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Online Programme

An online version of the gorgeous-yet-corrosive programme is available to view and download here. Many thanks to Sinjin Lee for their superlative design work!

Please note that there are still a few tweaks to be applied to the programme. We will be uploading revised versions of the programme as and when we get them. The above link will continue to work for new versions.

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Registration and Schedule

Registration for “Corroding the Now” is now live. To register, send an email to us at, specifying which days you would like to attend and your delegate status (in terms of waged/unwaged, presenting/non-presenting, etc.). We will then send you a payment link. We have also created a event page for sharing over email or social media.

Registration rates are listed below. Early Bird rates will cease from Monday 8th April. The Friday evening readings are free to attend. Please note that the venue address is 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD.

One Day
technē Students: free (please still email to register)
Presenting Unwaged/Students: £10
Early Bird Unwaged/Students: £15
Unwaged/Students: £20
Presenting Waged: £20
Early Bird Waged: £25
Waged: £30

Both Days
technē Students: free (please still email to register)
Presenting Unwaged/Students: £15
Early Bird Unwaged/Students: £20
Unwaged/Students: £25
Presenting Waged: £30
Early Bird Waged: £40
Waged: £50

Provisional Conference Schedule
Both Days
Vítor C. Gama, “Braulio Tavares √1: SF Poetry and ‘Brazilianness'” (poster)
Christy Ducker & Peter Hebden, “Reactions: science at the intersections of new readings” (installation)

Friday 12th April
09.00 Registration
09.30 Opening remarks – Francis Gene-Rowe & Stephen Mooney

09.45 Session 1 a – Ecopoesis 1: Oil, Wetness and other Slicks (HARI supported)
Chair: Katie Stone
Alexandra Campbell, “Toxic Colonialism: Plastics, Poetry and the Petro-Ocean”
Josephine Taylor, “Oil and the Creaturely in Poetry and Speculative horror”
Antoine Devillet & Nelle Gevers, “Sonic Encounter With Oceanic Nows” (performance)

Session 1 b – Landscapes, Maps, Territories
Chair: Amy Butt
Paul Green, reading from The Gestaltbunker, Here Comes the Alchemical Revolution and Shadow Times.
Kate Pickering, “Weirding the Megachurch: Bodily Dis/Orientation and Belief”
Rebecca Thomas, “Landscape in Zoe Skoulding’s Remains of a Future City as epistemic modifier”

11.15 Coffee

11.30 Session 2 a – The Sun Also Ras
Chair: Paul Green
Matthew Carbery, “Quantum Blackness: Afrofuturist Poetics in the 21st Century”
Katie Stone & Sasha Myerson, “This Planet is Doomed?: The Outer Limits of Language in the Science-fictional Poetry of Sun Ra”

Session 2 b – Sidereal Horizons
Chair: Rachel Hill
Sophie Heuschling, “‘Explorational blankness’: Will Alexander’s imaginative and poetic probing of our neighbouring planet in ‘Water on New Mars’”
Pippa Goldschmidt, “We are not special: how SF poetry engages with the Cosmological Principle”
Oliver Langmead, “Developing the Epic Poetic Form for Science Fiction”

13.00 Lunch (own arrangements)

14.00 Plenary session (Professor Alex Goody) “Poetry, Science and the (modernist) Posthuman”
Chair: Peter Middleton

15.00 Coffee

15.15 Session 3 a – SF Poetry & the Contemporary
Chair: Sean O’Brien
Russell Jones, “Multiverse: a practitioner’s guide to contemporary science fiction poetry”
Liz Bahs, “Poems From a Lost Botanist”
Francis Gene-Rowe, “Titanium Characters: Capital’s Spectres in Ratzinger Solo” (substitute talk)

Session 3 b – The Poetics of Mind
Chair: Raphael Kabo
Peter Middleton, “‘Iamb / what iamb’: Poetry and Neurodiversity”
Llew Watkins, “Poetry and mind: detaching the finger from the moon”
Suzie Gray, performance of “E-Tabula Rasa” and “Poetal Lite”

16.45 Coffee

17.00 Discussion
Chair: Francis Gene-Rowe
Provocations by: Jo L. Walton, Alexandra Campbell, Naomi Foyle

18.00 Dinner (own arrangements)

19.00 Evening Readings
Chair: Stephen Mooney
Jonathan Catherall & Iris Colomb
Robert Kiely
Sarah Kelly
Verity Spott (recording)
Russell Jones
Suzie Gray
Naomi Foyle
Jo L. Walton
Richard Parker (recording)
Stephen Mooney

