this work im doin i dont kno what it is

Philip Davenport, who guest-edited the recent issue of Ekleksographia dedicated to the inspiration of William Blake and entitled the Naked Tea Party, has been in touch to draw attention to another event with which he is currently involved.

“this work im doin i dont kno what it is” is a series of poems for the eye, combining visual objects with text and exhibited and hidden at the Henry Moore Institute Library. It will run from April 27 to June 7 and, in addition, Philip will be reader in residence on May 5.

“Heart-shape pornography” uses pornography as a found object to create a poem from a cross-section in fruit, while “Spreadsheets of Light” poems are written into spreadsheets which present moral dilemmas such as war crimes, celebrity or simple shopping as a tangled series of accountancy questions. These poems in turn are accompanied by eggshells in which fragments of the poems are written, emphasising the dual visual/literal nature of such objects.

Philip offers the following explanation of his work: “For the last decade I’ve made poems by collecting the words surrounding me and cutting them up to create poems. Journalism, porn, missing person notices, advertising, misheard conversations… I like being freed from using my own vocabulary to describe the world. I often work off the page, putting poems onto objects to complement ideas held in language. More recently, I find my own words, thoughts, self reappearing in the work. Many of these new pieces are about moral dilemmas, written as spreadsheets balancing up violence/love, fame/anonymity, and so on. I am struck by how often we try to explain the world using numbers, so that statistics have an authority they don’t really own. Here, I am totting up words as if they are numbers, trying to use the form of the spreadsheet to shape a poem.”

You can find more details of “this work im doin i dont kno what it is” at the Henry Moore Library web site.

The Naked Tea Party

The latest edition of the poetry and writing journal Ekleksographia ( is a guest issue edited by Philip Davenport and entitled “William Blake and the Naked Tea Party”. The special edition, which went online with a live writing event by Sarah Sanders on 15 March, concentrates on the haptic nature of writing (especially handwriting), and the handmade nature of certain modes of communicating. As such, in the words of the editor, it owes a debt to outsider art and alternative traditions of poetics with “an IOU all the way back to Will Blake, he and the Mrs sitting on the lawn in London afternoons, naked, drinking tea”.

Contributions include essays by Kirstie Gregory, Holly Pester, Maggie O’Sullivan and Bob Cobbing, as well as examples of such handmade poetics by Sean Bonney, Tony Lopez, Geraldine Monk and David Tibet.

Philip Davenport also runs Applepie Editions, a “lab” for art objects, music, prints and books, and Davenport specialises in poems made from daily situations such as journalism, porn, txt messages and overheard voices. You can visit William Blake and the Naked Tea Party at