of a Deleuze and Guattari parenthesis, Keats is filtered through Zoom mosaics, there are glimpses of Neptune rain and the speaker craves IDM aquaria. As increasing time spent online comes to dominate our unconscious with surreal imaginaries of face-reacts, screen freezes and the syncope of laggy encounter, poetry becomes a way of laying out those confusions of voice, scale, desire and bodily grammar.

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Maria Sledmere hits the reader with a monsoon of language played at once in major and minor. It’s a blissy elegy with room for the amphibian and the paypal. For thinspo trees, waging snowstorms, missing bees. For solace and subscription. Here, loss concerns the heart-eye react as much as the dinosaur. Snowstorm is a person. Everything finds itself unshakeably sensory, and that whole heavy load — of being at all, of being here — is packed sleek into a Tesla. Chlorophyllia is an oil essential to any engine.

          — Nasim Luczaj, aka [underthunder] and author of SWAT SIGHT

The poems of Chlorophyllia love a green thought in a green shade almost as much as they pant to leap in daylight. What does the enforced reproduction of the shit we’re in mean when ‘Continuance is lightfast’? Lyric is truly sound against death but how do the interruptions feel when to persevere – the shimmy of life itself – only serves to hold up the wicked ceiling, the needles underfoot? Fuck extinction. Memory was always lossy. The desert is wherever we are. Find your friends in vernal places, ask each other ‘what familiar year is it / Another encore of the air.’ 

          — Dom Hale, editor of Mote and author of Time ZoneFirewall and Scammer

Now available for £2.00 digital download from the wonderful OrangeApple Press, edited by T. Person and Meredith Thompson.


(NEW BOOK) infra·structure

Pleased to announce this sky-blue baby, a collaboration with the wonderful Katy Lewis Hood, has been in the world a week now, and you can order from Broken Sleep Books, for a cool £6.50.

From the publishers:

infra·structure is a collaborative work shaped over a year of correspondence between Katy Lewis Hood and Maria Sledmere. The pamphlet was written following an Association of Literature and Environment (ASLE) conference on the Orkney islands, a wind battered archipelago north of the Scottish mainland. The poems respond to this distinct setting and share a dichotomous relationship where each ‘complete’ poem is mirrored by an ‘incomplete’ sister poem. Katy Lewis Hood and Maria Sledmere’s innovative dismantling of language echoes the destructive energy of the natural world. infra·structure is a highly original, must read pamphlet.

 

Cyclone

Cloud

Blue heart

 

New Poetry Publication: MOTE

Announcing a new ad-hoc, hyper lofi poetry publication << MOTE >> edited by myself, Dominic Hale and Ryan Edwards. The publication, editing & call for submissions was done over a single weekend, amidst the usual churn of shifts & drinking, and capitalises on the residues of institutional free print credits. It features poetry, prose and occasional images from lots of writers we love. I’m responsible for the monstrous artwork.

I have a limited number of copies available to give away for free (pickup in person), or we can probably send you the pdf. :))

Photographs by Denise Bonetti.

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