…where once was a meadow…

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Photographs: © Maria Stadnicka, Stonehouse, 2019

The SHIFT Project / 12th – 16th Oct / St. Laurence Church

 

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The SHIFT Project started with an art installation created by the young Tasmanian artist Robin Watkins-Davies. It developed in a set of events taking place 12th-16th Oct 2019 at St. Laurence Church, Stroud, which bring together contemporary art, music, dance, exhibitions, workshops, presentations, poetry. It supports young people’s mental health, bringing awareness of the artistic potential of our movement. Further details about SHIFT and the oncoming events here.

Maria Stadnicka, October 2019

Shearsman issue 121 / 122

 

Shearsman Magazine, Issue 121 / 122 edited by Tony Frazer.

 

It includes poetry by: Clark Allison, Miranda Lynn Barnes, Andrew Duncan, Adam Flint, Jeri Onitskansky, Paul Rossiter, John Seed, Andrew Taylor, Rushika Wick, Annemarie Austin, Alison Brackenbury, Chris Emery, Mark Goodwin, Alasdair Paterson, Alexandra Sashe, Robert Sheppard, James Turner, Benjamin Balint, Rachel Clyne, Gerry Fellows, Lucy Hamilton, John Philips, Kate Schmitt, Maria Stadnicka, Rimas Uzgiris, Tamar Yoseloff. Plus translations of Greta Ambrazaite by Rimas Uzgiris and Toon Tellegen by Judith Wilkinson.

The SHIFT Project: Art Transforms / 12th-18th October 2019

 

It started with one drawing, followed by an art installation, then an art exhibition.

Created by the young artist Robin Watkins-Davis, The SHIFT Project: Art Transforms is now setting the scene for outreach projects, participatory workshops based on contemporary art, well-being, music, dance and poetry.

The project is focused on creating community collaborations, bringing together art and movement, to support well-being and to improve mental health.

The SHIFT Project takes place 12-18th October 2019 | St Laurence Church, Stroud, GL5 1AP. The full programme is available here. Click here to find out more about it, to support the students, artists and to get involved.

I am delighted to support The SHIFT Project: Art Transforms. My performance inspired by the SHIFT art installation will take place on Sunday, 13thOctober at 5.30pm, at St Laurence Church. It includes texts from latest collection SOMNIA, published by The Knives Forks Spoons Press.

The SHIFT Project: Art Transforms brings together 17 local organisations and charities and 37 artists. You can make a difference and support the project here. Thank you and look forward to seeing you @SHIFT.

The SHIFT Project is also supported by: SGS College, Create Gloucestershire, Strike a Light, VRC Publishing and Curating, CORE Lighting, Barnwood Trust, Diocese of Gloucester, Stroud Sacred Music Festival, Arts Award, School of Larks, ACP, Stroud Visual Arts (SVA), Bliss by Robin, Stroud Yoga Space, Look Again, Fair Shares, Gloucester Gateway Trust & All Pulling Together.

Maria Stadnicka, 2019

Somnia is out now.

Somnia is published by Knives, Forks and Knives Press, 76 pages, £10. Editor: Alec Newman, cover image, collage: © Mark Mawer, 2019.

If Cain and Abel played the piano, Somnia would have been a piece written for them. Following the four movements of Schubert’s Fantasia in F MinorSomnia explores the hidden connections between a group of people who witness a crime as they come out of a cinema.  Reading their testimony, it becomes increasingly apparent that the murderer is bigger than all of them. Bigger than all of us put together. 

