from Gilles de Rais

the magician television show which isn’t true to life.

This is the best of all says prelati
mixing tobacco
too many fish in the sea apparently
to keep
the quench clenched
oh well no use in crying
now 30 years or 300 years later unless there’s
some hard money involved
but I am not able
to forget, Gilles in drowing
in his dreaming
of the happy society kissed as a king

shot in the ribs in revenge.

my organs like this, two ribs, rhymes
and emily’s
racist baby workout
is a future collected book
like this a postcard sized box that is completely
empty as a hospital bed
can be empty soon
enough if you don’t watch you mouth & if so
I’ll be on quick as a flash
evidence for it in my past

by SJ Fowler

Two news items: Hannah Lowe, Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing, andJennifer Wong, PhD student in English and Creative Writing,will be taking part in the Reading Poetry Festival on Saturday 8 November 2014 in a special Poetry Centre reading. You can find out more about the festival, and book tickets, on the dedicated website.

From St Aldates Church in Oxford: This winter sees the publication of an Advent Poetry Anthology and we are currently accepting submissions towards this project. This is open to all ages, and although poems don’t have to be overtly Christian, they should reflect the themes of the advent season. The closing date for poetry submissions is Sunday 9 November. For more information or to submit a poem please email

This excerpt from ‘Gilles de Rais’ is copyright © SJ Fowler, 2013. It is reprinted by permission of Penned in the Margins from Enemies (Penned in the Margins, 2013).

Notes from Penned in the Margins:

‘Gilles de Rais’ is a collaborative work with poems by SJ Fowler and artwork from David Kelly, and comes from the anthology, Enemies . This ground-breaking, multi-disciplinary collection is the result of collaborations between SJ Fowler and over thirty artists, photographers and writers. Diary entries mingle with a partially-redacted email exchange; texts slip and fragment, finding new contexts alongside prints, paintings, diagrams, Rorschach blots, YouTube clips and behind-the-scenes photographs at the museum. Find out more from the Penned in the Margins website, watch SJ Fowler read from the poem, and follow his work on his website and on Twitter.

SJ Fowler is a poet and artist living in London. He has published four collections of poetry, most recently the limited-edition Recipes (Red Ceilings, 2012). He has produced poetry, sonic art, installation and performance artworks for Tate, the Voiceworks project and the London Sinfonietta. He is the poetry editor of 3:AM Magazine and also works as a martial arts instructor, and as an employee of the British Museum.

Penned in the Margins is an independent publisher and live literature producer specialising in poetry and based in East London. Founded in 2004, the company has produced numerous literature and performance events, toured several successful live literature shows, published over twenty-five books, and continues to run innovative poetry, arts and performance projects in the capital and beyond. The company is currently touring two productions: Shlock!, a powerful feminist satire for the cut and paste generation, and The Shipwrecked House, a one-woman performance that blends poetry with theatre, in which Anglo-Breton poet Claire Trévien navigates a shifting maritime landscape. You can find out more about these productions on the Penned in the Margins website.

Penned in the Margins’s recent anthology, Adventures in Form, was awarded a Special Commendation by the Poetry Book Society and was chosen as one of 50 Best Summer Reads by The Independent. You can visit the Penned in the Margins website here to sign up to the mailing list, and follow the publisher on Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.