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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ship of Fools press Exhibtion: Fandango Loops (Sheppard/Farrell)

The last set of images from the exhibition now! This text of broken quennets and computer images shaped on the page to match the poems seems to have escaped being photographed in the exhibition. They come out of our visit to Copenhagen, so they are much concerned with style and design. It is subtitled 'A Book of Forms'. This book is still available: £3: email

There is more about its writing here.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Post-Truth Poetry Publishing (Loydell/Fish/Swift)

I don't think it out of place to acknowledge this interesting dispute and its chronicling by Rupert Loydell and Katrina Fish in the middle of these posts exhibiting the Exhibition of our small press Ship of Fools... here. And here's a later post by by Rupert.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Ship of Fool press Exhibition: Looking Thru' a Hole in the Wall (Sheppard/Farrell)

'Looking Thru' A Hole in the Wall' is a series of poems ('Berlin Bursts' re-printed in both Berlin Bursts and History or Sleep: Selected Poems) and images that derived from our stay in Berlin. The images, produced by varying means use images of The Wall. The poor chap below is being pulled out of a drain, for example. Published in 2010. There are some unbound copies of this work which are still available: email They'd be £3 each...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Reading at the Everyman in Edge Hill's Celebration of the Mersey Poets 25th May

Creative Writing students from Edge Hill University are helping to celebrate Liverpool’s literary legacy with a performance to mark the 50th anniversary of The Mersey Sound.

Published in May 1967, this influential collection of poetry by Roger McGough, Adrian Henri and Brian Patten is one of the biggest selling poetry anthologies in the world. To commemorate 50 years since its original publication, Edge Hill students are hosting a day-long poetry event on 25th May as part of Tonight at Noon, a city-wide series of events celebrating the legendary Liverpool poets.

Happening Tonight: Echoes of The Mersey Sound will feature readings from The Mersey Sound alongside original work that responds to the collection and is inspired by the zeitgeist of the period. Students will be joined by established names from the world of contemporary poetry, including Edge Hill’s Robert Sheppard, Patricia Farrell, Tom Jenks and Mark Greenwood, who will be reading their own work I should think, but also possibly performing their favourite pieces from the anthology.I will be reading my own Merseysound related work.

 Bill Bulloch, the organiser, who is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Edge Hill, said:
Being involved with the celebration is a real privilege. The Mersey Sound inspired me to become a writer and, 50 years on, still resonates as clearly now for me as a scouser and a poet. It will be great to be able to perform in the footsteps of my literary heroes.”
Tonight at Noon, named after the first Adrian Henri poem in the collection, is a series of exhibitions and events designed to shine a spotlight on a piece of work which captured the mood of the Sixties and brought poetry down from the shelf to the street. Running from Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July, it forms a key part of Liverpool’s 67-17: 50 Summers of Love celebrations.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ship of Fools press Exhibition: The Blickensderfer Punch (Sheppard/Farrell)

The light around one side of the exhibition was not conducive to photo-snaps, but here are some pages from the artisanal publication The Blickensderfer Punch (2002) which was all about typewriters, and based upon the typewriters kept by Dave Stephenson in the Ship and Mitre pub in Liverpool before he sold it (and the typewriters). It was printed on fine paper and bound by black ribbon that resembled typewriter ink ribbons. It was probably the first computer image booklet we produced and there was a deliberate contrast between obsolete and emerging technologies. There is a big gap in Ship of Fools publications in the Liverpool years.  Here's a better image of this wall (third photo down on this link).

Visit the hub post to take you to all the posts concerning the Ship of Fools exhibition here

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Robert Sheppard: Brexity sonnets in International Times

 H E R E

This is a temporary post in advance of a fuller account of recent sonnetising and a gathering together of online sonnets. For a start to the right of this post, the Featured Post will take you to the beginning of this project, the Petrarch versions of Petrarch 3. 

Thanks Rupert and IT again for taking these poems...  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ship of Fools press Exhibition: Empty Diaries, Transit Depots (Farrell/Sheppard and John Seed)

Some of the crayon and conté images from the large book Transit Depots Empty Diaries that wove these images between the 1918-1939 parts of John Seed's 'Transit Depots' and my 'Empty Diaries. One of our best books, I think. I've made the images large so that you might see them.

