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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Storm and Golden Sky April 24th: Tim Allen and JR Carpenter

NEXT UP: Storm and Golden Sky

Up the stairs (at the back of the barroom) at the Caledonia pub, Catharine Street, in the Georgian Quarter, Liverpool, £5, 7 pm spot-on start!

April 24th: Tim Allen and JR Carpenter

Tim Allen lives near Preston, and was the editor of Terrible Work, a major poetry reviews magazine. He is the author of two pamphlets, Texts For A Holy Saturday (Phlebas 1996) and The Cruising Duct (Maquette 1998), and the limited-edition book Sea ExChange (itinerant press, 2007), as well the two Shearsman  Settings and The Voice Thrower. His poetry has been featured in magazines such as First Offense, Oasis and Shearsman. Watch him here:

J. R. Carpenter is a Canadian artist, writer, researcher, performer and maker of maps, zines, books, poetry, short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction, and non-linear, intertextual, hypermedia, and computer-generated narratives. She lives in South Devon, England.

May 29th: Ross Sutherland and tba
June 26th: Kelvin Corcoran and Andy Brown
July 31st: Robert Hampson and tba.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: Anthony Arnott

My time at Edge Hill was an enjoyable time, in which I was able to learn and apply the techniques of a variety of writers. The MA, particularly, allowed me to craft my work and, alongside the theoretical  side of my studies, guided me into finding my ‘voice’ as a writer. Had it not been for the MA, I would not be a published poet today.

That night at the speakeasy

The last word I can remember

is willow,

as we pass beer through

our lips and into, onto

the chamber of our tongues.

Heat is bearable as

two people

I have never

and will never

meet wrestle – no, battle for my


And, I brought them here.

Details of the MA in Creative Writing at Edge Hill may be read here. Anthony's Barcode is published by Erbacce (a fine press run by two former students of the MA: Andrew Taylor and Alan Corkish).

Saturday, April 11, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: a bonus post: Three and A Half Point Nine

One of the 25 Poets, Luke Thorogood, publishes poets like Steven Fowler and Sonya Groves in the latest, fourth, edition of his magazine Three and a Half Point Nine , but he also has publishes work by others, well-known and less-known, from the Edge Hill nexus, all of them featured on this blog. They are:

Natasha Borton is an English language Welsh writer, currently studying an MA in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. She has been published in The Sublime, Midwinter Anthology, Voicebox and Erbacce. Her non-fiction articles have been published in For Books Sake and Altfashion Magazine and performs regularly in North Wales and the North West. Natasha has performed at the Bluecoat, Harris Museum and The Lowry; she had a short play produced at The Lowry as part of Edge Hill Exclaim! She was senior fiction editor for the Black Market Review for two years and currently writes for her own blog.

Scott Thurston’s most recent book is Figure Detached Figure Impermanent (Oystercatcher, 2014). He co-organises The Other Room reading series in Manchester and co-edits the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry. Scott lectures at the University of Salford and has published widely on innovative poetry, including a book of interviews entitled Talking Poetics (Shearsman, 2011). See his pages at

Adam Hampton is a student of English Language and Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. His poems have been published by Ikleftiko and Robert Sheppard. A former Royal Marine, much of his poetry tackles the theme of conflict. He lives with his wife and daughter in Southport, England.

Tom Jenks has published nine books of poetry, the most recent being The Tome of Commencement, a spreadsheet translation of the Book of Genesis on Stranger Press and 1000 Proverbs, a collaboration with SJ Fowler on Knives Forks and Spoons. He co-organises The Other Room reading series and website, administers the avant objects imprint zimZalla and is a Ph.D. student at Edge Hill University.

Elio Lomas is a writer, musician and amateur caricaturist. His work has been published byerbacce, Poetry Pacific and has appeared upon Robert Sheppard's poetry blog Pages.

Access the magazine here. And access the list of 25 Edge Hill Poets, including these five here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: Bill Bulloch

The manifesto is tentatively named 'Pausa' and basically reflects my desire to enjoy and experience the moment, recording my perceptions in poetry.


