Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire
“The toner explodes on the office carpet spilling out a perfectly formed oeuvre. Serifs skywrite like migrating gannets. The rorschach accidentally tells you what to think. The dollar sign is a duck walking backwards into a lake. Aletta Ocean’s Alphabet Empire is an almighty triumph, a well-earned relief.”
- Chris McCabe
Five years in the making, a new collection of over 50 new pansemic, asemic, ink poems, water poems, grid poems, abstract letters and word portraits. All in monochrome, the collection is closed with an essay, available to read soon, on The Learned Pig.
This is a book about technology and its absence, about materiality and the body, and hands, that are required for touch. A book about sex, eroticism, pornography, violence. A book that asks, abstractly, are letters shaped like bodies? Are letters like faces, captured in a screen?
The poems are hand wrought in black, grey, silver and white, fashioned with indian ink, paint and pen, worked with techniques edging around writing, vying with abstraction, watercolour and constantly harrying both semantic meaning with messed letters and word composition with busy pages.
Steven J Fowler is a writer and artist. He has published multiple collections of poetry and been commissioned by Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, Tate Britain, the London Sinfonietta, Wellcome Collection and Liverpool Biennial. He has been longlisted for the Forward Prize and been sent to Peru, Bangladesh, Iraq, Argentina, Georgia and other destinations by the British Council. He has read at festivals including Hay on Wye, Cervantino in Mexico, Berlin Literature Festival and Hay Xalapa. He was nominated for the White Review prize for Fiction in 2014 and has won awards from Arts Council England, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Ireland and multiple other funding bodies. His plays have been produced at Rich Mix, where he is associate artist, and his visual art has been exhibited at the V&A, Hardy Tree Gallery and Mile End Art Pavilion. He’s been translated into 22 languages and produced collaborations with over 90 artists. He is the founder and curator of The Enemies Project, editor at 3am magazine, lecturer in creative writing at Kingston University, teaches at Tate Modern and is the director of Writers’ Centre Kingston. You can read lots more on his website here.