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Spineless Wonders II
Spineless Wonders II, Tim Brennan, 2022

About this event

The second of a 3-day series of events presenting research on small press publications, raising questions for contemporary and future publication through returning to early histories of word and image.

Welcome address by Sharon Morris, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL and Clare Lees, Director of the Institute of English Studies, SAS.

Session 1: 10.05 -12.00 p.m.: Community Presses 

co-curated by Leila Kassir, Tansy Barton, Senate House Library and Clare Lees, SAS,
chaired by Andrew Nash (IES)

Theme: The role of Community Presses in current publishing


Amy Todd, Nick Toner and Caroline Ritchie
N-Zine is community publishing project based at Newington Green Meeting House as part of the NLHF project 'Newington Green Meeting House: Radical Ideas Since 1708', the project explores, shares and co-produces with the local community ways in which to dissent and explore radical thought and action today, inspired by its past.

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Desrie Thomson-George
Fine Artist and Co-Founder of Black Ink Collective and Chair of Black Ink Legacy, was formerly the Head of Campaigns and Marketing at the Commission for Racial Equality. Desrie Thomson-George will take a historical look at the Black Ink collective, its publications and legacy. 

Tamara Stoll
With a focus on working with existing communities and building new communities through publishing, Tamara will be talking about her recent publishing initiative ‘Road Less Travelled Press’. She will be sharing some of her research into and learning from Centerprise Publishing, Sheba Press and Camera Work.
Tamara’s practice combines documentary photography with social exchanges, oral histories and archival materials.

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Kadija George
In ‘A Safe Space for the Community’, Kadija George will talk about Centerprise Community Publishing Project in East London which became a Literature Development Project and a safe space for underrepresented voices in the community to visit and use.
Dr. Kadija George's research is on Black British Publishers. She worked at Centerprise as a Black Literature Development Worker in the mid-90's where she established Calabash: A broadsheet for writers of African and Asian descent.

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12.00-12.30: Lunch break

12.30 – 1.15 Slade 150 Lunch Time poetry reading by Sean Borodale

Poet and artist Sean Borodale has published 5 volumes of poetry: Notes for An Atlas, 2003; Bee Journal, 2012 was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize; Human Work, 2015, Inmates, 2020; Asylum, 2018. His work has been widely anthologised including Ground Work: Writings on Places and People ed. by Tim Dee.

The reading will include a brief interview conducted by Sharon Morris.

1.15-1.30: break

Session 2: 1.30-3.30p.m. Multilingualism and translation

Co-curated with Tabitha Tuckett, UCL, and Tansy Barton, SHL, and chaired by Clare Lees, Director of the Institute of English Studies, SAS.

Dr. Jacopo Gnisci, UCL History of Art dept. researches Ethiopic, Syriac, Armenian, and Copto-Arabic illuminated manuscripts. His talk is entitled ‘Written among the Righteous: Holy Books and Holy Men in “Medieval” Ethiopia’.

Vaishali Prazmari (Slade School doctoral candidate) will talk on her artworks and research into the ‘One Thousand and One Nights’, translation and memory palaces. Vaishali is an artist, educator and curator of the series Carpet Pages.  Website:

Tabitha Tuckett, UCL Rare Books Librarian, will talk about the 17th century universal-language movements demonstrating works held in UCL Special Collections.

Tansy Barton, Senate House Library: her talk ‘Unboxing the Fuller Collection: An Introduction to the Fuller Collection of documents and seals’. This will focus in particular on non-European material in the Fuller Collection at Senate House Library.

Edward Doegar: poetry reading from his pamphlet For Now, Clinic Press, 2015, will discuss his poems 'experiments in bad faith', which were informed by reading Eastern European poets and thinking about the role of censorship. Poet Edward Doegar worked at the Poetry Translation Centre until recently.

Break 3.30-3.45

Session 3: 3.45-5.30. Ephemera and/in the Environment

Co-curated by Sharon Morris, Lesley Sharpe and Liz Lawes; chaired by Liz Lawes, UCL Subject Liaison Librarian for Fine Art, History of Art and Small Press Collections.

Tim Brennan, Manchester Metropolitan University, will give an artist’s talk entitled ‘Fake Megaliths: Bowlee’. Tim Brennan is engaged in a wide range of collaborative practices including performance, objects, poetry and polemic. Website:

Sharon Morris, Slade School, will present poetry and images and talk about her interest in Medieval inscribed stones and Ogham script.

Kristen Kreider, Slade School, and James O’Leary, Bartlett School of Architecture, will present ‘Charkha’. Their collaborative practice encompasses performance, installation and time-based media in relation to sites of architectural and cultural interest. Website:

Paula Claire, PoetArtist, will present An Utterance of Stone Tones. Paula Claire’s participation in Bob Cobbing’s experimental Konkrete Canticle inspired her practice of visual poetry based on natural forms as proto language and signals for spontaneous vocalisation – her ‘gestation of language’ research. The visual score Stone Tones was published by the Writers' Forum in 1974. In 2021 she was included in the publication Women in Concrete Poetry 1959-1979 and awarded the Cholmondeley Prize by the Society of Authors.  Website: