Diagrams by Alison Gibb

A word from MFA alumna and Kingston Writing School Emerging Writer in Residence, Alison Gibb:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Silent Diagrams Cover

I am pleased to inform you that my latest work, Silent Diagrams, a pamphlet collection of poetry and drawings, has recently been published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.

Silent Diagrams is a series of pencil drawing over a single poem. The drawings document my process of visualizing poetic activity to create diagrams, which illustrate and generates spaces for live performance.  The diagrams were originated during the development of Thus in the crossing, a poetic dance performance in collaboration with choreographer, Elaine Thomas.

Thus in the crossing was recently performed at E:Poetry 2013 & at the Practice, Process and Paradox Conference 2013 at Roehampton University.

For further info on Silent Diagrams please visit Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.


If you’re an MFA student or alumus/a keep us updated on your success!

2013 Kingston University Pedagogy Conference

Pedagogy Flyer

KWS 1st International Conference, July 10th 2013

Pedagogy and Practice: Writing and Higher Education

Key Note: Philip Gross discusses ‘the writer: accident, improvisation, and limitation’

An Interview with Hanif Kureshi by Vesna Goldsworthy

For its first international conference, The Kingston University Writing School will present a one day conference of theoretical and practiced-based papers, workshops, panels, and performances that will add to our understanding of the relationships between Pedagogy and Practice in Higher Education.

This one-day conference hosts a series of panels on the possible relationships between pedagogy and the practice of writing in higher education. The conference will consider all forms of writing, from creative writing and poetry workshops to life writing, autobiography and memoir, journalism, digital publishing, blogging and writing for social media.

The conference will provide a valuable opportunity to reflect on the debates about writing and pedagogy and will showcase experimental approaches to writing and teaching methods from a diverse body of researchers and practitioners.

Our Keynote speaker is Philip Gross, Course director, Masters/PhD in Creative Writing at University of Glamorgan. Philip is a writer of many parts from prize-winning poetry, young adult novels, science fiction, opera libretti, poem-documentaries. He is also a creative writing teacher at all levels.

After a morning of panels and workshops, Professor Vesna Goldsworthy will interview Hanif Kureshi and there will be an open mike reading with special guests in the evening including S J Fowler, Kimberley Campanello, Allison Gibb, Jane Yeh and others.

Two of our MFAs will be participating in the New Practitioners Ponder Pedagogy panel, Lucy Furlong & Sinead Keegan with Creative Writing & Pedagogy MAs, Amber Koski and Joshua Poncil. MFA alumna and Emerging Writer-in-Residence, Alison Gibb, will be participating in the Pedagogic Innovations in Creative Writing panel with MFA lecturer, James Miller. All conference attendees also have the opportunity to take a workshop with either Alison or James.

Book your tickets here. Or email Amber for information on the free tickets still available.

For more information please contact Amber Koski – k1246713@kingston.ac.uk

KWS Logo

Postmodernism at the V&A / Postmodern Literature

A few weekends ago I went to the Postmodernism exhibition at the V&A. It wasn’t very good. I’d even go as far as saying that it was a bit of a let down.  This was partly due to my own overblown expectation, at last some clarity on Postmodernism, and  my own idleness. I had failed to take in the whole of the exhibition title, the V&A’s target audiences and its curatorial style.

Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 could just as easily been called, Postmodernism: A bit of bad architecture, awful product design and greed gone mad. Or possibly, Postmodernism: consumerism and popular culture for cokeheads, bankers and other greedy bastards, with the odd bit of visual art ( Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson and Robert Rauschenberg) and a subversive musician (David Byrne of Talking Heads)  thrown in, just to remind anyone who has read any theory on postmodernism in arts and culture, that this was the very same subject, on display at the V&A.

It was good to hear again the iconic opening music of  Bladerunner’s soundtrack and to see the flying cars and futuristic-old-meets-new-cityscape (Hong Kong with flying cars in the rain, to anyone who’s been there). Though I don’t recall seeing any mention of Philip K. Dick or his novel  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

In fact there was no real mention or representation of literature in this exhibition at all, other than The Face magazine. Yawn, yawn. More popular culture aimed at teenagers. Don’t get me wrong I loved The Face (as a kid), and the last room of the exhibition;  all record sleeves,  magazines and kraftwerk,  did take me back to my brother’s bedroom, sitting listening to music on his head phones, whilst watching him put on eyeliner. But come on, has the world really gone so mad, that so much value is given to things that kids, with juvenile tastes and experiences, want to buy? – Is youth culture really where it’s at? – I guess that’s a rant for another time.

