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Helen Charman
Helen Charman's writing can be found in The White Review, the Guardian, Poetry Review, the Stinging Fly, the Baffler, frieze, and elsewhere. Her poetry pamphlets Daddy Poem (SPAM) and Worry work (Earthbound Press) came out in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and her next, In the Pleasure Dairy, is forthcoming from Sad PressShe finished her PhD, on maternity and capitalism in nineteenth-century fiction, in 2019, and teaches at the University of Cambridge and Camberwell College of Arts. Based in Glasgow, she is currently Commissioning Editor at MAP magazine.

Articles Available Online


Where do I put myself, if public life’s destroyed? On reading Denise Riley

Essay

May 2020

Helen Charman

Essay

May 2020

How do you read someone who doesn’t always want to be read? This is a question I used to ask myself when I was...

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Book Review

October 2018

Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’

Helen Charman

Book Review

October 2018

Reading Sally Rooney’s second novel Normal People is a compulsive experience. After the navy blue Faber & Faber proofs...

In the light-filled rooms of The Piper Gallery is a painting show that features no paint Brought together by artist Tess Jaray under the title The Edge of Painting, the twelve works are by names that are rarely associated with painting such as Rana Begum, Cornelia Parker, Tom Lomax and Cathy de Monchaux With work chosen for its painterly qualities but rendered in materials including 3-D print, rattlesnake venom and 16mm film, the exhibition offers, as Jaray states in her curator’s foreword, ‘no answers, but it does pose many questions’   Posing my own questions to Tess Jaray in her north London home, I realise how much the exhibition reveals about her own work The piece of her own that she includes in the show, ‘Migration, Wide, Orange’ (2013), is listed with deliberate ambiguity as ‘work on panel’ Like the exhibition itself, it is a strong, colourful statement that combines the visual punch and cool intellectualism that characterises Jaray’s work   As visual artist, writer and tutor (she was the first woman to teach at the Slade), Jaray has kept faith with a formal language of light and geometry that is both constant and infinitely renewable In her work, precise groups of shapes are arranged on absolutely flat grounds to investigate the elemental effects that pattern, repetition and colour have on our perceptions From the mid-1990s Jaray started increasingly to write about other artists’ work, and in 2001 she collaborated with the German writer W G Sebald, pairing visual responses to fragments from The Rings of Saturn and Vertigo In 2010 she published her collected writings under the title Painting: Mysteries and Confessions   On my way to meet Jaray I turn the wrong way out of Caledonian Road station and arrive late; something that she later tells me is because I failed to frame my journey properly She is gracious in spite of my trouble with framing, and I am warmly invited into her home, which, rather like her show, exhibits a pleasing selection of disparate materials and colours White walls and pale contemporary floors play host to worn dark

Contributor

November 2017

Helen Charman

Contributor

November 2017

Helen Charman’s writing can be found in The White Review, the Guardian, Poetry Review, the Stinging Fly, the Baffler, frieze, and elsewhere. Her poetry pamphlets Daddy Poem (SPAM)...

Rendering intimacy impossible, deploy lifeboats (mark yourself safe) Not listening as such, more waiting to speak, above all mark yourself, it’s so important to be safe Carry on, they demand, we’re not reeling / we are reeling Is this the place for a fountain reference? Probably ‘What first attracted you to your wife, sir?’ ‘Her delicacy / her ankles / her hatred of the Tories’                  Alive twice over but that’s a whole life gone too                you know I’m sorry, he holds his hands up, I’m                sorry, he backs away: my conscience couldn’t                keep company with your body I say, your body?                it just made me think: it’s only a nine month stay   The next time you lay a hand on me, I’ll make a perfect gleaming dive into the Thames Aren’t you glad / to be here? I am
Electioneering

Prize Entry

November 2017

Helen Charman


READ NEXT

Prize Entry

April 2015

Every Woman to the Rope

Joanna Quinn

Prize Entry

April 2015

My father believed the sea to be covetous: a pleading dog that would lap at you adoringly, sidling up...

poetry

May 2014

Two Poems from Grun-tu-molani

Vidyan Ravinthiran

poetry

May 2014

The Sky there was a uniform inactive grey, except when stared at through a chainlink fence; those who could...

fiction

January 2014

Leg over Leg

Ahmad Fāris al-Shidyāq

TR. Humphrey Davies

fiction

January 2014

First published in 1855, Leg over Leg recounts the life, from birth to middle age, of ‘the Fāriyāq,’ alter ego of...

 

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