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Monday, June 20, 2016

Slovenia’s A.B.C. Remič says Don't Leave the EUOIA and thoughts on the murder of Jo Cox

This daily caper (posting the biographical notes from my collaborative European Union Of Imaginary Authors) was intended as a joky (but ultimately serious) plea to Remain in Europe. (We have many posters in the window in the real world to that effect.) It arose out of the realisation that if the EUOIA were real (it couldn't be), and if Britain votes to leave the EU this Thursday, then 'Robert Sheppard', the British representative of British imaginary authors, will have to be excluded from his own anthology, EUOIA. Which is quite funny. Or was. But the campaign has turned nasty, and resulted - I use the word deliberately - in the death of Jo Cox MP. Of this I have no doubt. Look at Brendan Cox's twitterfeed. (here) One day he is complaining that the LEAVE flotilla sprayed river water over his children on the Thames, which is unpleasant; two days later Ms Cox is killed by a man shouting the same ugly phrase used by a UKIP campaigner in Wales (though he was suspended).

I have continued to post these daily announcements (new one below) of the 28 poets (all scheduled in advance, and partly unstoppable) and will do so until the campaign is over and the fate of the country decided (or not decided, because, despite all the predictions on all sides, no one knows what will happen). That all this is determined by a power struggle in the Tory party is lamentable. But these 'fictional' poets don't seem so made up, fabricated, as they used to be, in some unexplainable way. The circus animals, far from deserting, are amassing, protesting. Campaigning was been suspended as a mark of respect, and I stopped tweeting about these posts for a bit, but the issue of the political connection I've raised above has not been raised (much) in the mainstream media. 

So in the spirit of democratic debate, carried out by fictional means, here's today's collaborative European poet (and links to the actual poems this time, so you can get a good idea about how it's done or, certainly, what has been achieved):

Slovenia’s A.B.C. Remič (1958-), recently co-created with Alan Baker, says Don't Leave the EUOIA.

Read ABC's poems here on Stride magazine. Thanks for publishing, Rupert, and thanks for the co-creation Alan!

Read a guide to Alan's work here.

ABC Remič was born in Lubljana in 1958 in what was then Yugoslavia. She studied Ancient History in Belgrade, then returned to Lubljana, where she still lives. Remič’s experience of the fall of the Soviet Bloc and the conflict in the Balkans marked her poetry with a cynicism towards nationalism (she'd have no truck with 'Brexit') and authoritarianism, as well as a disenchantment with Western consumerism (no, the EU isn't perfect). She modelled herself on the American Beats in their opposition to war and authority, and translated Ginsberg’s Howl into Slovene. She has worked for many years as a copywriter for the Slovenian tourist industry. The wine is very good and very cheap, she tells me.

To find out more or less about the EUOIA check the EUOIA website which is still live at http://euoia.weebly.com, and here is a list of all 28 poets with links to their biographies and sometimes the poems too.