On Thursday I was at the Art of Wiring Pamphlet party at the Electricity Showrooms in Hoxton Square, now done out on the ground floor as a traditional pub. Downstairs, though, where the party was held, there's a kind of eighties-style disco bar complete with lit-up dance floor and mirrored ceiling, an aptly glowing and exciting ambience (though the price of the drinks was enough to send the heart into erratic circuitry). And I did find the whole event exciting, electric indeed with the sense of alternative possibilities. The pamphlet's publisher, the wonderful poet Christopher Reid, who compered, introduced the event by explaining that when he worked as Faber's poetry editor he always felt frustrated by the way that, in an established publishing house, the book as an object ends up being taken out of the editor's hands and into those of copyeditors and designers etc, and he had established his own imprint, Ondt and Gracehoper, in order to be involved in production right the way through. And The Art of Wiring is a lovely pamphlet, beautifully typeset. The striking cover photo of exposed socket wires was by taken contributing poet Simon Barraclough. And it's well named. The poetry here from six poets - Simon, Isobel Dixon, Luke Heeley, Liane Strauss, Roisin Tierney and Chrispher Reid himself - is live with wit and incisiveness.
Here are the poets, in the order in which they read: Luke Heeley, Isobel Dixon, Roisin Tierney, Christopher Reid, Simon Barraclough and Liane Straus):