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“Voraciously experimental, precociously accomplished.” Poetry International

“Multifaceted, mega-fabricated, louche architecture.” Magma

Jon is a writer, editor and researcher who specialises in hybrid and chimeric works: rough fusions of form and genre. His poems often concern, or embody, the intermeshing of organic and constructed, human and non-human, real and unreal. They are frequently game-like, remade from fragments of other works, or take the form of micro-fantasies and intimate examinations.

Poetry London have called him a “poet of fantastic inversions”, but such inversions are just one way of rethinking the poem as an object of readerly play and investigation. His work has been published in The Sunday Times and performed on BBC Radio 4, as well as appearing in a number of British and international journals. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2012 and the Poetry London prize in 2014 and 2016.

He edits multi-author books that muddle the genre of the poetry anthology with handbooks, catalogues, guides and treasuries. He has also published academic papers in the field of game studies. A monograph, Dual Wield: The Interplay of Poetry and Videogames, is due out in late 2021 from DeGruyter.

Adversary
(co-authored with Abigail Parry, unpublished)

Adversary is a prototype card game in which players duel to complete couplets and quatrains in the most satisfying way. Each player is dealt six cards from the main deck, and uses these to compose one or two lines of poetry matching the metre of a prompt card. This set contains prompts/decks for composing the opening lines of a murder ballad and the first couplet of an aubade or serenade. It also includes five character cards for optional roleplay.

Every line or phrase displayed on the cards is designed to fit into a strict metrical pattern, and the number of syllables and stresses is indicated by a row of dots and dashes (the dashes being the stresses). This makes it easier for the player to match the cards in their hand to the exact rhythm of the prompt card. The winner may be decided on a vote, or else players can take it in turns to sit out of a round and act as judge.

Adversary was designed for Print / Screen, an exhibition at the National Videogame Arcade that was part of the Nottingham Festival of Literature in 2016. It was displayed again at Playing Poetry, a 2022 exhibition of poetry games at the National Poetry Library in the Southbank Centre.


related: Whispering Leaves ; Ludokinetic Literature

More projects

Poems

On Toys

Ludokinetic
Literature

Sandsnarl

Unravelanche

School
of Forgery

Whispering
Leaves

Adversary

I could kiss, say,

Headbooks

Scarecrows

Hybardrids

Tomboys

Birdbooks

Super Treasure
Arcade

Death Daydream
Season

Sidekick Books

Core Samples

Riotous

Superminis

The
Mechamorphoses

site by jon