Stop the world, I need to get off

In the rush to get there,
I’ll miss the weeds on the railway
The spider on the wing mirror
The bird in the chimney
Fluttering, clamouring
Gasping for space
Avoid the gaps in the pavement
Walk around ladders
Never look up.
Stop. Rewind.
Carpe Diem
Step into the gaps between the moments
Attune the ear
Refocus the eye
Synaesthetic: taste the colours, feel the sound.
Watch for the texture
Of time, passing -
Invisible starfall
-telegraphed in strokes and flecks
Etched into the soul

Most of my current poetry is on my blog, Nights Full Nine, here.

The joneses having been left behind
As the industrial estuary bloats
A concrete stent forced through the head
Neatly trepanning the prominence
commerce’s darning suture drawn tight
all the way to the Druids Isle.
Channelling traffic along the coast
past the empty beaches and shuttered shops
vacant castles and the rusty rides
Eire beckons coyly from the sleek flanks
Of seacats ferrying tourists away from this
Once mystic land, to a new Celtic frontier
waiting to be diluted and tamed by a commodifying tide.
Wales has withdrawn to the hills
treasures stowed in caves of slate
as her borders and byways are blurred and absorbed
Not by covetous kings or expanding nations
But at the hand of bannered modernity
With conquering flags branded across the land like sheep.
Longbowmen raise fingers in defiance
Yew hewn and gut strung
Shouldered aside by the concrete crennelations
Dry stoned and graffiti decorated
As the expressway glides by,
services one mile.


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Robert Sheppard: Poems in Blazevox's 15th Anniversary Edition (for Ern Malley and Philip Jeck)

I’m pleased to say I have work in the latest Blazevox here. This is the first time I have appeared in this long running webzine, and I’m delighted to find I’m in the 15th anniversary edition. Read about that here in a piece by editor Geoffrey Gatza. 

The main link takes you to all the work, but my two contributions are special (to me, anyway). Here.

One is my ‘Ern Malley Suite’, my writing-through of the collages one of the hoaxers made during the 1940s hoax in Australia. I make much play of the fact that 'Ern' was meant to have been born in Liverpool. It is due to re-appear as my contribution to the EUOIA anthology in which I appear as a fictional poet (or imaginary author).See here.

The second is a piece I wrote for the musician Philip Jeck, 'Spectres of Breath'. It is a response to the strange language we find in music reviews. It is a verbal vinyl album (sides A and B), it is in ‘tracks’, but it is NOT an attempted approximation of Phil’s own music. See and hear material on Phil here. Or even here:


Monday, April 06, 2015

Robert Sheppard: EUOIA: Sophie Poppmeier: Minnie Minerva's Four Acts

You can read about the fictional poet Sophie Poppmeier as a poet of the EUOIA here, and about her fictional alter ego the burlesque dancer Minnie Minerva, and there is a post on her burlesque acts here, with links and videos pertinent to this post. Since she has yet to publish her account of the art, Minnie Minerva’s Book of Marvels, we have only the barest of descriptions to go on, largely relating to the music used for each piece we know of (that I have bothered to invent, perhaps I should say; she might well write some poems based on them).
Là, là, jet e ferai la honte!
Et jet e demanderai compte
De ce corset cambrant tes reins,
De ta tournure et des frisures
Achalandant contre-nature
Ton front et ton arrière-train.


ACT ONE Her best early work includes the ‘Ute Lemper Trilogy’, using the music from her Punishing Kiss album, a 15 minute piece combining the swirling silk sea waves and bejewelled seashell bodice of ‘Little Water Song’; ‘Streets of Berlin’, a mimed drag-king boylesque; and ‘You Were Meant for Me’, in which she confronted the audience with ‘unbridled displays of female desire’ to quote a programme of the time. Here's a video on Lemper's project, her first excursion into art pop music:

 Here's 'Little Water Song' (by Nick Cave):

'Streets of Berlin' is a Philip Glass piece (live): 

'You Were Meant for Me':

ACT TWO ‘Narcotango’ used the hypnotic grooves of Carlos Libedinsky’s new tango (‘Luz y Subi’, ‘Otra Luna’ and ‘Doble o nada’) for her neo-burlesque exploration of intoxication and trance.

