– Holly Pester

sound poetry, performance texts and writing


‘Temperament, Temperature’

A telephone drama of prolific call, horizontal speeching and an epic of gossip, by Holly Pester

Launches 19th September until 14th November
@ K2 Telephone Kiosk, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London


The first red telephone kiosk designed in 1924 by renowned architect Giles Gilbert Scott is the site for four new sound works commissioned by Measure, a non-for-profit arts organisation. The historic structure installed under the entranceway to Burlington House, Piccadilly was the only wooden prototype made of this iconic design.

Marking the 90th anniversary, Measure will present a programme of sonic compositions by UK-based artists to be listened to through the telephone handset. Presented consecutively artists Holly Pester, Aura Satz, Dan Scott and Lawrence Abu Hamdan will each probe the cultural role of the public telephone, its technological design and its relevance as a site for solitary conversation within a bustling central London setting.

Telephone is co-curated by Measure and Poppy Bowers.

Read more here

Read more abut torque here




Poets Eugene Ostashevsky, Holly Pester and Sophie Seita present readings in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery’s Powder Room, within the exhibition curated by Martino Gamper, design is a state of mind. Programmed in collaboration with The White Review.

More info here

The White Review 07 - detail

Russian-American poet Eugene Ostashevsky is renowned for his physically animated, ventriloquistic performances of poems on subjects as varied as Continental philosophy and pirates’ conversations with their parrots. His books of poetry, Iiterature and The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza are published by Ugly Duckling Presse, and he is the editor of OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism. Ostashevsky teaches in the liberal studies programme at New York University. He contributed an excerpt from The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi to The White Review 8.

Sophie Seita writes poetry, short plays, translates German poetry, makes videos, and performs in the UK, US and Germany. She is the author of Fantasias in Counting (BlazeVOX 2014) and the chapbook 12 Steps (Wide Range 2012). Individual texts have appeared or are forthcoming in magazines and anthologies by Shearsman, Paper Nautilus, Pen America, Gauss PDF, halfcircle, onedit, No Prizes, Emergency Index, Archive of the Now, and others. Her PhD research focuses on avant-garde little magazines and she co-curates the unAmerican Activities Transatlantic Reading and Pamphlet Series. Some video-work is available online here.
Saturdays Live explore ideas and practices connected to Serpentine Galleries exhibitions through performances, interventions and participatory actions.

Readings, Conference and Workshops in Mexico City

Activities and dates
Presentation ENEMIGOS/ENEMIES: Poetic Action. Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Thursday October 19:30 h. (in colaboration with Claustro de Sor Juana) Participate: Amanda de la Garza, SJ Fowler, Rocío Cerón y Holly Pester. Scheduled Assay 16 h., Sala E.

Calle Dr. Mora #7, Col. Centro
Ciudad de México, C.P. 06050,
Tel. (55) 5510-2779 and (55) 5512-2079

Presentation EXPANDIBLE: Saturday November 2, CCEMX, 19 h. Participate: SJ Fowler y Holly Pester
Conferences/Workshop: Holly Pester-Tuesday October 29 y SJ Fowler-Thursday October 31, 10 to 14 h. in CCEMX

Pasaje cultural Guatemala 18, Calle Donceles #97, Col. Centro
Delegación Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06010, México, D.F
Tel. (55) 5521-1925, (55) 5521-1926, (55) 5521-1928

Sound installation, writing residency, live performance and talk

a small hiccup


A Small Hiccup  is a exhibition about mistranslation and diseased language with work by Jeremy Hutchison, Leah Lovett, Fay Nicolson & Oliver Smith, Siôn Parkinson, Erica Scourti, Simon Senn, Holly Pester and Charlie Woolley.



Is it always good to talk?

‘A Small Hiccup’ is a traveling exhibition, events programme, publication and online commission exploring diseased language, curated by George Vasey.

Dates and Venues:

‘Don’t go into a butchers asking for a piece of cod’
Friday 17 May 7.30–9.30pm
Film programme co-curated with Cheryl Jones


Exhibition continues:
The Newbridge Project (Newcastle) 13th July to 30th August (PV 12th July)
Limoncello (London) 16th July

More details will be posted on gallery websites.


Erica Scourti work Monkey Mind on this is tomorrow from 10th June


Free newspaper designed by An Endless Supply


smallhiccup.tumblr.com/ for extra curricular reading and artworks.


A Small Hiccup playlist


“Taking its name and inspiration from Konstantin Raudive’s 1970s experiments into hearing unidentified voices in electronic interference, Electronic Voice Phenomena is a new performance by cutting edge poets, musicians and performers. Featuring séances-of-the-absurd, backmasking and ghost-calls, the EVP tour will arriving in Brighton with an exclusive special guest, and a roster of core works in text, technology and physical performance.”


Thursday 25 April 2013 to Sunday 28 April 2013, 11:00 to 20:00

Free → 

Sooth the Saying Sooth is a looping sound poem about prophesying voices and public speech exchange situated in Arnolfini’s foyer for the duration of 4 Days. It mixes Nostradamus-esque riddling in declarative, foreboding and humouring tones – intermediating mysticism and technology, authority and dissent. 

