Allen Fisher

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Allen Fisher has been writing since 1962 and participated as poet, performer and installation artist with the English Fluxus group in the 1970s. He started professional work as a painter in 1978. After twenty years in lead and plastics industries he started teaching art, art history and poetry at Goldsmiths' College in the eighties, moved to Herefordshire College of Art & Design in 1989; he became Head of Art at Roehampton University in 1998, was appointed as Professor of Poetry & Art in 2002 and became Head of Contemporary Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005 and was made Emeritus Professor in 2009.
 
He has 150 publications of art documentation, conceptual work and poetry to his name. He employs interdisciplinary techniques in performance and installation works, drawing mainly from poetry and visual art. Part of his processual work is in the Tate Collection and his painted work is owned by museums in Hereford and Iceland and private collections in America, Australia, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.
 
In the 1960s his work included collage fiction (such as Bavuska), short lyrics (such as Before Ideas, Ideas) and a sustained sequence (long shout to kernewek). In 1969 his poetry and art practice developed different strands of processual, conceptual and systematic methods. Thomas Net's Tree-Birst derived from The Prelude Book First, was followed by place, started in 1971, summarised as a sequence using open-field composition intruded with shifts into lyrical and allegorical sets. Parallel with this ten-year project, he developed systematic sequences of poetry (such as The Art of Flight based on the notes in Bach's The Art of Fugue and Apocalyptic Sonnets which invented the double sonnet). This sonnet form was further developed into combinatory structures in Emergent Manner in 1999. During this period his poetry also developed a range of styles and personas (including Pam Burnell's Political Speeches, Poetry for Schools and Imbrications, a Book of Business Verse.) During the 1980s he started a series of works in art history and poetics (Necessary Business 1985, Topological Shovel 1999 and Confidence in lack, 2007).
 
During the 1960s he started Edible Magazine. In 1972 he set up Aloes Books with Jim Pennington and Dick Miller and in 1974 he set up Spanner (initially planned with Dick Miller who left Britain before it started). Spanner continues to publish art and poetry texts and a series of chapbooks. From 1975 until 1980, he ran New London Pride Editions with Elaine Fisher, dedicated to writers then working in London.
 
He completed Gravity as a consequence of shape between 1982 and 2005 [volume one as GRAVITY (Salt, 2004), two as ENTANGLEMENT (The Gig, Ontario, 2004), volume 3, LEANS (Salt, 2007); he is preparing Traps or Tools and Damage: a Collection of Essays and Texts on Composition in American Art & Literature since 1950; working on a sequence of visual texts and developing 'performance drawing'. The last substantial book, bringing together the Place books, was PLACE (Reality Street, 2005). He lives in Hereford.