Tag Archives: david berridge

if p then q massive catch up – ten years (almost)

10 Nov

In April 2018 if p then q will have been publishing for ten years. In addition to a special birthday celebration reading (watch this space) it seems apt to highlight some key publications, in case you’ve missed out. Just click on the links that follow to add the title to your library

Between 2008-9 if p then q magazine ran for four issues. The first two were loose-bound and housed in envelopes with gifts – pens, postcards and CDs. Issue three came out as a set of posters, specially commissioned by The Text Festival, and included posters by P. Inman, Craig Dworkin and Anne Charnock. The final issue was a pastiche of a coffee table magazine featuring Caroline Bergvall on the front cover. Issue three is still in print and available HERE.

The first if p then q perfect bound collection, 2008, was Tom Jenks’ A Priori which includes his much-lauded poem 99 Names for Small Dogs. Many other perfect bound collections have met critical acclaim. Holly Pester’s Hoofs and Chrissy Williams’ Epigraphs have both been featured on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb, Peter Jaeger’s A Field Guide to Lost Things was long-listed for The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize and many other titles have received multiple and positive reviews. Here they are: Lucy Harvest-Clarke’s exhilarating Silveronda, Tim Atkins’ minimal sonnet sequence 1000 Sonnets, David Berridge’s search for the ‘thing’ in Bring the Thing, Derek Henderson’s poignant, systematic erasure of Ted Berrigan’s The Sonnet titled Thus &, Stephen Emmerson’s almost blank page Family Portraits, Geof Huth’s collected one word poems ntst, Tom Jenks’ follow ups to A Priori – the almost sonnet sequence * and the barmy Items, seekers of lice’s text version of Encyclops., Philip Terry’s Advanced Immorality – including his rewrites of Queneau – & Nathan Walker’s tome of web generated one-liners Action Score Generator.

In 2014 if p then q reached new heights by publishing the collected works of the great P. Inman, Written 1976-2013. This work not only collects his work in an inexpensive format but allows his work to been seen as something which both changes and, paradoxically, remains consistently constant, as Craig Dworkin points out in his lengthy and fascinating introduction.

In amongst all these titles there was still time to publish obscurities, some sold out – Michael Basinski’s Dog Music postcard, Nick-e Melville’s leaflet Junk Mail, as well as the still in print set of trump cards What’s the Best? by Joy as Tiresome Vandalism and Stephen Emmerson’s automatic poetry templates – Poetry Wholes.

2015 saw the first publication of a critical work – derek beaulieu’s captivating essays on concrete and conceptual poetry The Unbearable Contact with Poets, which also offered readers the chance to buy as a print bound copy or obtain as a pdf.

This year if p then q has pushed forwards with a new house front cover design and two new titles – Tim Allen’s re-imagining of The Columbia Granger Index to Poetry called Under the Cliff Like and Simon Taylor’s conceptual photo project of imaginary university lecturers Prospectus.

Look out for new titles in the near future from Peter Jaeger, Tom Jenks, Emma Cocker and others.

If you’ve missed any of these titles you should really check ‘em out.

Xmas Madness – the if p then q Christmas sale

7 Nov

The if p then q Christmas sale is now on. All books below are available via Lulu with decent postage rates overseas. The more you buy the less the postage!

David Berridge, Bring the Thing – WAS £8.00 NOW £4.80 LINK

Lucy Harvest Clarke, Silveronda – WAS £8.00 NOW £4.80 LINK

Derek Henderson, Thus & – WAS £8.00 NOW £4.80 LINK

Tom Jenks, A Priori – WAS £8.00 NOW £4.80 LINK

Tom Jenks, (*) Star – WAS £8.00 NOW £4.80 LINK

Tom Jenks, Items – WAS £8.00 NOW £4.80 LINK

Holly Pester, Hoofs – WAS £8.00 NOW £4.80 LINK

seekers of lice, Encyclops. – WAS £4.00 NOW £3.20 LINK

Philip Terry, Advanced Immorality – WAS £8.00 NOW £4.80 LINK

Chrissy Williams, Epigraphs WAS £4.00 NOW £3.20 LINK






if p then q reviews round up at Stride

20 May

if p then q books operate in an interesting corner of the poetry publishing spectrum, embracing a range of experimental and ‘sound-based’ writers of differing persuasions and distinctions.