Saturday 13th April
9.30 Registration open for Saturday-only delegates

10.00 Session 4 a – Roundtable: [x-]topian Digital Dreams: Politics and Poetics of SciFi Videogaming (HARI supported)
Chair: Tripp Yeoman
Alfie Bown
Marijam Didzgalvyte
Simon Saunders

Session 4 b – Corrosions in Popular Culture
Chair: Astra Papachristodoulou
nicky melville, reading from ABBODIES
Jeff Hilson, “In Space Nobody Can Hear You Laugh: A Poetry Reading”

11.00 Coffee

11.15 Session 5 a – Heresies, Incursions/Excursions
Chair: Jon K Shaw
Dan Byrne-Smith, “X…The Unexplained” (performance)
Sophie Sleigh-Johnson, “DOWN CURSE (2018 AD—2018 BC)” (performance)
Luke Jordan, Untitled (performance)

Session 5 b – Ecopoesis 2: Ways of Knowing, Anthropocene
Chair: Paul March-Russell
Sarah Daw, “Quantum Physics, Speculative Philosophy and Ecological Thought in the Experimental (Eco)poetics of Muriel Rukeyser and Charles Olson”
Fred Carter, “‘Slow time shall tap’: derangements of scale in the nuclear and geologic ‘now’ of Wendy Mulford’s innovative lyric”
Helen List, “Plant life: the acceptance of photosynthesis at the table”

12.45 Lunch (own arrangements)

13.45 Plenary Session (Professor Allen Fisher): “Formerly Now”
Chair: Jo L. Walton

14.45 Coffee

15.00 Session 6 a – Making Kin
Chair: Glyn Morgan
Charlotte Geater, “Generating Recovery: Bot Poetry, Ecopoetry, and Reading for Nonhuman Agencies”
Jenny Swingler, Gills
Molina Klingler, “Life in Science Fact and Science Fiction: Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis Trilogy and the Ecopoetry of Stephen Collis”

Session 6 b – Crumbling Centres: Utopia, History, Ecocide
Chair: Sasha Myerson
Naomi Foyle, “Burying the Wet Computer: Toward a Utopian SF Eco-Poetics”
Philip Jones, “Already passing: the anthropocene, futurity and pessimism in Jorie Graham’s Fast
Paul March-Russell, “Helen and the Futurity of Ruins: Sandeep Parmar’s Eidolon

16.30 Coffee

16.45 Plenary Session (Iain Sinclair, Melinda Gebbie, Allen Fisher)
Chair: Stephen Mooney

18.00 Pub Drinks

19.30 Post-Conference Dinner

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Updates: Poster, Partners, Deadline

Many thanks again to Sing Yun Lee and Jon Hedley, who have provided us with an updated conference poster (now with added corrosion). We are also extremely proud to announce that we have received the support and official endorsement of technē, HARI, and The Science Fiction Foundation. Note also that we have amended the deadline for proposals to the conference to January 20th, with a response by February 10th. That means there’s exactly one month left to send something out way. Spread the word!

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First Conference Poster!

With many thanks to our conference designers Sing Yun Lee and Jon Hedley. We are very happy to have Lee and Hedley, who have previously worked together designing for the “Petrocultures 2018: Transitions” and “Sublime Cognition: Science Fiction and Metaphysics” conferences, on the Corroding the Now team. The conference programme should be a rare aesthetic treat. The images below comprise the first conference poster and can be clicked on for full-size versions.


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Call for Papers: Corroding the Now

Call for Papers: “Corroding the Now: Poetry + Science|SF”

Conference. Bloomsbury, London. April 12-13, 2019.

The world we inhabit is framed, driven, (re)produced, and conceptualised by and through science. Science as a mode of knowing contours the prevailing episteme, whilst technological innovation continues to remake work and leisure experience. At the same time, society is both reflected and in turn formed by science fiction (SF): as contributor to the nostalgia economy, as a dominant visual-commercial aesthetic, as a mimetic index of the present’s utopian and dystopian tendencies. The now is a time of extreme precarity. We face a raft of catastrophes – political, socioeconomic, and, most pressingly, ecological. And yet, even as our own survival comes into question, capitalism itself seems unassailable, primed to outlast ‘humanity.’

