If Britain votes to leave the EU (European Union) today, Robert Sheppard, the British representative of British imaginary authors, may have to be excluded from his own anthology, EUOIA, which he is conducting and collaboratively writing with other writers; the Rimbaudian initials refer to his European Union of Imaginary Authors (although it was set up - invented - by Rene Van Valckenborch, another of his fictional authors (see here)); at the very least he will be moved to the Appendices with fictional island Frisland’s fictional poet Hróbjartur Ríkeyjarson af Dvala (whom he created with Icelandic poet Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl).
He hopes exit doesn't happen and all the arguments have been exhausted. He had no idea his caprice of posting these biographies of fictional poets for about a month before the vote would be conducted against a backdrop of a campaign for the EU referendum with so many beliefs and so few facts on display, and one that would involve a murder of a public figure in the Remain camp. (See my thoughts on the death of Jo Cox here.)
To find out more or less about the EUOIA check the EUOIA website which is still live at http://euoia.weebly.com, and there are multiple posts on the subject of the EUOIA on this blog (use the keyword EUOIA to see them all displayed, and then check). See here for his Eastertide realisation of what might be about to happen. Read about all the EUOIA poets here. But just who is this 'Robert Sheppard'? 'Patricia Farrell' tells you:
Robert Sheppard was born in West Sussex, and began to write at the age of nine, inspired by copies of Angry Penguins he found lining a drawer in his grandmother’s house. His distinctive abilities to extract the semantic potentialities of language –which have uniquely made him Britain’s foremost linguistically-enervative poet – were already evident in Biggles Bombs East Sussex (1965; self-published). This was soon followed by challenging works: Mutton-Shunters! (Leg it; 1975), There was no Quail-Pipe, though (Raspberry; 1987), Crinkum-crankum (a rare foray into sound poetry after he attended one of Bob Cobbing’s Writers Forum workshops (Sheppard was subsequently barred for drunken behaviour)) (Tallywags; 1994), and Tight as a Boiled Owl (Bags of Mystery; 2001). Sheppard’s startling resemblance to Rimbaud led in 2002 – by which time Sheppard had developed a resemblance to Jack Nicholson (by way of startling resemblances to Charles Manson and the proprietor of a Surrey fish-and-chip shop) – to an invitation to collaborate with the Argentinian narco-poet and phonetico-kinetic-tango artist, Seňor Rita de fforrest-Mann on the multi-disciplinary work, cuidar una banana. The two poets’ production led to a bi-lingual transliteration into Rioplatense and West Sussex dialect of the epic chan fhulaing Seumas cularain by the ancient Gallic female bard Ceit Cailleach, published as all of a glawming dishabill - cuidar una otra banana (Long Plum; 2008). Although critically acclaimed at the time, controversy followed the pair, when it emerged that de fforrest-Mann had been using the family firm of fruit importers as a cover for gun running, and that the works of Cailleach were a literary fraud by the eighteenth century conman and backgammon cheat, James Buggy Park. Sheppard has since concentrated on solo projects, including a volume of acronymic versions of Tang Dynasty poems, Come Home I’m Naked Already (Spicket; 2011), Working the dumb oracle (Cracksman; 2013), Exercising the Armadillo (Sconce; 2014), and his magnum opus, Cupid’s Kettle-drums (Taturtrap; 2012). His most recent collection is an autobiography, Making Magic with Leftovers (Waxed Giraffe; 2016). Sheppard is currently Professor of Verse and Vertigo at the online University of Ashgabat, from which platform he has campaigned for Turkmenistan’s entry into the EU. He lives in Liverpool with his partner, the German opera singer,Bertram Kaninchen, and their Rottweiler, Cecil. (Patricia Farrell)
A guide to his 'other' publications here. Read about all the other EUOIA poets here. But read of his post-Brexit fate here.