 ‘Otra Luna’:

‘Luz y Subi’:


ACT THREE ‘Neveen’s Levee’, which featured the music of Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band, involved a reverse dressing routine and Oriental dance (and Oulipean play on the letter ‘e’ as a reverse lipogram). Hear this incredible music that so inspired Sun Ra ('cos this was the real thing, recorded in - how could he resist it? - Heliopolis!).

Mimi Amore’s Egyptian Act probably influenced this piece, but it was good to find out the little more there is to know about Salah Ragab. Here's the Egyptian burlesque by Miss Mimi Amore:

ACT FOUR ‘Madame Mallarmé’s Fan Dance’, featuring Debussy’s ‘Poisson d’or’ from Images (Set Two), was the most literary (and least appreciated) of her acts. Here's the sounds; imagine the dance. After all, if Sophie Poppmeier is a Euopean Imaginary Author she is also an Imaginary Burlesque Performance Artist.

Poppmeier's other translator, Jason Argleton, is featured here. See the actual EUOIA poet-translators performing here, with only their language as music.

If you think I'm bonkers with the EUOIA, try Jennifer Walshe's invention of an Irish musical avant-garde with Aisteach (here).

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Robert Sheppard: EUOIA: Sophie Poppmeier/Minnie Minerva and Burlesque

Burlesque is big in Vienna, where SophiePoppmeier, the EUOIA poet was based, as may be seen here, here, here and here.

This is background information for Sophie Poppmeier’s involvement in neo-Burlesque (2000-05, if not later) which was in Vienna and in Berlin (see here), where she reportedly lives.

Neo-burlesque picks up on fin-de-siecle and Weimer Republic vibes. (Probably why I had recourse to Ute Lemper when looking for music for a fictional act for Sophie as Minnie.) Watch Monica di Montebello performing an absinthe-green fairy inspired piece in Vienna.

The nearer burlesque gets to Las Vagas the closer it becomes a mode of strip tease. (See Blaze: here)

The nearer it gets to Britain the closer it gets to the ubiquitous hen parties that clog the pathways and thoroughfares of Liverpool (or Riga) on a Saturday night. But there are exceptions, in both instances, such as the School of Burlesque in New York (see here) which – for example – works with people with disabilities (and ran workshops at the Liverpool DadaFest a few years ago, apparently). 

Liverpool itself has its burlesque heroine, Miss Mimi Amore (though I’ve never seen her). Her website and blog are most thoughtful about the potentialities of the art form.

Watch her acts, including Spanish Dancer and Egyptian dancing here.

They can also be viewed here on her YouTube stream. 

Here’s the Flamenco piece, Spanish Rose:


Her Egyptian Dance probably influenced my invention of ‘Neveen’s Levee’ for Poppmeier. (See here for videos of this music.)

Lady Lou has a good website with many of her acts on it (here). The ‘Parisian Parasol’ is rather ornate and splendid, seen here and here twice, the first time in Vienna, as it happens,

but her piece, ‘Broken Mirror’ about Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a type of mental illness, a somatoform disorder, wherein the affected person is concerned with body image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical features, is of another order of work, though the audience don't seem to be getting it here (which is probably why Sophie renounces this art for poetry):

Pepper Sparkles (here) breaks one of Lady Lou’s published golden rules of performance (about exiting in style and with attitude) when she has to endure a round of ‘Happy Birthday’, but her performance as Matti Hari is rather bizarre (in a good way) and probably influenced my made up ‘Mrs Mallarmé’s Fan’ for Sophie Poppmeier, who I see more in this mode of operation.  

Here are some tips on how to become a dancer, if you are interested.

See here for the music for Minnie Minerva’s four acts. And here for less exposing EUOIA performances.