Poetry, perhaps, offers a mode of thinking and writing outside of what we already know. Although in many instances relegated to the status of niche hobby or confined to the manufactured radical space of the academy, it contains the possibility of genuine alterity: correction, articulation, derangement, experiment. This conference proposes to investigate the web formed between poetry, science, and SF. Each of these is both implicated in the now and also potential disruption of it. Our technomodern reality is shaped by scientific reason and innovation, yet at the same time predicated on the uneven distribution of knowledge and technology. SF risks critical impotence given its tendency to rearticulate a world which already resembles a futuristic dystopia. An insufficiently corrosive poetics slides into irrelevance.

Rather than seeking to reclaim each of these modes, this conference proposes an intensification of the chaos and energy formed by their interconnection. Its goal is open process; speculative poetics as a mode of thinking, a technique, a creative reading (and writing) strategy, a hack: science, SF, and innovative poetry.

Possible topics and area of enquiry include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Speculation. How will the poetry of the immediate future address the concerns and ideas of science and SF? What new, unknown poetries can we produce, create, or conceptualise?
  • Praxis. What critical, creative or activist possibilities are opened up by the act of writing, reading, or performing such poetries? How can we bring theoretical and hermeneutic reactions to such texts to bear upon material reality?
  • Minute Particulars. Where and how do science and/or SF appear in contemporary poetics? Is there a difference between the poetry of science and the poetry of SF? In what other forms of science and SF writing might we find poetry?
  • Landscape. What are the worlds, and ways of worlding, enabled by SF poetry and/or poetry & science? How do these modify our conception of ‘the world,’ or of episteme?
  • Liminals. In what ways do such poetries slide between categories or genres? In what ways do these characteristics modify or question our hermeneutic approaches?
  • The I/Eye. What approaches to selfhood, identity, and (post)human subjectivity arise via speculative poetics? How might questions of race and post-colonialism be addressed through a scientific or SF poetics?
  • Utopia – Heterotopia – Dystopia. To what extent, and in what ways, do intersections of poetry, science, and/or SF seek to correct society’s flaws? What types of community or [X-]topian imagination do they give rise to?
  • Histories. What are the precursor texts and techniques to today’s science and SF poetry and poetics? Are there undervalued oeuvres that might be brought to light today?
  • Derangement. What are the formal and linguistic properties of scientific and/or SF poetry, and how do they differ from those of other poetic modes?
  • World. How might we connect Ecopoetics and/or Zoopoetics with an SF poetics? In what ways does such poetry respond to ecocritical discourses, to Petromodernity and/or the Anthropocene?
  • Things. What conceptions of ontology or phenomena do SF poetry and/or poetry & science explore? What are the things (or thingynesses) of speculative poetics?
  • &c. Space. The Weird. ‘Pataphysics. OuLiPo. Cyborg Poetics. Speculative Realism. Scifaiku. Binary Poetry. Machine-Produced Poetry. Alternate History. &c.

We are interested in academic papers and panels, creative responses, poetry readings and performances. We welcome scholars, poets, critics, scientists, science fiction writers, students, and all others. We are also interested in submissions of A2 size posters featuring critical, creative and other work. These will be on display for the duration of the conference. Poster submissions from PGR students will be given priority over those from other sources. “Corroding the Now” is committed to promoting diversity whenever possible and encourages proposals from people of all backgrounds.

For individual papers, responses, or performances, please send proposals of up to 300 words. For multiple participant formats (e.g. discussion panels, group readings, etc.), proposals may be up to 500 words long. Multiple participant panels or performances that are all-male will not be considered for inclusion in the conference. Posters should be sent in both high res (300+ DPI) jpeg and pdf formats. Both posters and proposals should be accompanied by 50 word participant bios. All submissions should be sent to by 20th January 2019. Applicants will receive a response by 10th February 2019. Inquiries in the meantime should be addressed to

Confirmed conference guests include Alex Goody (Oxford Brookes University), Melinda Gebbie, Allen Fisher, and Iain Sinclair.

“Corroding the Now” is co-hosted by Royal Holloway, University of London, University of Surrey, Birkbeck, University of London, and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and officially endorsed and supported by technē, HARI, and the Science Fiction Foundation.

The organising committee includes: Francis Gene-Rowe, Dr Stephen Mooney, Dr Richard Parker, Dr Sean O’Brien, Dr Christos Callow Jr., Sarah Kelly, Melissa Addey, Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, Jonathan Taylor, Claudia Davidson, Eleanor March, Yen Ooi, Dr Ahmed Honeini, Professor Adam Roberts, Josephine Taylor.