 

‘One of the best books of poetry I’ve read this year is Maria Stadnicka’s extraordinarily vivid collection, Somnia.’ (Ian Seed, writer and academic, author of New York Hotel, a TSL Book of the Year)

‘First and foremost, this is a wonderful collection: every poem is an evocative and moving vignette of personal/persona observation at its most poignant as well as uncertain. As readers we cross over surprises to arrive at others – the spaces between are landscapes of everywhere we have and haven’t been, transient like some memories, and as fixed as recurring dreams. […]

As an entity – the poems so often reveal their menace in pervasive rather than direct ways. They work in partnership by a different kind of sharing: obviously, the poetic which is the richly imaginative connections across and within the poems [the superb impact of all], and then there are the forces beyond individual control where our lives are determined by a common dissembling of what we thought was free-will and personal, decisive experience – and this is what we consistently read in them.

Somnia is consistently alluring and enigmatic in its poetic voice. What compels isn’t just the draw into many mysteries, but also Stadnicka’s calm creativity in conveying, for example, the horrors and/or abstractions of these – her poetic voice completely comfortable in its suggestiveness: inventive, provoking, highly visual.’ (Mike Ferguson, International Times, September 2019)

A chisel, a hammer, a lyre; reportage, intimate feelings, quips and criticisms. Maria Stadnicka’s poems are clusters of consciousness, graphic, material images of our world. Her language assaults, bends, cajoles, thrusts a saber into the darkness of the very language she employs to explore death, degradation, the non-recognition of the human individual, war, urban violence, in short, the all-too-present context of our daily lives. […] What concerns Maria Stadnicka? She is speaking about the discontinuity of personal space and the intrusion of economic and political forces in an individual’s life that leads to fragmentation and, ultimately, to the dissolution of one’s reality. The chance for the existence of a future or even the future is removed. Literature becomes the communication and solidarity that permit the step towards wholeness. In Stadnicka’s poems social, personal, and literary landscapes are fused and at times must be forcibly dislocated, both repositioned and torn apart, so that one can continue. The poems create a sense of urgency and mystery. The only escape from the imposed absolute of non-being is resolution to go forward irrationally free.’ (Andrea Morehead, about The Unmoving)

Somnia is available here: Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.

‘Somnia’ is out now.

If Cain and Abel played the piano, Somnia would have been a piece written for them. Following the four movements of Schubert’s Fantasia in F Minor, Somnia explores the hidden connections between a group of people who witness a crime as they come out of a cinema. Reading their testimony, it becomes increasingly apparent that the murderer is bigger than all of them. Bigger than all of us put together.

 

 

Published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, Merseyside, UK.

Edited by Alec Newman.

Cover photo, collage created by Mark Mawer.

SOMNIA is available at Knives, Forks and Spoons Press and pre-order at Amazon.

There are so so many people I thank for this. I am grateful for all the support to: Alan Baker, Ionut Boghian, Lesley Burt, Rosie Byrd, David Caddy, Carlie Chabot, Tom Costello, Tom Dwight, Anna Gosson, Beatrice Hitchman, Adam Horovitz, Peter J. King, Jack Little, Morag Kiziewicz, Mark Mawer, Katie McCue, Hugh McMillan, Andrea Morehead, Adelaide Morris, Andrew Morrison, Alec Newman, Stuart Paterson, Hayley Porri, Jay Ramsay, Philip Rush, Hayley Saunders, Aidan Semmens, Steve Spence, John Stadnicki, Natalina Stadnicki, Rick Vick, Samuel de Weer, Jen Whiskerd, Jane Woodend and Neil Young.

Warmest gratitude for the invaluable editorial suggestions and belief in my work to Rupert Loydell, as well as Angela France and Nigel McLoughlin.

Maria Stadnicka, 2019.

Kafka

© John Stadnicki, 2019.

The other day, during an afternoon nap,
a tramp came to my door with a letter
for the man in apartment three, ground floor.

The knock made me jump, then I thought
I could give out some change in return,
but the beggar refused; he was holding
a bunch of keys and left saying ‘till tomorrow.’

When I opened the envelope, lying flat
in my bunk, a pair of handcuffs and
steel neck chains dropped on my chest.

© Maria Stadnicka, 2019

Poem published in Osiris, U.S., Vol. 88, July 2019.