So as way of righting a wrong,  I thought it would be fun to put together my own Top Ten Postmodern Literature, Classics.. or stuff I read in the 90s, that I think should-be on display alongside The Face at the Postmodernism: Whatever, exhibition.

Not in prize order. I’m just writing them down as I think of them…

1. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis

2. Highrise – JG Ballard

3.Blood and Guts in High School, Kathy Acker

4. The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter

5. Virtual Light, William Gibson

6. Generation X: Tale for an Accelerated Culture, Douglas Coupland

7. Cock and Bull, Will Self

8. Life Afer God, Douglas Coupland

9. Time’s Arrow, Martin Amos

1o. The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Attwood

Please feel free to add to my list if you wish 

– Alison Gibb

Alison Gibb

Alison Gibb

CONGRATULATIONS to Alison on her debut pamphlet,’Parallel to Red in Chorus’, launched at a wonderful event last evening as part of the OXFAM poetry reading series.

Alison Gibb is a poet living in Cambridge. (b.1973).

She holds a BA (hons) in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College (1998) and a MA in Writing Poetry from Kingston University, where she is currently completing a MFA in Creative Writing.

Her poems have appeared in a number of small arts and poetry publications.  The Knives Forks and Spoons Press published her first pamphlet of poetry Parallel To Red In Chorus, in August 2011.

Alison is interested in the shared creative practices and theories within contemporary art practices and poetics.

Earlier this year she participated in Beyond Text: Making and Unmaking Text Across Performance Practices and Theories Conference, and continues to collaborates with artists and choreographers to produce live performances and poetic texts.

Title: ‘Parallel To Red In Chorus’

Poet: Alison Gibb

Pages: 29

Publisher: Knives, Forks and Spoons Press

Review _| Volatile Rune



Parallel To Red In Chorus is a sequence of poems that follows a journey between London and Isle of Skye, via Cambridge. Poems happen in and out of real time, generating new narratives and abstract forms. Text from external sources including: photography manuals, song lyrics, road signs and chemistry are woven into the fabric of the poems to create a multiple layered text of shifting surfaces, images and meanings.

Shared word from Alison on writing it:

I originally wrote Parallel To Red In Chorus for the creative submission for my MA dissertation. After spending a frustrating second year on the MA trying to overcome more traditional approaches to poetry and struggling to carve out a place for my own writing, I finally was able to push through creatively with this piece and to write something experimentally, poetic and hopefully accessible to all types of curious readers.

I was greatly encouraged and supported by my supervisor Todd Swift, who introduced me to some wonderful poets – theorist including Lyn Hejinian, Charles Bernstein and Veronica Forrest-Thomson. Our supervisions tended to focus on the academic side of the dissertation, the essay, what I was reading and how this could inform and develop my creative practice. Towards the end, Todd turned the pressure up a notch and had me send him poetry everyday for about a week, to make sure I was producing work. It was somewhere in this constant haze of reading, thinking and writing (a poetic state you could say) that my own writing emerged and took off.

I finally got hold of what the potential for poetry could be. And it is this potential for poetic activity in language, which continues to excite me and compels me to write.

Shared words from Alison on how she got published:

‘In Feb 2011 I took part in The Beyond Text Conference, where I presented and displayed ‘Parallel To Red In Chorus’. It was well received and I met some really inspiring writers and artists. Following the conference the organizers kindly recommended me to Alec Newman of Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, who invited me to submit the piece for his consideration. Happily, he liked the poems and offered to publish it as its own single pamphlet.

 Beyond Text: Making and Unmaking Text, Conference 2011 http://textmaking.blogspot.com/

‘Parallel to Red in Chorus’ is now available to purchase at:

Elphicks, 160 Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG




Knives, Forks and Spoons Press


Or directly from Alison: aemgibb@yahoo.co.uk

This beautiful pamphlet was launched at the latest in the series of OXFAM Poetry Readings, hosted by Todd Swift, sponsored by Kingston Writing School, at OXFAM Books and Music, Marylebone High St. The event also featured Mark Scott, over from America; Jill Battson, from Canada by way of France; Grahame Davies from Wales; and London’s own John Muckle. Also from Kingston Writing School: Venetia Adamson, Sam Cole-Rogers, Neil Gregory, Mia Jerome, Kim Lockwood, and Maria-Faith Mendoza.


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