I am the Programme Director for the BA in Creative Writing and English, and Lecturer in Creative & Critical Writing at Birkbeck, University of London.

Research for my doctoral thesis, Bob Cobbing 1950-1978: Performance Poetry and the Institution (2013), was funded by the Arts Humanities Research Council, Beyond Text Project.

You can watch my film: The Sound of Writers Forum (2010)

‘Steve Willey’s new 36-minute documentary is a fascinating introduction to the man and the press by way of interviews with eleven living poets who were all published by Writers Forum.’

Ken Edwards, Reality Street

The film was made over the course of one week with no budget and was first screened at the Off The Shelf event held at the Slade/UCl on the 22nd March 2010.

I want to thank all the poets that gave up so much of their time to be interviewed. I also want to thank: the AHRC Beyond Text Program for funding my doctoral research on Bob Cobbing and Writers Forum; the British Library for giving me tapes to film with and space to record in; Paula Claire for allowing me to film in her archive; the UCL Small Press and Little Magazine Store for allowing me to photograph their archive; the Slade Word Image Forum (of which I was part); and the organizers of the Off The Shelf Event for affording me the opportunity to screen the film on the 22nd March 2010. The film is far from a complete account of the activities of Writers Forum and is meant as an introduction to the topic. You can read Ken Edward’s review here.

Selected Publications

Jade Sound Poems: Bob Cobbing and the Poetic Institution’, in Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, 4: 2 (Sept.2012), pp. 229-258

‘The Sounds of the Pines’ (paper written for Birkbeck, University of London, symposium on the work of the poet Alice Notley), on Intercapillary Space (October, 2009)

‘Introduction’ to Bob Cobbing: The Spoken Word (British Library Publishing, May 2009)

Selected Academic Papers

‘Poetry is not about death, dying only: The Event as a Mechanism of Survival in the Work of Bob Cobbing’,  at Make Perhaps This Out Sense of Can You,  programmed by William Cobbing and Rosie Cooper, presented by Camberwell, Chelsea & Wimbledon (CCW) Graduate School (London: Chelsea College of Arts, 21 May 2015)

‘Cobbing and the Archive’, at Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar (London: Institute of English Studies, 11 December, 2012)

‘Jade Sound Poems: Bob Cobbing and the Poetic Institution’, at Conversify Conference: Poetry Politics and Form (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University, 10 September 2011)

‘A Short History of AND Magazine’, at Slade Word Image Forum (London: University College London, 13 November 2009)

Selected Editorial and Publishing Work

Sean Bonney, The Commons (London: Openned Press, September 2011)

Richard Parker, The Mountains of California (London: Openned Press, August 2010)

Various Authors, The Openned Anthology (London: Openned Press, June 2007)

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