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Philip Davenport


is one of a new wave of British experimental poets who acknowledge contemporary art practise as much as poetics.  

Davenport’s work has been praised (‘Daring and elegiac.’ The Scotsman) and dismissed (‘These aren’t even poems.’ City Life). The poems are made from found text: journalism, porn, txt messages, overheard voices: the daily, unnoticed, backdrop of us. His poems appear in art galleries, recordings, posters, publications, performances, streets and shop windows. He is co-director of groundbreaking arts and health project  arthur+martha.



Career Overview


2009 A Shared Loneliness  poetry residency in The Hague, Holland

2009 about everything book launch of poem/photo collection

2009 Bring Light Towards You  co-curated visual poems by Holocaust survivors on electronic billboard at Piccadilly Railway Station, UK

2008 A long poem about everything  ongoing mini-billposter project, initiated at Liverpool Biennial

2007 Imaginary Missing People (ongoing billposter project) Reykjavik, Iceland

2007 Science & Language exhibition at Mid-Pennine Arts, UK

2007 Art Radio sound poems broadcast daily as part of a sound art exhibition at Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK

2007 Constellation of Luminous Details CD of poems and sound treatments based on overheard conversation released

2007 And the silence increased Mixed media exhibition, Chapman Gallery, Salford, UK

2006 Poet/curator of Mercury Hymn, commemorative exhibition of Ian Hamilton Finlay works with a large text piece by Davenport, for Heart Gallery, Edinburgh

2004-5 TEXT FESTIVAL. Davenport was Poet in Residence at Bury Art Gallery for this pioneering festival of text art and experimental poetry . Produced a sequence of sound installations and prints, exhibited and archived at the gallery. Co-curated first major posthumous retrospective of renowned visual poet Bob Cobbing and also Different Alphabets, overview of international text art/poetry.

2004 Heart Shape Pornography poetry installation at The Walker art gallery commissioned for Liverpool Biennial: texts ‘reclaimed’ from pornography handwritten onto hundreds of apples as part of Ritual Bodies exhibition.

2003 Curated anti-racist poster-poem exhibition for Manchester Poetry Festival.

2002 Davenport collaborated with transvestite artist Phil Sayers and designer Gary Parkinson to make the Vogue Divine poster and postcard series. Large-scale billposters were put up throughout Manchester and thousands of postcards distributed.

1998-2007 The Imaginary Missing People poem series, made by collaging missing persons notices with Davenport’s own diaries, was billposted in Manchester, London and Brighton 1998-2001 as part of various art shows; published by seminal experimental press Writers Forum, 1999.


Public Collections

Archive of text art projects held at Bury Art Gallery. Works in collections at Scottish Poetry Library, Vienna University Library


Selected Weblinks