Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Poetry: Tim Allen at Uncut Poets, Exeter Phoenix - Thursday January 28th 2010

Tim Allen is guest poet at Exeter's Uncut Poets at the Phoenix Arts Centre this month on Thursday January 28th at 7.30pm in the Black Box - £5 (£3 concessions and readers).

Uncut Poets is presented by Tony Frazer, editor of Shearsman Books, and James Bell, published by tall-lighthouse. In an evening of two halves, sets from the guest are preceded by five open mike slots - to book call James on 07879 888319.

Tim Allen is a poetry activist and provocateur. Founder of the much-missed poetry magazine Terrible Work, Spineless Press and Plymouth's The Language Club he has been a catalyst in the south-west's poetry scene for many years and many local writers owe a great deal to his challenge and support, his friendship and enmity. He is a critic in the truest sense - he has opinions, expresses them and justifies them by example and by argument. He may not have written more reviews than anyone alive, but he has written more than any man I know, and when you read what he has to say, you know his motive has integrity, is not a means to some other end.

He takes sides, and that is because poetry matters to him. I disagree with him as much as I agree with him - more often, probably - but that is why he is worth reading, should be listened to. His analysis of the contemporary poetry scene is informed and thought through. He is acute on the dynamics of poetry publishing, and engages with movements in literature as others might with political ideologies. Indeed, to him, writing is an expression of personal politics; aesthetics has an ethical dimension.

This comes through in his own writing, and he cherishes negative reaction as much as he enjoys positive response. His performances don't compromise or shape themselves to the tastes of his audience and this is exciting - you confront and are confronted by another mind at work, electricity surging through its own circuits, as likely to trip you out as light up a bulb inside. He is also smaller than me, which is reassuring - if he outwits me, I know I can always lamp him one.

To learn more about Tim and his work try the following links:

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