Saturday 9th July 7:30pm – 10:30pm | Venue TBC (I’d like the answer to this one! In MMU somewhere, I should think. I’ll update when I know)
I shall be reading from my books published during the Pandemic, in what will be my first solo reading for quite some time. (I am still reading my diaries through and before the Pandemic I was reading somewhere every so often, usually every few weeks. That feels like another world, but one I should like to revisit.) The last reading I did is recorded here, with set list and links, just before it all blew off: Pages: Robert Sheppard: The Broken Spine reading, Southport (set list)
Of course, Coronavirus also took over as the main subject of my sequential re-writing of the English Sonnet Tradition, though Boris Johnson (Bo) remains the focus that he gradually became in Book One, The English Strain, and Brexit grew into a theme (it is but mentioned in passing in one of the earlier poems). Bo (and these two twins) has steadily been the poetic focus (the genius, even) throughout Books Two and Three (Bad Idea and the unpublished British Standards). There's loads on this blog about this project. Best starting point is: Pages: Transpositions of Hartley Coleridge: the end of British Standards (and of The English Strain project) (robertsheppard.blogspot.com)
Selecting what I’m going to read has taught me that Bo is the gift that just keeps on giving! It was either luck or fortuitous foresight that led me to track him (troll him?) poetically. Watch my sheer joy at his missteps and misfortunes! (NB Little did I realise to choose today to post this post, when Bo will face a vote of Bo Confidence!)
Update Burns' Night: I shall exclusively read from the 'English Strain' project, briefly from the published books and I shall mostly let rip with my versionings of Wordsworth from the 'British Standards' manuscript!
The rest of the bill is:
Grace Atkinson, an award-winning poet from East London. She has had poems most recently published in Stand, Dazed, The North, Poetry Salzburg Review, amongst others;
Sarah Cave, a writer, academic and editor at Guillemot Press and has published two full-length collections and several pamphlets, artists’ books and collaborations; and
Dali Muru and the Polyphonic Swarm sit in the middle of a Venn diagram consisting of medieval inspired troubadour poetry, cinema soundtrack and primordial electronics. Initially known as FITH formed in Berlin by the duo writer/filmmaker/vocalist Dalia Neis, and the composer/producer Enir Da, their project expanded to become a revolving collective of musicians and poets spread out across a Paris/Manchester/Berlin axis.
This is a fringe event for English: Shared Futures 20022, which aims to celebrate and explore the discipline’s intellectual strength, diversity and creativity and explore its futures in the nations of the UK and across the world.
Available throughout the conference period | Manchester Poetry Library
30 min loop of film-poems responding to contemporary Romanian poetry, curated by Simona Nastac, a poet I nearly collaborated with, actually.
and Salford Small Press Book Fair
Available throughout the conference period | Grosvenor East Building, Manchester
More on the conference here. Non-delegates are allowed to attend the reading, but I'm not sure about the mechanism yet.