Visit the hub post to take you to all the posts concerning the Ship of Fools exhibition here

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Molly Bloom including new sonnets by me


will take you to some new sonnets from 'It's Nothing', in Molly Bloom, an excellent magazine, also with new work by Amy Evans, Louis Armand, Wanda O’Connor, Rahul Gupta, Peter J King, Mark Goodwin, Mark Young, Laura McKee, Joshua Weiner, Carole Coates and Tim Allen, plus tributes to Tom Raworth and Roy Fisher, here. (I am currently working on my own elegies to these recently lost genuises of the British Poetry Revival...

This is a temporary post; there will be a fuller account of recent sonnetising soon!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ship of Fools press Exhibition: The Book of British Soil (Sheppard/Farrell)

The Book of British Soil was a limited edition with large-print text and a unique print in each. This one belongs to Scott Thurston. They were made for a performance of the text with the dancer Jo Blowers on 14 November 1995 in London. (The text is part of Twentieth Century Blues.) Visit the hub post to take you to all the posts concerning the Ship of Fools exhibition here

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ship of Fools press Exhibition: Jungle Nights in Pimlico (Sheppard/Farrell)

This is one of the early editions (there were later, typeset, ones) of this single sheet publication imaginatively folded. We published a lot of these i.m. Eric Mottram. No clear records of how many, since one could more or less print them to demand. The text was a coda to The Lores. The images are glass-prints.

Visit the hub post to take you to all the posts concerning the Ship of Fools exhibition here

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Ship of Fools press Exhibition: Icarus - Having Fallen (Sheppard/Farrell)

Photographed through glass, these camera-ready originals of the booklet, are not completely clear. They did look good in the cabinets though.

What I remember about this, our take on Breughel's Icarus, is that I did a LOT of writing which was then rendered redundant by Patricia's images, so I cut cut cut until there was very little left.

Visit the hub post to take you to all the posts concerning the Ship of Fools exhibition here

Monday, May 08, 2017

Robert Sheppard & Patricia Farrell reading 'Poetry from the Stage': Albany Theatre, COVENTRY June 3rd

Courtesy of Leanne Bridgewater and Colin Scott we're reading in Coventry. Details below:

Poetry from the stage, poetry night in Coventry at Albany Theatre on Saturday 3 June (7pm - 10pm)

The night will be a massive  twist of taste, from an infusion of Indian dancers, various poetry voices, maybe some visual screening, topped with a pro-disability stance, featuring two poetry plays from Shaun Fallows and Jackie Hagan. And us...Full details when they are available.

Door open 6.45 Event starts at 7.00

Looks like we'll also be both reading at a 'Merseysound' reading next week, 25th May, too. At the Everyman... 

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Ship of Fools press Exhibition: some miscellaneous fascicles

Some smaller items now. Above is 'Seven' (reproduced with images in Twentieth Century Blues) but here in the folded A4 2017 reprint that Patricia made. (It was originally A5.) The text doesn't work apart from its neo-formalist numerology and arrangement. Below is 'Improvisation Upon a Remark of Gil Evans', IM for Miles Davis from October 1991.

Some smaller New Year cards and pamphlets

We used - and still use - Ship of Fools as the publisher of our ephemera, which doesn't appear in our lists of publications. We've no idea what they all are. Here's some we found. Just now checking the dates of the Miles Davis elegy in a copy of Twentieth Century Blues another fascicle fell out!

.... plus copies of Pages (the forerunner of this blog!) See here about that 1987 beginning.
Visit the hub post to take you to all the posts concerning the Ship of Fools exhibition here

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Ship of Fools press Exhibition: Logos on Kimonos (Sheppard/Farrell)

These first two images are very clear and you can read the title and dedication. This is very rude (there is a theme here running through The Cannibal Club and Fucking Time to this one); it was produced as a 4 page folded A4 sheet. The text appears in Twentieth Century Blues. It is also 'Empty Diary 2055', and is a late-era Pacific Rim-Cyberpunk piece from 1992, written for Gilbert Adair's removal to Singapore.

Visit the hub post to take you to all the posts concerning the Ship of Fools exhibition here

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Ship of Fools press exhibition: Fucking Time by Sheppard and Farrell

 Our rather splendid Fucking Time from the 1990s was displayed behind glass and the images aren't as clear as they might be. But you can get the idea: it's a work about or round and about the life and works of John Wilmot, Rochester. He can be seen on the right below holding the poet's bays over his pet monkey. The pictures are as rude as the poems (texts are republished in Twentieth Century Blues and History or Sleep). Something about his abject view of the bodily reflected Thatcherite politics or my visceral reaction to it.

For more images access the hub post on the exhibition. Visit the hub post to take you to all the posts concerning the Ship of Fools exhibition here