Openned is based in London, UK, and is run by Stephen Willey and Alex Davies.

Openned is a place of nurture and encouragement. There should be no such thing as a fenced mind; criticism directed at fellow practitioners should be derived from a want to widen, strengthen or affect the cultural space that poetry occupies, never to diminish or destroy it. The stranger is always welcome; open conversation, free questioning, and non-judgmental interactions will skip down the road with razor bladed words, entering previously unexplored, unspoken avenues of the city; to riven the walls. A room is as dead as an un-marked grave, if you let it.

Openned seeks to create flexible spaces for poetry and poetic practitioners by inviting less established and more established writers to read together, curating publications, documenting readings, publishing work, and promoting other writers.

Openned walks the line between finding readers from within its own immediate ‘community’ whilst attempting to wedge that ‘community’ open, welcoming newcomers. The aim is to expand the ‘community’ of poets and readers, exploring the perceived binary between poet and reader, growing the cultural space currently allotted to poetry.

Openned will always seek to interrogate the specific nature and specific use of the word ‘community’. It will do this through an intense focus on the processes of address that are integral in the construction of a particular audience for a particular event.

Openned believes in the face-to-face meeting. Openned is a ‘community’, not simply an entertainment event. For this reason we rarely accept readers through e-mailing alone, and though we encourage you to send us your work, we want you to be as invested in the project as we are. The social is concomitant with the aesthetic – the practice accretes a politics – come join.

Openned has written this:

  1. View a night as event – your audience as community.
  2. Take a holistic approach, consider: pace, texture, politics.
  3. Build an event for a community – organiser as community member.
  4. The room is space.
  5. Walk into an open space, each time imagine the space is new/situated.
  6. Imagine events as separate entities, encroached in space, talking over time.
  7. Walk into an event – build an approach.
  8. Create an obstacle, forget it, find it later.
  9. Work from found material – space as found material.
  10. Talk as a method of excretion, a narrowing. Convergence.
  11. Simultaneously create yourself as stranger and member.
  12. Community member as event, member as debate point.
  13. Event and talk in dialectic – synthesis of found material.
  14. Re-read previous events as a tactic of current construction.
  15. Create a non-linear network of pattern and fibre tracing.
  16. Re-write network out of fibre-optic into tactility; bonding.
  17. Constraint: isolate units of event, propelled over by talk, expelled over by time, viewed at night.

We look forward to see you at the next reading.

Steve & Alex
The Editors


Last updated Monday 22nd February, 2010