editor: Paul Hawkins
editor: Sarer Scotthorne
art & design: Bob Modem


Poem Brut & other projects

︎   ︎   X

est. circa 2012
an unfunded small press
based in Bristol

Ridicuous Unlikely Attempt
Iris Colomb

ISBN: 978-1-7395566-4-8
45 page paperback
Dec 5, 2023

book & album of the same name will be launched on Dec 5 at New River Studios
199, Eade Road, London, N4 1DN 

Skronk released the accompanying digital album, containing all the poems in the book in their live improvised form

The final ever SKRONKSPEAK and most appropriately it’s the book launch for Ridiculous Unlikely Attempt, compiled from Iris’s improvised vocals at various SKRONK nights.

Featured acts include:
Apocalypse Jazz Unit
Ed Shipsey 
Andrew Ciccone & John Bisset 
Sascha Aurora Akhtar
and Iris herself… 
on Ridiculous Unlikely Attempt:

Colomb’s writing is the textual score of her rhythmic insistent thought. This pamphlet developed from live improvisation captures the pace of her challenging performative voice. Its subject reflects on the impossibility of following tasks through detailed instruction and the sound of language in attempting to describe the void.
— montenegrofisher

Words dance on the page and spiral out like spinning dervishes: free flowing fragments of inspiration. Yes, as Iris says, poetry is an instrument in its own right. Hers, a rhythmelodic delight. Free improvisation, a maelstrom midwife. Iris, a great improviser who weaves the magically meaningless with myriad meaning.
— Maggie Nicols

Lexical pathways along a map of a performance, fingerprints of events mediated through vispo, Colomb uses prepositional repetit-it-it-it-ions and tautological utterances; an unlikely -but dangerously close to- {the} achievement of textual sonic objects.
— Rhys Trimble

Iris captures the continual taking up and releasing of space in an improvised SKRONK session. This is beautifully formed in her concrete poems that are made from her transcribed words and the page shaping around them. The liveness, what was/is viable, is there as a residue and prompt. As I read, I hear.
— Nicola Woodham

above - SEMANTIX (Ed Shipsey, Andrew Ciccone, Chris Hill, Iris Colomb, Jordan Muscatello), playing as feature act at Skronk #94, New River Studios, 7th September 2021. Video by Eleanor Smith.

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to Ridiculous Unlikely Attempt:

Text as Instrument: Improvising with Musicians

In July 2021 I started taking part in SKRONK’s ‘Open Sessions’. In these bimonthly events, organised by artist Rick Jensen at London’s New River Studios, musicians improvise in small groups across multiple short sets. Anyone in the audience is welcome to sign up and join in. This essay attempts to render my experience of improvising with text in this music context over the past year.

The first sounds set the scene, let them gather, take them in. A space builds through them, don’t try to fill it, feel your way through it to find where words fit. Sound is a space we actively share and are constantly negotiating. Find where words flow, let it change. Learn to resist the instinctive pull of saturated speech. Forget the weight of total responsibility, sound is a space through which we move, a space we all keep choosing, a space we hold together. I speak into it. I speak as I listen. I speak as I read. I listen as I speak. I listen as I read. I read, I listen, I speak, I pause.

I was used to hearing nothing but my own voice, what it should, what it must, what it needs to be doing. I had learnt to resist all other sounds, to speak over and despite them, to keep going. Here, whether I do or do not speak, I am part of every moment. Time flows with a new intensity, every instant bursting with potential and significance. Every choice is urgent, irreversible and immediately exposed. If I hesitate I use it. If I stammer I repeat it. My silence isn’t silence. I let the sounds speak back.

I try to accept whatever I do as I do it, to stop questioning, to start reacting. Improvising requires a new kind of focus. I don’t know how to reach it. Every set is full of new experiences for me to welcome, process and collect. I don’t know myself in this context. I want to learn. I don’t expect this to be linear. I try not to lose patience. Learning is a cumulative process. Every challenge is constructive. Struggling is necessary.

Iris Colomb is an artist, poet, improviser, curator, editor, and translator based in London. Her practice merges poetry and other art forms to explore various relationships between visual and verbal forms of text through projects involving performance, poetic book-objects, experimental translation, and improvisation.

She has been resident artist and poet at the Centre For Recent Drawing, she is now the Co-Editor of HVTN Press, the founder and curator of the investigative poetry & performance platform SLANT, as well as a member of the interdisciplinary collective No Such Thing, half of the performance duo Soft Play with poet and artist Paul Ingram, and half of the sound and text duo [something's happening] with composer Daryl Worthington (Beachers). She is currently working as a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton.

more info on Iris’s website here