Michael J. WELLER (Great Britain)
Michael J. Weller (1946, London, England) – poet, artist, organizer. In 1962, he finished technical college (among his classmates were such rock musicians as D. Bowie and P. Frampton, and composer M. Finnissy), and in 1983 he graduated from the North East London Polytechnic, majoring in cultural studies (BA). He was one of the organizers of a number of large socio-cultural projects aimed at the development of the network of informal musical and artistic associations in London. In 1968, he participated in the organization of the Anerley and Penge Artists’ Collective, a group of artists working in the area of graphics, painting and sculpture. This group became a part of the Beckenham Arts Lab (1969-71), a larger multi-cultural association, that was established by M. Finnegan, M. J. Weller, D. Bowie and others. The Beckenham Arts Lab association, which developed spontaneously around D. Bowie’s club concerts, grew further owing to local artistic, musical and literary groups (more than several hundred people altogether) which held their own projects, took part in group exhibitions, concerts and festivals. Since the 1960s, Weller has been deeply involved in the sphere of fine arts, little press, visual poetry and book-art. His works have frequently been published in the British and American little press network, in musical and artistic fan-editions and magazines, including Friends magazine (#17/1970; #24/1971, London), Oz Magazine (#30/1970; #33, 36, 39/1971; #40, 41/1972, London), Cozmic Comics (#2, 3/1972; #6/1974, London), The Trials of Nasty Tales (1973, London) and others. From 1977 to 1979 he regularly contributed to the Birmingham Arts Lab Press, and from 1980 to 1984, he published articles in the “Chainsaw,” a fan-magazine of English punk-rock movement of the 1970s-80s. He was one of the initiators and organizers of the Bromley Musicians’ Collective (1985-87), an informal association of various musical bands (including “Jazzfish,” “Cynika Project,” “Goat!,” “Potent Brew,” “Cultural Thugs” and others), and also another association, South East London Music Collective (SELMC, since 1986) whose member groups include: “Âest Foot Forward,” “Easter & The Totem” and many others. Both associations were very active in the popularization of creative musical creative activities; they published magazines, MC and LP reviews, promoted groups’ recordings on the radio. In 1991, Weller arranged for publication of the series “Visual Associations” with a small and limited circulation for witch he published a number of visual poetry books, including: Sublimage (1992), Cobbled (1996), “B”. A Poem found by M.J. Weller (1998), “G” (a poem of no more)(1999), Harriet Staunton: A Victorian murder ballard (1999), Space Opera (1997-99) and others. He ofen collaborates with B. Griffiths in the area of visual poetry, and with N. Laybourne in the field of sound poetry. His productions have been published in poetic anthologies, such as On the Shelf and Off the Wall (Beckanham: Scribblers Ed., 1997), Word Score Utterance Choreography in Verbal and Visual Poetry (London: Writers Forum, 1998) and others. He regularly participates in poetic colloquia “Sub Voicive” and “Writers Forum” (London). Michael J. Weller lives and works in London (Great Britain).