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|Born||1955 (age 65–66)|
|Education||Lancaster University (PhD)|
|Institutions||Dartington College of Arts|
Cris Cheek (born 1955) is a British multimodal poet and academic who is a professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He began his career working alongside Bill Griffiths and Bob Cobbing at the Poetry Society printshop in London and with the Writers Forum group, who met with regularity on the premises in Earls Court. He is also the co-founder of a poetry performance group known as jgjgjgjgjgjgjg . . .(as long as you can say it that's our name) with Lawrence Upton and Clive Fencott. During that time cris collaborated on electronic music improvisations and released several cassettes. In 1981, he was a co-founder of Chisenhale Dance Space.
His music and sound collaborations include Slant (a trio with Philip Jeck and Sianed Jones). His radio program "Music of Madagascar" produced for BBC Radio 3 won a Sony Gold Specialist Award (now Radio Academy Awards) in 1995. He taught a performance writing course at Dartington College of Arts, where he became a research fellow in interdisciplinary text (2000–2002). A large body of interdisciplinary performance writing was produced in collaboration with Kirsten Lavers under the author function Things Not Worth Keeping between 1999 and 2007. In 2005, he became a professor at Miami University in Ohio. He was Altman Fellow in The Humanities Center at Miami University in 2011 and 2012, co-presenting the Networks and Power symposium and a conference on Network Archaeology, from which an issue of the online journal Amodern, co-edited with Nicole Starosielski and Braxton Soderman, was published.
Cheek was born in Enfield Town, London and educated at Highgate School, graduating in 1972. He worked at the printshop of the Consortium of London Presses in the basement of the Earls Court premises of the National Poetry Centre between 1975 and 1977. He earned a PhD in poetry writing from Lancaster University.
Initially, he helped Bill Griffiths and Bob Cobbing to produce in-house volumes of Poetry Review under the editorship of Eric Mottram. He became print shop manager in 1977. He was among a wave of poets in London following the lead of the British Poetry Revival whose poetry integrates spatial, sonic and semantic performative concerns. His early live performance work was in duet with Clive Fencott and then a trio with the addition of Lawrence Upton as "JGJGJJGJG (as long as you can say it that's our name)." They were, on occasion, joined by Bill Griffiths and Jeremy Adler. He ran several small press imprints and edited the short-lived magazine RAWZ. Through his work with Jacky Lansley and Fergus Early on their production I Giselle, he became involved with X6 Dance Space and then Chisenhale Dance Space. He later collaborated with Mary Prestidge, Kirstie Simson, Miranda Tufnell and Dennis Greenwood, Patricia Bardi, Michael Clark and Sue MacLennan between 1982 and 1986. In 1987, he and Sianed Jones traveled to Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar researching into social forms of music and dance.
Cheek lived in Hackney and Canning Town between 1981 and 1994. Whilst working for dance and performance artists and improvising music groups, he began writing songs with Sianed Jones, performing and recording with Philip Jeck as Slant. Slant released three albums. Jones and Cheek later moved to Lowestoft. He was an active member of poetics e-list communities for the following twenty years. During this time, he taught performance writing at Dartington College of Arts, working alongside Caroline Bergvall as well as many others. cheek also made contemporary vaudeville shows with folk musician Chris Foster that toured to village halls and community centers around England.
While working at the Dartington College of Arts, Cheek began teaching with and subsequently working with Kirsten Lavers to produce a substantial web of projects under the author function Thinks Not Worth Keeping, shortened to TNWK.
He was in a relationship, subsequently married to Erin E Edwards and then divorced between 2012-2021. cris lives in Cincinnati, London and Labastide-Rouairoux.
cheek's creative writing works include:
- a present. London: Bluff Books, 1980
- Mud. London: London: Spanner/Open Field, 1984
- Cloud Eyes. London: Microbrigade, 1991
- Skin upon skin. Lowestoft: CD, Sound & Language, 1996
- Stranger. Lowestoft: Sound & Language, 1996
- Songs from Navigation. Hastings: book+CD, Reality Street, 1998
- the church, the school, the beer. Oxford, Ohio: Critical Documents, 2007
- part: short life housing. Toronto: The Gig, 2009
- Pickles & Jams. Buffalo: BlazeVOX, 2017
His works have been published in various magazines, literary miscellanies and anthologies, including:
- Anthology of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry.Oxford University Press, 2001
- Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1999
- The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book. Carbondale: Southern Indiana University, 1984
- Conductors of Chaos. Picador: London, 1996
- Floating Capital. Elmwood, Connecticut: Poets & Poets Press, 1991
MC, CD and CD-R
- Crayon (NY), Widemouth (Baltimore)
- Little Magazine (Albany)
- Balsam Flex (London)
- Bob Cobbing’s Performances: of Production and Circulation. Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, 2012. Canterbury: Gylphi, 2012. Volume 4. Number 2
- Reading and Writing: the Sites of Performance.
- Giving Tongue. Assembling Alternatives: Reading Postmodern Poetries Transnationally Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2003
- Sky Tails: An Encryption of Dispersal. published in Removed for Further Study: The Poetry of Tom Raworth, Toronto: The Gig, 2003
- Implicit. Additional Apparitions: Poetry, Performance and Site Specificity Sheffield: The Cherry On the Top Press, 2002
- Peter Barry, Poetry Wars: British Poetry of the 1970s and the Battle of Earls Court (Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2006)
- Andy Brown, Binary Myths: Conversations with Contemporary Poets (Exeter, Stride, 1998)
- Andrew Duncan, The Failure of Conservatism in Modern British Poetry (2003)
- Howe, William (2006-08-09). "Punk as Poetry: cris cheek and his offset press collaborations" (PDF). web.archive.org. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
- Sheppard, Robert (2005-09-01). The Poetry of Saying: British Poetry and its Discontents, 1950-2000. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-1-78138-809-9.
- "cris cheek: "Reading and Writing: the Sites of Performance" -- HOW2". www.asu.edu. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
- "BlazeVOX [books]". www.blazevox.org. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
- "ROBERT HAMPSON". www.pores.bbk.ac.uk. Retrieved 2021-02-22.