A celebration of Bob Cobbing, ABC in sound – ensemble performance

23rd October, 2012, The Castle Hotel, Manchester

A ensemble performance of Cobbing’s ABC in Sound, at the Other Room, featuring Tim Allen, Joanne Ashcroft, Richard Barrett, Leanne Bridgewater, Matt Dalby, Phil Davenport, James Davies, Ollie Evans, Patricia Farrell, Clive Fencott, Alan Halsey, Michael Haslam, Tom Jenks, Angela Keaton, Geraldine Monk, Maggie O’Sullivan, Holly Pester, Robert Sheppard, Adrian Slatcher, Scott Thurston, Gareth Twose, Steven Waling, Steve Willey and Nigel Wood.

Site-specific sound installations by Holly Pester

Featured on the Ted Hughes Award for New Poetry 


The piece was devised by listening to radio news broadcasts and notating the intakes of breath made by the news readers, using key utterances as exhales. The piece explores  exhaustion and expenditure in the voice, translations of speech into song, and the constant pulse of news words.

This event took place on Wed 14 – Sun 18 March
Around at the StAnza Poetry Festival and around St Andrews

“For The Year of Creative Scotland 2012, StAnza has commissioned the English sound poet and artist Holly Pester, known for her ‘news breath’ sound pieces, to use recent news items to create for the festival an original composition which, along with other works, will offer chance encounters with text and voice in unexpected nooks and corners around town.”


Residency, Performance and Workshop, 22nd – 26th August, 2012

Residency at Dschingis Khan Restaurant
Through its location in the Dschingis Khan Restaurant, the Writers’ Residency investigates the possibilities of privacy in a public space. In addition, through a series of talks, writers-in-residence are offered the possibility of a public moment during their time in Kassel. Having developed out of conversations and readings during the residencies, these talks encourage the choral meeting and exchange of voices.


Poetry reading with Adam Kleinman at Offener Kanal Café, 24th August

Adam Kleinman: Todesfuge
Holly Pester: The Sick Sad Work Song: a performance of song-driven poetry, shanty loops and rough speech

 The Poetry Readings Program is an exercise in emancipating the body from the clichés and constraints of the day, under a spotlight, in a dark, intimate, night time space. Every Friday at 11 pm in the Offener Kanal Café, an invited guest opens the evening by reading out loud selected poems to a gathering of people who listen out loud, and are later invited to take over the microphone and recite or read their own poetry or that of others into the night.
Rise of the Mondegreens – song words better by error, workshop at Huguenothouse, 25th August
Writer-in-residence Holly Pester leads a workshop about sea shanties and miss-heard song lyrics, inviting the audience to create poems rooted in the sonic possibilities of  the misunderstood.

Rich Mix  hosts the third Camarade poetry event, featuring ten pairs of contemporary European poets. Please do attend, entrance is free.

www.richmix.org.uk / www.3ammagazine.com / www.maintenant.co.uk

Iain Sinclair & Tom Chivers
Jeff Hilson & Robert Shepherd
Maria Ferencuhova & Frances Kruk
Holly Pester & Emma Bennett
Philip Terry & Allen Fisher
Tim Atkins & Harry Gilonis
Simon Barraclough & Isobel Dixon
Andy Spragg & David Berridge
Richard Barrett & Marcus Slease
Chris McCabe & Tom Jenks

‘Shadow was amazed to hear his owner refer to the toilet as the big white phone’

Installation:  8th-11th March

Performance: 10th March, 1pm

The show is curated by Rose Lejeune

Cartel Gallery – Black Container Space situated in the Courtyard of The Old Police Station
114 – 116 Amersham Vale
London, SE14 6LG
Tube: New Cross (East London Overground)
Buses: 188, 47, 59

Holly Pester will be showing a sound installation at the Cartel Gallery  between 7th-11th of March, with a performance on Saturday 10th, 1pm. The work, ‘Shadow was amazed to hear his owner refer to the toilet as the big white phone’, will explore communication failure and humble broadcasts.

Saturday 11th February, 3pm
Holly Pester in response to the poetics of Lygia Pape

“Every Saturday the Serpentine Gallery hosts talks and seminars for the public. This winter prominent artists, poets, curators and academics discuss themes connected to the Lygia Pape exhibition and the Neo-Concrete movement.”

The below sound poems were made in response to Lygia Pape’s woodcuts and neo-concrete poetry. The series was made for a presentation at the Serpentine Gallery, 11th February 2012. All pieces are anagrams of the word ‘Disentangled’ from Pape’s poem Boca a Boca.

Dangled Site

Dated \’El\’ Sign

A Sledged Tin

Deal Dig Nets

Gated Led Sin

Dead Tingles

The following video is of the poem written in response to my engagement with the exhibiton, Magnetized Space, and to the Pape material.

A book launch and performance night at the Rich Mix, Shoreditch, London.

Saturday 15th October, 7pm

Featuring collaboration works from Tom Jenks & Chris McCabe; Patrick Coyle & Holly Pester; Sam Riviere & Jack Underwood; Sandeep Parmar & James Byrne; James Wilkes & Ghazal Mosadeq; Iily Critchley & Tamarin Norwood; Sean Bonney & Jeff HilsonMarcus Slease & Tim Atkins. With an introduction by Steven Fowler.



Performance at Buffalo, NY
Friday September 23, 8 pM
Karpeles Manuscript Library, Porter Hall , 453 Porter Ave