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Listen: Brighton noise poetry recordings

March 2015

Listen to the entirety of the 15 December 2014 Hi Zero poetry night, described in Daniel Spicer's Brighton noise poetry feature in The Wire 374

Daniel Spicer describes the Hi Zero night: "Just before Christmas last year, 14 poets currently or very recently based in Brighton took part in a wildly exuberant poetry reading before a young and enthusiastic audience in Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, a crowded city centre venue. Poet after poet, myself included, seized the same low stage where The Ex had played just a few days earlier, to deliver readings that were passionate, hilarious, heartbreaking and deranged. Ostensibly, the evening was a celebration of the 30th reading event in a monthly series called Hi Zero, inaugurated by the poet Joe Luna in February 2011 as a platform for what he characterises as “the small press, experimental, avant garde and performance ends of the spectrum”. As the energy and intoxication in the room grew ever more palpable, it became clear that something of lasting significance was emerging."

Read about the Hi Zero poets below:

Eleanor Careless is a writer, translator and PhD student. She also runs the Contrapposto reading series in London.

Justin Sealey is co-founder of the Sussex Guild of Poetry. His work has featured in various student publications and most recently in the "Revolution" edition of Black & Blue magazine.

Rosy Carrick lives in Hove with her daughter Olive. She is currently writing a PhD on Vladimir Mayakovsky at the University of Sussex, and also runs Hammer and Tongue, Brighton’s biggest and best monthly Patrick Swayze-themed poetry night.

Karl M V Waugh tells computers what to do/enjoys doctoring numbers/drones/is traceable all over the web/and poems {online\\in-print\\entoned}.

Joe Luna lives in Brighton where he runs the Hi Zero reading series and edits Hi Zero magazine. His recent collections of poetry include Astroturf & Other Poems (Hi Zero, 2013), Ten Zones (Hi Zero, 2014) and The Future (Iodine, 2014).

Nat Raha was once from Shoreham-by-Sea (although has not yet returned there) and is now from the People’s Republic of South London (not yet existing). Her books include Countersonnets (Contraband, 2013), Octet (Veer, 2010) and pamphlets Radio/threat (Sociopathetic Distro., 2014).

Lisa Jayne is a poet and artist performing solo and with the group Map 71, who have an album and 7'' single released by Foolproof Projects. Lisa hosts the Scola improv sessions and has been published by Iodine Press in the UK and Vagabondage Press in the US. She has also self-published three booklets of her work – Dead Things, The City and 1980s Essex Teenage Girl. Lisa performs her poetry as often as she can get away with it, giving an impromptu guerrilla performance at Fort Process and appearing at the Supernormal Festival two years running. Lisa Jayne sees ghosts, condones nudity and is politically opposed to cupcakes.

Tom Allen is currently a PhD student at the University of Sussex. Over the last two years he has published poetry and other things with Materials, Hi Zero, Mute Magazine, Steamer and Veer Press. He lives in South London and plans to publish more.

Keston Sutherland is the author of The Odes To TL61P (Enitharmon, 2013) and many other books of poetry.

Dolly Turing is an occasional writer, all together flowing chaos musician, sporadic transformer, reality interloper, excellent home cook, all night dancing vigilante, the flight of ducks. Although she has always found herself here in one way or another, she thinks this is the first time she has been actually booked to read poetry since she was 17. Sporadic to say the least. It doesn’t have to make sense. She is excited about this reading.

Timothy Thornton is a pianist, composer, and poet. He has published three or four poem sequences and used to co-edit Grasp Press. His most recent writing was for a David Hoyle show in London. The poem "Working Together For A Safer London" is forthcoming from Barque Press. He is currently working on They Heavily Vanish, a sea-masque in one act for singers and small ensemble, using text from The Tempest. His favourite night is probably bonfire night.

Verity Spott is a poet and musician. Verity runs Iodine Press and Horseplay. Verity’s books include Gideon, Balconette and Effort To No.

Alan Hay is a Brighton based poet. He has read at X-ing The Line, Horseplay, Hi Zero and other nights. His poems have appeared in Summer Stock, Blart, Freaklung, Angel Exhaust and elsewhere. He is online at Archive Of The Now and All My Friends At Once.

Daniel Spicer is a writer, broadcaster, poet and improviser based in Brighton. He is a member of the chaotic electro-acoustic ensemble, Bolide, the free-jazz unit, West Hill Blast Quartet, and the trio, In Threads, and also performs solo works of sound poetry, spoken word and improvisation. He presents a weekly radio show, The Mystery Lesson, on Brighton's Radio Reverb 97.2FM, playing new releases in avant-garde improvised music, and is an occasional contributor to BBC Radio 3's Jazz On 3 programme. He writes about music for The Wire and Jazzwise magazines and is currently working on books about Peter Brötzmann and Turkish psychedelic music. He has self-published two booklets of poetry, Osshole Accidents in 2012, and Notes For Colour in 2015.

The next Hi Zero takes place at Brighton’s Hope And Ruin on 24 March and then another on 29 April


Interesting feature, would be great to hear them in person.

A shame it couldn't last as such, the associated Cafe Oto gig has a bunch of coat-tailing musicians where I'd expect to see Joe Luna, Nat Raha, et al. Where are they?

Has the poetry been drowned out already?

And the Wire writer has the biggest bio. Is there no editor(ego-checking) done for the website?


thanks for raising these concerns.

unfortunately, joe luna declined the invitation to read at cafe oto. the poets who are performing at the gig - verity spott, karl mv waugh, keston sutherland, alan hay, lisa jayne and myself - are all currently brighton-based, unlike nat raha, who resides in london.

rather than 'tail-coating' musicians, the musical content of the evening will represent artists mentioned in the article, and is crucial to the thrust of the piece - examining the way improvisation and poetry are working together in brighton right now.

i hope you'll come to the event and see for yourself.

you're right about the bios, though. mine is embarrassingly long. it's just my standard blurb that i chuck at any request for info. i should have liked to see it reduced in line with the others. ah well, can't get everything right.


Here's a recording of the THF Drenching & Keston Sutherland set from the gig at Café Oto:

Enjoy / stamp out / caramelize / prune

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