Our Creative Salon offers a relaxing and stimulating forum with emphasis on creativity, connecting and sharing. It is run jointly with Apples and Snakes.
Who is the salon for? for all who work in, support, or are interested in, poetry and spoken word whether you are a writer, artist, practitioner, producer, organisation, small business owner, promoter, agency, or a newly created role. In true salon style it is cosmopolitan, and all are welcome.
What does it feature? conversation, ideas, tips, skills swaps, sharing of short tasters of performance and works-in-progress, short presentations by movers and shakers in the arts sector
We'll be announcing the date of the next salon in the coming weeks, do subscribe at the renaissance one website if you'd like to be kept informed.
In 2012 we interviewed Creative Salon presenter Bea Colley to find out what she'd be talking about at the April 2012 Creative Salon, and to gain an insight into her interests.
Bea has worked her way around the UK’s poetry and literature circuit, from Durham Book Festival in the North East, to working on a city-wide read and setting up Heartbeats, a spoken word night in Liverpool, to working at the Poetry Society in London. She now works as Participation Producer for literature and Spoken Word at Southbank Centre.
What 3 words would you say best describe you?
Impulsive, passionate, thoughtful
You're going to be a presenter at our Creative Salon, what are you doing to do at the event?
I’m really excited about being invited to participate in the Salon and to be in such a creative environment. Connecting and communicating with other arts professionals, artists and individuals hoping to gain ideas about working in the sector is a brilliant way of forging links and creating new ideas.
What's an important piece of insider knowledge you have as a producer?
That getting to know lots of different people in your sector, going to see as much work as possible by artists, supporting fellow producers’ work is really important for your own career. Staying in touch means that you have a network of artists and creative producers to inspire and support you.
What are you most passionate about achieving?
I feel most passionate about projects when they are participant led, whether that is a group of older people directing the interpretation of their stories by younger people, or a participant group creating a major installation at a festival.
What is your greatest professional achievement to date?
I think that becoming part of a literature sector that connects professionals all over the UK as well as internationally is a really important achievement for me. I am working on a summer project involving aeronautical poetry so if that all comes off, it’ll be a pretty big achievement!
What creative masterpiece do you wish you had written and why?
Every time I read a poem that stops me in my tracks, I wish I had written it. Poems like Jo Shapcott’s ‘The Deaths’, many of Vicki Feaver and Paul Farley’s poems too.
What's your experience been of making inroads in the arts sector?
I think that once you have begun to make contacts, as long as you are prepared to work to grow these relationships and to be alert to opportunities – internships and vacancies, as well as forming your own collectives and networks, making your way into the arts and literature sectors needn’t be daunting.
Tell us about a 2012 project that has excited you
Poetry Parnassus is an international poetry festival at Southbank Centre where we are inviting a poet from each of the 204 competing Olympic countries to come together in celebration at the end of June 2012. We’re going to have up and coming poets buddying the poets as well as young producers working to create some fantastic events.
In terms of other organisations, The Globe’s Globe to Globe project is really intriguing with 37 international theatre companies presenting each of Shakespeare's plays in a different language.
In 2012, we caught up with poet and creator/owner of flipped-eye publishing, Nii Parkes, to get his views on the importance of independent publishing, his motivations for opening an independent press and his experiences as both a poet and publisher.
What 3 words best describe you as a publisher?
Nurturing, pragmatic, bold.
How would you sum up the ethos and approach of Flipped Eye?
We believe literature should be affordable so we price low and operate on a not-for-profit basis. We believe all that is written was first spoken so we acknowledge the value of oral influences in our editorial approach. We are dedicated to publishing work that is clear and true rather than exhibitionist.
Why did you decide to start publishing independently?
In the simplest terms, I just couldn't see enough of the kind of work I enjoy reading out in the market and I had some time on my hands. When I considered it more carefully I became convinced that there was a class-related blindness within the UK editorial/publishing world that was preventing certain kinds of work from being recognised and published - unless they reinforced long-held working-class/gender/race clichés.
What are your particular interests within publishing?
I'm a lover of language and its evolutions and transformations. I love to see language stretch itself on a page. That's why we publish primarily poetry. I'm interested in hybridity and the work it creates.
What can independent publishers, such as Flipped Eye, offer emerging writers that other types of publishers aren't able to?
We are still free to look at their work primarily as art rather than product, so we are more patient. That's why small presses are so essential; without smaller presses publishing would be way too cautious.
As well as running Flipped Eye, you also write yourself. Do your experiences as a writer inform your role as a publisher?
I think it's the other way round. My work as a publisher has helped me in my own journey as a writer - understanding the process, the politics, how much time things can take. I guess my being a writer has influenced the kinds of contracts we have with our authors; I understand the struggles, the need for a model that allows them to earn something sooner rather than never.
What advice would you give to someone submitting their work to a publisher for the first time?
Make sure it's the best it can be - not just the work, but the entire package - you're better off having had at least something published with a magazine first, or a good series of live appearances under your belt. It's not a lottery; if you don't give your work a chance it won't stand a chance.
Is there any creative masterpiece you wish you’d published OR if you could publish anyone who would it be?
Drown by Junot Diaz. I love the stories, the language in the book, and the language politics inherent in its publication in the form it is published.
Are there any upcoming Flipped Eye projects that we should be looking out for?
Oh, the mouthmark book of poetry, which will come out later this year will be huge. It's a collection of the pamphlets released under the mouthmark series (a groundbreaking series in UK pamphlet publishing) in hardback. I get chills just thinking about it.
Visit the Flipped Eye website here