Maggie O'Sullivan
Simone Fattal

Discussing the stories and echoes we excavate when using materials or languages that have complex histories.

Simone Fattal is an artist and ceramicist. Her work ranges from painting to stoneware. Her work explores symbols of home and displacement that span the personal and mythic via archaeology and figuration. Maggie O’Sullivan is a poet and artist. Her work ranges from experimental verse to textile sculptures. Her work explores connections between the visual and aural qualities of languages as they animate complex issues of voice, voicelessness and presence. Together, they discussed the stories and echoes we excavate when using materials or languages that have complex histories.

Each Public Event was an open conversation. So we could start those conversations with some shared understanding of how each speaker has explored the cross-overs between sculpture and poetry in relation to their event's topic, we asked them to suggest a recent project for preparatory watching/reading/listening.

Maggie O’Sullivan nominated two short readings from distinct periods in her writing. The first is the title poem from her 2003 publication "all origins are lonely", a book full of colourful drawings and experiments with typography, and a period of work that Maggie discusses in detail with Dell Olsen for the ‘How 2 Work/Book’ interview available via our Related Resources section:

Henry Moore Institute · “all origins are lonely”

The second reading is from ‘this earth brought into’, which is the opening section from Maggie’s current work-in-progress. This poem refines some of the earlier typographical experiments but explores a markedly different tone of thought about non-human animals, our animality, and how poetry can resist the pastoral imagination:

Henry Moore Institute · this earth brought into

Simone Fattal shared an interview transcript from early 2019, in which she talks to Negar Azimi about collage and sculpture in the run-up to her retrospective exhibition at MoMA PS1 in New York. '"History is a Continuous Movement": An Interview with Simone Fattal' was published by Frieze in spring 2019 and can be read online here.

Commissioned WritingCorridor8

The Texture of the Moon is Silence

Read in Full

A meditation on desire and matter, and the ghosts both protect from the controlling force of approved Histories, by Emii Alrai.

Responsive commissions supported by Arts Council England.

Related Resources


Ceramic Sculptor

A short introduction to Simone Fattal's work by acclaimed poet and painter Etel Adnan, discussing Fattal's relationship to objects and materials and the range of her work across abstraction and figuration.


Archive of Ceramics

A visual archive of some ceramic sculptures by Simone Fattal, hosted on the artist's homesite.


Fix Your Gaze

A bilingual (EN/NO) overview of Simone Fattal's most recent survey exhibition of ceramics, stoneware and paintings, 'Fix Your Gaze on Saturn's Rings', at Bergen Kunsthall in 2020, including a video walk-through narrated by the artist.


Sculpting Poetry from Chaos

Simone Fattal's 2019 retrospective at MoMA PS1 (New York), 'Work and Days', reviewed by Shirine Saad for Hyperallergic.


Post-Apollo Press

Simone Fattal reflects on the legacy of her publishing imprint, Post-Apollo Press, founded in California in 1982, hosted by their distributor, Litmus Press.


How2 Work/Book

Maggie O'Sullivan interviewed by Dell Olson in winter 2003, discussing her poetic methods, influences, taste and much more.


Salt Companion

A list of digitally available sections from the Salt Companion to Maggie O'Sullivan published in 2011, including Ken Edwards' introduction and Charles Bernstein's overview essay, all compiled by Jacket2.


Small Press Facsimiles

Facsimile scans of nine Maggie O'Sullivan small-press publications with bibliographic notes, on the Eclipse archive. Scroll down to 'M' and click on titles to view or download page-by-page files.


Archive of Readings

A comprehensive archive of Maggie O'Sullivan's documented readings, hosted by PennSound, featuring audio and video from 1993 to the present day.


Close Listening

A discussion with Maggie O'Sullivan about writing as an embodied practice, with Charles Bernstein and students at the University of Pennsylvania for WPN's 'Close Listening' show in 2007.