February 25th 11.00 am – 4.30 pm Allen Fisher delivers the next Glasfryn Seminar, on The Aesthetics of the Imperfect Fit.

Three seminars with an integrated preamble.

1: Perception and Truth.

Ideal forms, derived from approximations or summaries of experience of the natural world,

provide patterns of connectedness. examples lead into such inventions as the Golden Mean and Fibonacci series. this becomes a discussion about the relationship between perception and truth, ideas of order and parrhesia.

2: Damage and Disruption.

Cultural inheritance and proprioceptive comprehensions provide a second range of patterns of connectedness. examples from the use of diagonals and margins, set against open field poetics, lead into discussions about damage and disruption, ideas of rhetoric and effectivity.

3: Transformation and Vulnerability.

Projecting and planning for future work, with invented orders, rules and sequences, provide the structures and encourage the vulnerabilities, through which facture can be performed and work transformed.

Allen Fisher: Preamble  for the Glasfryn Seminars

My work has been factured as a response to the living conditions – as memory and research as well as the immediate experience of the situation. I use a structural basis with a planned criteria for selection of materials and plan for when and where materials are applied. The work is both rhetorical and parrhesical; in the first place because it uses language, in the second place because the multiplicity of truth is part of my poetic insistence. All of this leads to a set of questions and positions, which, out of necessity, do not cohere.

At the completion of a project, it has been my practice to evaluate what has been done, with a view to not dare do it again – as far as it is possible to not repeat myself. In 1981 I had finished a ten year project named PLACE, a project named Blood Bone Brain and a number of poetry projects different from these extensive works. In 1982 I set out through test and experiment, through evaluation of what had been achieved and the facture of new shorter work, to plan and prepare for the next projects. One of those became a twenty-four year process under the title Gravity as a consequence of shape, which I completed in 2005. I am still in the throes of writing and planning a new project. The method used for part of this new evaluation has been to give a set of three talks – using the oratorial tradition of Cicero and the subsequent ideas of the theatre of memory that I had developed as an art historian, through the use of carefully prepared slide shows.

I gave those talks at SUNY Buffalo, in 2006; subsequently in Cheshire, London and Manchester, and more recently in Cambridge, England and at Miami, Ohio. The talks were preceded in 1999 by a brief note for the journal Boundary 2, titled, ‘The Poetics of the Complexity Manifold’,1 the new talks were titled The Complexity Manifold 2 and examples of these talks are now online.2

The three talks covered a range of subjects which I won’t rehearse here, but the talks were followed in May 2011 by a gathering of participants from the talks around a table–assembled to discuss some of the questions the talks had raised. A synopsis of this public conversation (there were 16 interlocutors, all poets) allowed for a focus on clusters of important issues that can be summarised and I have grouped the issues into clusters and have denoted these with key words. Three of these clusters are informing the Glasfryn seminars, they are perception and truth; damage and disruption; transformation and vulnerability.

1 Published by Duke University Press.

2 Examples of the talks are now available as video online at University of London Birkbeck and the notes and extensions for the talks are on the events section of my web page at

Allen Fisher is a poet, artist, publisher and art historian, lives in Hereford. first published in 1968. Publisher of Edible Magazine and Spanner and co-publisher Aloes Books. Worked in performance and installations from 1971. Exhibited in many shows from Fluxus Britannica Tate Britain to Lifting from Fear, King’s Gallery York. Examples of his work are in the Tate Collection, the Living Museum, Iceland and various private collections. His long poetry sequence 1982-2005, Gravity as a consequence of shape, was published in 3 volumes as Gravity, Entanglement and Leans; other recent books were Proposals: poem-image-commentary 2010; Birds, poems 2009; Confidence in lack, essays 2007; Singularity Stereo, poems 2006, and the collected poetry of Place 2005, from the 1970s; his recent tour of work has been under the banner Complexity Manifold in Buffalo, Albany, Ohio, New York, London and Cambridge. check out:

The seminar takes place at Glasfryn, Llangattock, Crickhowell, Powys, NP8 1PH

Cost £10 (Concessions £8)

A simple lunch is included in the cost.




Glasfryn Project

+44(0)1873 810456 | LYN@GLASFRYNPROJECT.ORG.UK