Friday 8 December 2023, 7pm
the87press and Cafe OTO are pleased to announce the launch of an event series entitled: Mushaira. Each evening will embrace the fusion of music, poetry, and performance. Hailing from 17th Century South Asia, Mushairas were spaces where poetry was made, performed, and listened to. They continue today in a multitude of forms. the87press first held their first Mushaira at the ICA in March 2022 and our mutual decision to re-launch that initiative at OTO has come through the continued support our collaboration has received from our wonderful community.
This event will launch Sophie Seita's Lessons of Decal, a series of performances that became lyric essays, and Jo Coward's debut novel Run-Out Groove, a coming of age narrative about music, London, and the dangers of success. Additionally, David Grundy will launch his brilliant collection of poetry, A True Account, as he sadly had to miss our October event due to illness. A True Account is collected seven years of Grundy's poetry into a handsome volume of aesthetic resistance to the bleakness of our contemporary. Grundy's work inherits from Sean Bonney as he inherits from the Black Radical Tradition.
Following our three book launches, Nomakhwezi Becker's fusion of song and lyric will begin our showcase of emergent and established poetry in the UK which focuses on our solidarity with the Global South, the Climate, and our consideration of heritage. We are excited to welcome award winning poets Anthony V. Capildeo and Anthony Joseph for their first 87press readings.
Each poet/performer will read for 15-20 minutes.
Jwarn, our resident DJ, will craft a soundscape that befits your company, turning phrases out of synchronic snares or ensnaring us in a continuum for sociality.
A special guest DJ will close the night.
David Grundy is a poet and scholar based in London. He is the author of Present Continuous (Pamenar Press), and A Black Arts Poetry Machine: Amiri Baraka and the Umbra Poets (Bloomsbury Academic) and co-editor, with Lauri Scheyer, of Selected Poems of Calvin C. Hernton (Wesleyan University Press). He co-runs the small press MATERIALS/MATERIALIEN.
Sophie Seita is an artist and researcher whose work swims in the muddy waters of language, and explores materiality, gesture, and the speculative potential of the archive. She regularly performs and shows work across multiple media, publishes books, makes textiles and graphic scores, leads experimental workshops around voice, touch, translation, and queer performance, and is a Lecturer in the Art Department at Goldsmiths. Recent and current projects include: an exhibition at Mimosa House, performances and events at Nottingham Contemporary, Matt’s Gallery, Café Oto, the Royal College of Art, Independent Dance, Index (Stockholm), UP Projects, Forma HQ/Presse Books, and community engagement projects at Grand Union (Birmingham), Creative Darlington, Curious Arts (Newcastle), and Ruta del Castor (Mexico City). She’s received grants and awards from Arts Council England, the Canada Council, British Council, DAAD, Creative Scotland, amongst others. She’s recently been an artist in residence at Britten Pears Arts, Freie Universität Berlin, and Brown University, and currently holds the 2023/2024 Werner Düttmann Fellowship at the Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts), Berlin. www.sophieseita.com
Joseph Coward is a writer from London
Anthony Joseph FRSL is an award winning Trinidad-born poet, novelist, academic and musician. He is the author of five poetry collections and three novels. His 2018 novel Kitch: A Fictional Biography of a Calypso Icon was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award, and long listed for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. His most recent publication is the experimental novel The Frequency of Magic. In 2019, he was awarded a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. As a musician, he has released eight critically acclaimed albums, and in 2020 received a Paul Hamblyn Foundation Composers Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Kings College, London. His 2022 collection Sonnets for Albert won the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2022 and the OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Poetry.
Anthony V. Capildeo FRSL is Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of York. Their site-specific word and visual arts includes responses to Cornwall’s former capital, Launceston, as the Causley Trust Poet in Residence (2022) and to the Ubatuba granite of the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds (2023), as well as to Scottish, Irish, and Caribbean built and natural environments. Recent publications include Like a Tree, Walking (Carcanet, 2021) (Poetry Book Society Choice) and A Happiness (Intergraphia, 2022). Polkadot Wounds (Carcanet, forthcoming 2024) looks at bodies, queerness, travel, and environments, with the title poem inspired by the martyr St Cuthbert Mayne. Their interests include collaborative work, and traditional masquerade. Capildeo served as a judge for the Jhalak Prize (2023).
Nomakhwezi Becker is a South African – German interdisciplinary artist, creating through theatre and poetry performance, the written word, storytelling, and film. Her practice listens and responds to the call of collaborative finding, reclaiming and creating home in the in-between spaces as a woman raised by multiple homes, heritages and languages.
Having taken her first steps on stage, she likes to believe it was a sign that this would be her home. Trained as a theater actress, she has since expanded to film acting and as a playwright. She was awarded an Ovation Fringe-Award at NAF 2019 for a collaborative theatre piece alongside Nomcebisi Moyikwa, When Coasts Meet and was nominated at the Simon Sabela Film & Television Awards 2020 for Best Newcomer Actress. Becker’s poetry has led her to local and international platforms such as Poetry Africa, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), Funda Fest (Rhode Island), Quay Words (UK) and MODHAFEST 2020. She is currently completing her MA in Performance Making at Goldsmiths University of London.
Bringing chaos, sensuality and ecstatic motion to her productions and selections, Manuka Honey circles club music’s most compelling fringes. In just a few short years, she’s cultivated an idiosyncratic sound that’s shuttled her from continent to continent, assembling a tight catalog of EPs, remixes and singles that harness the energy of Latin-American and Caribbean dance sounds, infusing it into radical new structures. A DJ, producer, multi-disciplinary artist and professional astrologer, Marissa Malik was born and raised in the US before she relocated to London, bringing her hot, humid aura to rainy England. She’s animated by the complex alchemy of the dancefloor, and as likely to reference experimental sounds as she is cumbia or dembow.