Spotlight on the Best Collaborative Work Shortlist

The Best Collaborative Work category was first implemented three years ago, and we’re excited to share with you the shortlist this year which is dizzyingly varied and exciting. Don’t forget to vote onthe shortlist by the 24th May!

And No Animal Is Without An Enemy by Megan Nolan with Linda Stupart, Penny Goring, Eoghan Ryan, Rachel Benson

I’m thrilled for “And No Animal Is Without Enemy” to be nominated in the Saboteur Awards, especially in this category. The event was a way to bring together some of the artists I am most excited by and who have been formative for how my practice has been developing since I’ve lived in London, so for us all to be recognised together is a real pleasure for me.

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“And No Animal Is Without Enemy” was a performance event I curated and performed in alongside Linda Stupart, Penny Goring, Rachel Benson and Eoghan Ryan at Cubitt Gallery. The event was devised as an attempt to address ongoing concerns in my writing work to do with disembodiment and the unreliable self as narrator. I invited the artists to join me but without any prescriptive direction- I trusted that their practices would make sense together and touch on my areas of interest. I was so grateful and awed by their performances and proud to have brought them together.

Why voters think it should win:

An event with really different artists performing through different media and yet a clear and robust thread ran through all the work, making the event cohesive and moving

only one i have seen but thoroughly thought provoking / broadening, hearing directly of experience/trauma personal to each artist

Lives up to the great title

Fool’s World – A Tarot by Tom de Freston and Helen Ivory

We are extremely excited to have made this illustrious shortlist.  We’d like to thank everybody who nominated us!



Helen Ivory has four collections of poetry with Bloodaxe books, teaches at UEA/ WCN and edits the webzine Ink Sweat & Tears.  More at Tom de Freston is an artist and currently creative fellow at Birmingham University and Artist in Residence at Medicine Unboxed. More at On Fool’s World: We want the pack to work simultaneously as functioning Tarot, and a collection of artistic interpretations. If the ekphrastic experiment has worked, then hopefully the cards are less about an experiment in form and more an opportunity for readers to see the slippery self reflected.

Why voters think it should win:

This is an absolutely beautiful piece of work by both poet and artist. Presented as a set of cards the images are of the highest inventive quality and the poems haunting, quietly spoken, perfectly balanced.

Have you seen this? Seriously? It’s the sexiest thing poetry has ever done. It literally comes in a box. (See what I did?)

The work is splendid – Tom’s artwork is stunning and Helen’s poetry is mystical and other-worldly a great combination for this work.


Haunt by Imove

At Imove we want our arts projects to surprise, subvert, tell untold stories, expose unseen places, both real and metaphorical.  Haunt connected with people who had experienced homelessness and wanted to do that too.  Being shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards is a massive boost to us and importantly to the participants who contributed. Their words spoke to the stream that runs through all Imove’s work – embodiment.  The Haunt anthology bears creative witness to the reality of homelessness as physically and precariously lived.

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Haunt is about homelessness as a spectral presence in an outwardly opulent spa town – and vice versa.  In 2015, Steve Toase and Becky Cherriman, two formerly homeless writers, led an Imove project which helped people experiencing homelessness in Harrogate to tell stories about their lives, their places, their dreams for the future. This work, with images by photographer Paul Floyd Blake, was published in an anthology, launched with a series of readings and included in the Harrogate Stories exhibition at the Royal Pump Rooms Museum.  In June 2016, Haunt will be developed as a promenade performance and installation in Harrogate. – Tessa Gordziejko, Creative Producer, Imove

Why voters think it should win:

This is a genuinely collaborative project with one of the most excluded groups in society. It has led to some great art as well as opening up new opportunities for socially excluded individuals.

Because the project reminds us that homelessness and transient lives aren’t just a ‘far-away’ problem of big cities and deprived places… and, more importantly, reminds us that the homeless are real people with voices and opinions and likes and dislikes – rather than the blank receptacles for pity or charity that we’re all guilty (at times) of seeing them as.

A sensitive collaboration between professional writers and non-professional, sometimes completely new, writers. Beautiful writing and a poignant insight into human fragility, and the fragility of our perceived ‘security’.

Little Metropolis by Adam Horovitz & Josef Reeve

We’re thrilled that Little Metropolis is making its way up to the big Metropolis for the Saboteur Awards’ Best Collaboration shortlist, and in such excellent company too


Originally commissioned by the Stroud Fringe for their 2015 festival, Little Metropolis, by Adam Horovitz and Josef Reeve, is a poetry-fuelled multimedia celebration of growing up in small town Britain; “…an exploration of townscape as personal psychogeography”, as David Clarke says in his Sabotage review.

Starting out as a live show, Little Metropolis evolved into a CD featuring Horovitz’s poetry and Reeve’s genre-hopping music, into which is woven a collage of voices from Stroud. “Poetry and social history you can dance to,” as Horovitz puts it. There’s also an accompanying book, featuring art and photographs by Adam Hinks and James Kriszyk.

Why voters think it should win:

Two people had worked together, but it was like they were finishing each other’s sentneces. Both brought uniqueness to the mix.

A delightful hymn to this most unusual of Cotswold towns. Gritty, sweet and melancholic.

Engaging with Adam’s amazing poems with Joe’s musical talent to accompanying them – and they are both top blokes!

The Enemies Project by SJ Fowler et al.

A pleasure to be nominated for the award, hopefully The Enemies Project and the other nominees, and the popularity of the category itself, shows that collaborative methods are as intrinsic to poetry as they are to other mediums.

From The Enemies Project in Iceland by Markús Már Efraím
From The Enemies Project in Iceland by Markús Már Efraím

The Enemies Project is about poetry in collaboration – across the arts, across languages and nations, across form, style and content – a multifarious, multidisciplinary but essentially cogent program of events, exhibitions, tours and publications that provide the grounding to comprehensively explore the notion of collaboration in a contemporary, active, innovative realm of poetry. Across the globe, over 600 poets, artists, photographers and musicians have participated in over 200 events, in over fifty cities, in twenty one countries and there is much much more to come.

Why voters think it should win:

This indefatigable project has brought about collaborations that extend the narrow scope of the UK poetry world.

Every incarnation of this project has been a delight. There is something special in collaboration when poetry can be so solitary and personal – a great strength of the Enemies Project is the possibility of discovery at every event. You’re drawn in by the big names and come away with the work of somebody young and new.

Incredible reach, interenationalism, work with PEN, SJ Fowler is the very definition of a collaborative soul.