Read more HERE

David Berridge’s Bring The Thing reviewed by Marton Koppany

30 Jan

Very witty small (I mean: minimalistic) (that’s for my taste — and my English! 🙂 constructions, and I laughed aloud more than once (much more), but sometimes I realized that my tears were there for crying and not for laughing (or for both, in synchrony). 


Bring the Thing review

10 Nov

Berridge takes the concept of experimental poetry to an almost abstract level. His use of words often phonetically describes a mixture of the senses. He strips his poetry right down to these basics of sound.

Sarah Gonnet has reviewed Bring the Thing HERE.

David Berridge Interview

9 Sep

David Berridge discusses his book Bring the Thing with if p then q.

Click for a PDF

if p then q: What is Bring the Thing about, what are some of the areas you are hoping to address or explore?

David Berridge: I wanted to explore a notational, diary-like writing, closely connected to daily events, thoughts, and conversations. I was interested in a minimal page-based poetry, whose form and structure came from the shifting visual, oral and denotative properties of its words, letters, and syllables. I wanted to bring these two interests together, see how they connected and contradicted each other.

Related to this I was interested in live writing, that takes places in specific locations and times. Often, in my writing, that liveness has been something constructed through many drafts and over a long period of time (BLACK GARDENS, for example, was an act of writing in the moment that then took 18 months to finish). As Bring the Thing developed, it became a way to work between these two senses of time, how writing inhabits and moves between them.

Bring the Thing connected in my mind to that “first thought, best thought” (of Allen Ginsberg and Bernadette Mayer) and also the “my condensery” (of Lorine Niedecker). I thought (as Mayer says somewhere of Midwinter Day) that I might be getting the mind prepared for a response in the moment. More likely I think the space I work in is one of lags, delays, reconstruction, fiction, proposition, and time travel in all directions.

if p then q: Can you explain the choice of form for the book, 100 days?

David Berridge: I read the book whole for Footsy Index in Camberwell in June, and Jeff Hilson, who was also reading, asked me if I had written it in 100 days. And I said no, but then afterwards I thought, maybe it was 100 days. The main period of writing would have been about that duration. Maybe exactly that duration.

I think early on I had some of the fragments and sequence in place, but without the framing of days. I also probably expected that one per page would work well.  But that didn’t seem to have the right shape or rhythm, create the right experience in the page or book space.

The framework of 100 days seemed to create that, and prompted the writing and shaping of the rest of the sequence, as well as the arrangement of days on the page. It wasn’t a constraint that determined the writing from the beginning, but it was one that shaped and edited, that emerged out of the writing itself and questions about what kind of architecture it required.

if p then q: I initially suggested laying Bring the Thing out as one day per page. Why did you not want to do that?

David Berridge: It interests me this architecture of minimalism (or any writing). To list again some of the examples we have talked about before: the single word on the page that we find in Saroyan’s Coffee Coffee, the instructional language (also one per page) of Lawrence Weiner’s Statements, the freedom to have titles of any length in Ian Hamilton Finlay’s one word poem issue of poor.old.tired.horse.

All these inform a more a more general sense of framing and context, space and presentation. How important, and in what way, is lots of white space or its absence? Does it ever mean the same for a reader as it does for the author? At Yoko Ono’s Serpentine Gallery show in 2012 I thought the casualness of her instructional scores was not brought out by an attempted casualness of presentation: slips of paper dropped on the floor, handwritten texts on the wall. Something more contrary and oppositional was needed.

I have also thought about this in relation to some of the if p then q books. Each of Tim Atkins’ 1000 Sonnets need a page (inside the vast potential frame of the title), but Tom Jenks’ Items, and Geof Huth’s ntst both fill the page. Both of these decisions about space feel completely right for the contents… And today, James, unpacking your own book-in-a-box A dog. from zimZalla, the blast of yellow color, still the smell of paint on the box…

So, in Bring The Thing, some days are more important than others, some naturally group with other days. There’s a pattern and rhythm made within this period of time. There’s also a fast pace I think, a rhythm for a voice that goes through all these days, so very much not a set of poems arrayed for contemplation. It’s too restless.

if p then q: Where does this book fit in to the many books you’ve already had published?

David Berridge: One good thing about seeing different projects take shape as books – beginning with The Moth is Moth This Money Night Moth – is hopefully getting some idea of these ongoing, disruptive and continuing dialogues that run through different aspects of my writing.

