Openned is based in London, UK. It is run by Stephen Willey and Alex Davies. Openned has had an online presence since September 2005, and between May 2006 and November 2009 Openned was also a reading series held in East London, at The Foundry.
The reading series continues but with great irregularity and it now has no fixed venue; readings occur as and when a particular set of poets need to be heard. Much of what Openned was can be found in the 2006-2011 archive.
Openned remains a place of nurture and encouragement. Openned walks the line between finding readers from within, and initiating projects for, its own immediate community whilst attempting to wedge that community open, welcoming newcomers. The aim is to expand the cultural, social, and aesthetic space, and political import, of poetry.
Openned interrogates the specific nature and specific use of the word community. It does this through an intense focus on the processes of address that are integral in the construction of a particular audience for a particular event. 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.
- 18. Be bolder, maintain only memories, and move ahead with glee.
We look forward to seeing you at the next reading/event/launch.
Steve & Alex
The Editors, May 2012