Spreken and Matt Chamberlain were fans of each other’s work. They got talking. They saw parallels. Each thought the other an economical poet; each participated fitfully in the Medway poetry scene; each displayed fluctuating motivation. They both also recognised that fluency in expressing sadness could easily become a form of poetic self-harm. A gear change was needed and the lit-art project, An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics, showed them the way.
They noted that this exhibition and live performance event, which anonymously pairs writers and visual artists, essentially forces collaboration upon the solitary. They appreciated the fresh perspectives created when an artist interprets a mystery writer’s words. They wondered about doing this the other way round, each writing based on an image supplied by the other. And if the images – offered with no explanation – were deliberately boring, random, unspecific or grim, and their interpreter’s only remit was to see something positive in them, this would be poetically exciting.
It was decided. This is how they would emerge from the corners they’d written themselves into. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or hope. Or mirth. It could be all sorts of things, but for the co-authors of this book, it has been a pleasure.
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Matt Chamberlain has published three poetry collections and has contributed writing to Confluence magazine, An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics (Wordsmithery), the Magnolia Review and Wandering Words. He has performed his work regularly at festivals, literary events, charity gigs and open mic nights in Kent and London. He is the 2017 Vicar’s Picnic Festival Laureate. Read an interview with Matt in WOWKent.
Spreken began writing during her teenage years, winning various competitions early on and gaining honorary membership to the Poetry Society at sixteen. After a long pause she began writing again in 2014 and has been making up for lost time ever since; writing, performing, and participating in local projects such as An Assemblence of Judicious Heretics and Medway’s “Paint the Town” festival.