Sometimes I think there is a distinct set of concerns around minimalism, aspects of The Moth Is Moth This Money Night Moth that I wanted to continue to explore in Bring the Thing, and that in some ways had been left hanging after that earlier book. Notions of density, embodiment, a private language, how to work within a set of materials that are (made) opaque and object like.

At the same time, Bring the Thing seems discursive, speech-based, close to The Poet is Working or even The Fluxus President, a novella. In the personal library of my mind Bring the Thing is having a conversation with Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style and Joe Brainard’s I Remember. It even seems possible to view Bring the Thing as a novella of sorts.

if p then q: Are such labels and categories important?

David Berridge: I like these labels, genres, because they do suggest different work spaces, different histories and potentials. Perhaps the link across all of these writings is some sense of project and response that is tied to the form of the book.

In Turf, for example, that sense of project comes through quite literally as a set of materials in a box – including essay, several chapbooks of poems, and other small pamphlets of supporting notes and images.

In Bring the Thing it feels like all these different spaces and forms of language are absorbed into the structure of the book and the quite particular language that unfolds for talking about things (about everything).

Thinking about it now, perhaps the architectures of both books – different genres in Turf and that patterning of days and lexicon in Bring the Thing – are both containers that allow a sense of movement: going outside, returning, inbetween, inside, different registers, pitches, moods, places, and times.

if p then q: Who are you reading at the moment?

David Berridge: Over the last few months I’ve been reading lots of essays which grapple with these ideas of now-ness and response, and what form that should take on the page, including Masha Tupitsyn (Laconia: 1200 Tweets on Film and Love Dog), Etel Adnan (Paris, When It’s Naked), Brandon La Belle (Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian), and Viktor Shklovsky (A Hunt for Optimism).

Moving to Hastings seems to have brought out a love of Southern Gothic, so I’ve got into the horror of Flannery O’Connor. Poetry-wise, some of what I’ve been enjoying and exploring emerges in the configuration of Tom Jenks’ Items, I Live I See: Selected Poems by Vsevolod Nekrasov, Lucy Harvest Clarke’s Baba, Andy Spragg’s To Blart & Kid and (moving into the interzone of fiction and poetry, with a strong focus on the tactility of the book form itself), Anytime Return by T.A. Wingfield.

I’ve also been editing and publishing books under the VerySmallKitchen imprint and I enjoy the particular relation that unfolds in “reading” a text through the process of making a published book, this last month with titles by Nikolai Duffy and Ohad Ben Shimon.

if p then q: What’s next for David Berridge?

David Berridge: I am working on a number of collaborative publications with Mary Paterson, S J Fowler, James Wilkes, and seekers of lice. Each of these projects has enabled spaces of writing which seemed impossible before –  like writing distinct poems in response to another poem, maybe labelled with date and time of making.

It has been/is a challenge to construct a dialogue like that, piece by piece, trusting that, rather than, as I often do, gathering a large assemblage of material, then editing and finding the shape within that over a longer and often self-determined period of time.

I’m working on some book length projects in poetry and fiction, and perhaps one thing that links them, in addition to those themes of notation and response, is an interest in the shape of writing, quite literally its shape on the page, how that relates to an incessant activity of thoughts, bodies, and speech being made, lost, remembered, forgotten, invented, and mistaken.

I’m also at the beginning of a research project on the 100 page book as this site where poetry, fiction, essay, literature and art practice have traditionally met. It’s a hugely general category in some ways, but I do think there is a particular space of thought and writing that is there in the books I’m thinking of, and which I want to unfold some more,  into another 100 page book.

David Berridge – Bring the Thing now available

30 Aug

if p then q is very pleased to announce the publication of David Berridge’s Bring the Thing. Information on how to buy below, as well as a sampler (and reading at the Free Verse poetry fair see previous posts).


Bring the Thing
Published August 2013
80 pp
ISBN: 978-0957182721

Bring the Thing takes the form of 100 days. The work is characteristic of the balance in Berridge’s work between humour and pursuit: in this case the pursuit of the Heideggerian thing. What is a thing? How do we find a thing? Can we make things things and what thing do we make them?

About the author
David Berridge is the author of many collections including Black Gardens and The Moth is the Moth this Money Night Moth. He curates the website, publisher and proceedings at Very Small Kitchen. And has his own website David Berridge.



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