Obsolete Spells – Tour Dates – More for 2022

A lot’s going on at the moment, so, here:

Obsolete SpellsPoetry & Prose from Victor Neuburg & the Vine Press is now available from Strange Attractor Press, and soon at bookshops in the UK and USA. The first-ever anthology of writing written and published by the poet, publisher & famed occultist Victor B. Neuburg at his Steyning-based Vine Press, Obsolete Spells is a tour of the 1920s Bohemian counterculture – a Bloomsbury Group for misfits and underdogs; anachronists, anarchists, utopians and spell-casters.

So is Swift Wings – a mini-album of Neuburg’s Sussex landscape poems set to new music by Sharron Kraus and with me reading.

Justin Hopper & Sharron Kraus are performing Swift Wings live on a few upcoming occasions:

31 May – The Barbican, London – Obsolete Spells book launch

12 June – Blue Moon, Cambridge – with Shovel Dance Collective

13 June – The Social, London – Stone Club at the Social

17 August – Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester – with United Bible Studies

I’ve got a few other events coming up, such as:

8 June – Wivenhoe Library, Wivenhoe Essex – interviewing Samuel Fisher for Essex Book Festival

10 September – Event nr. Lewes, E Sussex – TBA

News & Events

For what seems like the first time in forever, I have news to share. I will do so without further preamble.

On the 14th of June, 2021, I will be ‘in conversation’ with the musician and writer Matthew Shaw as part of Hawkwood’s ‘Conversations that Matter’ series, talking about Uncanny Landscapes and our relationship to place as we begin to emerge from lockdown. (This is a free online discussion, to be followed a few weeks later by a one-night crash course in landscape writing, presenting strategies and concepts to aid in a return to writing about places that are not our bedrooms.)

Further information and registration are available from this link.

On the 29th of June, 2021, Sharron Kraus & I will perform our album Chanctonbury Rings Live as part of the Odditorium at Brighton Fringe – in the legendary Speigeltent on the Old Steine. Wendy Pye will project her accompanying videos.

Further information including tickets are available from this link.

Finally, the Uncanny Landscapes podcast is set to return at the beginning of June with a series of new and archival interviews with modern practitioners of landscape art, writing and research. The lineup is shaping up to be of, I think, great interest to those who’ve dug what this podcast was doing before lockdown scuppered its action. I hope you’ll join in.

You can listen to the first eight hours of episodes, and subscribe via Podbean, its host, or through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts to find out when the new ones emerge.

The Dance of our Days

Epic Soundtrack #2 – The Dance of Our Days – is a zine-style book about walking a one-hour circuit in Dedham Vale, soundtracked by the song ‘The Age of Miracles’ by English guitar group The Clientele. It documents this walk as its landscape is transformed by repeated listening to a single piece of music, through my text and photographs, with design concept and production by Julian Hyde (Voices in a Lane) and design by David Banning (Chroma Editions). Ten loose cardstock pages, black-and-white, in a string-and-washer envelope.

This edition of The Dance of Our Days is limited to 25 hand-numbered copies, and costs £12 (incl. postage) within the UK.

For availability and to order contact julian [at] voicesinalane [dot] co [dot] uk.

A country road. A tree. Evening.

I’ve recently been reminded of this fantastic work of contemporary landscape art by the Irish artist Gerard Byrne. A Country Road. A tree. Evening. is a series of lush, baroque photographs of locations in Ireland and France that fit Samuel Beckett’s brief stage setting for Waiting For Godot, consisting of those nine syllables.

The idea that Godot takes place in all these locations, that these photographs are landscapes of waiting; charged landscapes, whose energy comes from a literature connected to them only in our individual imaginations as catalysed by the artist: it’s definitive to me of the relationship between art and landscape – and ownership, climate and heritage. Beckett lives in these places thanks to Byrne’s works, and these places – in the photographs, if not ‘real life’ – become something they might never have been without our conversation.