Eric Mottram Remembered: poet, professor and cultural firebrand

Eric Mottram by Pierre Joris, early eighties, 19 Deal Road, Tooting, London.

We are pleased to present the following conference, alongside an exhibition of manuscripts, books and digital material relating to Eric Mottram. Sponsored by the Archives Department at King’s College London.

Date: Monday 23 April 2018 Duration: 10.00 to 17.30 

Location: Council Room, 2nd floor, Strand Building, King’s College London, WC2R 2LS

Master of Ceremonies: Clive Bush


This event will be filmed by Colin Still from Optic Nerve ( Please complete the attached consent form and present it to a member of staff. 

10:00 Arrivals and refreshments
10:30 Welcome by Geoff Browell, followed by an introduction to the Mottram papers by Valerie Soar, including her recent work ‘Eric, the man and his archive’
11:15 Allen Fisher on ‘The Ethical and Marvellous:  Eric  Mottram and Visual Art.
12:00 Dale Carter on ‘From State to Doer:   Eric Mottram and Politics’
12:45 Lunch (sandwiches and refreshments provided) with a chance to see material from the Eric Mottram archive collection.
14:15 Juha Virtanen on ‘The legacy of the British Poetry Revival and the Materiality of Archives’
14:55 Panel discussion: the legacy of Eric Mottram. Led by Ken Edwards, Peter Middleton, Gavin Selerie, Robert Hampson, Peter Barry, and Mike Hrebeniak (tbc).  Chaired by Clive Bush.
15:45 Questions from the audience.
16:00 Break with refreshments
16:15 Audio recording by John Whiting on ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi meets Admiral Ackbar: Eric Mottram talks with Erik Bauersfeld at October Sound’
16:50 Pierre Joris on ‘A Transatlantic Turbine: Eric Mottram in the world today’
17:30 Close

This event will be filmed by Colin Still from Optic Nerve ( Please complete the attached consent form and present it to a member of staff. 

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1 Response

  1. Dick Russell says:

    Thanks Pierre for the post. A pity that I cannot attend. Perhaps I’ll get to see the movie.

    Just for the record, I published the poem below in 2015. I also referenced Eric in Raga For Tony Selina.


    On Reading Robert Duncan

    for Eric Mottram

    He spoke of you
    in that time when water
    was a mile down hill
    across ditches through fields
    from the shrine

    your name’s two feet
    so hard to decline now that
    nouns not often decline

    from a glistening slate roof
    in sunlight after rain
    a gutter dripped water
    one drip
    quickly two more
    before one dripped again

    repeating in sequence
    one drip two more
    before one dripped again
    in metrical sequence
    sounds of separation
    twelve feet between negation
    between two sounds
    drip splash
    no sound of separation
    no sound of door being locked
    nails being tapped

    no white sound just starched aprons
    no sight of nurses just visions in blue
    sitting at a bedside
    waiting to administrate

    no sound to measure
    distance between things
    pipe and rock
    twelve feet between

    in that temple made
    by six rows of two columns
    twelve feet high twelve feet deep
    enclosing five conjugations
    some voices, some moods
    and in the center of that shrine
    sitting beside two smaller columns
    First Second and Third
    High, Just-As-High, Third
    three gods of first person three gods of second

    sound waves spoking out

    Robert Duncan said that:
    Ezra Pound said:

    “the study of literature is hero-worship”

    Dick Russell
    copyright © 2015

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