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Monday, June 18, 2018

Patricia Farrell's High Cut: My Model of No Criteria published by Leafe




Dedicated to the poet's mother, this single long poem uses the terminology of art, design and fashion to portray a character and to investigate both its own language and the process of writing poetry. The poetry is sensuous, playful, funny and dynamic, taking the reader along on a dizzying ride through the pleasures of language.

£6.50
  • Paperback: 18 pages
  • Publisher: Leafe Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1999945123
  • ISBN-13: 978-1999945121
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.1 x 21.6 cm
Buy it HERE

Or from Amazon here.

Read more about Patricia's work here and on her website, here. She is also an artist: the cover design of her book is hers.

See a list of Patricia's publications here. And an account of the publication of her Shearsman volume The Zechstein Sea here. Some thoughts on the publication of her Veer score A Space Completely Filled with Matter here.

See here for 'Travelling on one Ticket', from this blog.

Hear her reading at The Other Room (Manchester) here. And here you may access her British Library recordings on the Archive of the Now.

See Patricia's 6 readings as part of the 2017 Enemies collaborative project here. And reading at Edge Hill University 2017 here!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Celebrate Portugal’s National Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Ana Cristina Pessao

Celebrate Portugal’s National Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Ana Cristina Pessao who was co-created by myself and Jessica Pujol i Duran.

Jessica with Richard Parker, Amsterdam 2011, the day I first met them both (and the pirate elephant behind them)
See here for more on Jessica and here for more on Pessao (who is a footnote to one of Pessoa's footnotes, the great-niece of one of his lesser-known heteronyms, though we don't say so).

I worked in collaboration, over a number of years, with a team of real writers, to create a lively and entertaining body of work of fictional European poets. Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors, as I called them, here and here. All the collaborators are accessible via links here.

Accompanied by biographical notes, the poets grow in vividness until they seem to possess lives of their own; they are collected now in Twitters for a Lark, published by Shearsman.   

More on Twitters here and here. Billy Mills reviews it here.

This collection marks a continuation of the work I ventriloquised through my solo creation, the fictional bilingual Belgian poet René Van Valckenborch, in A Translated Man (read an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here ).

I see these two books as the first two parts of a fictional poetry trilogy. I have posited a possible continuing fiction here, but I am not sure I will pursue it, or this might be present in the background of some other scheme. In other words, I don't know.  


Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Lee Harwood's birthday : some thoughts

Yesterday I pondered whether I should attempt a lightly-revised second edition of the (Salt as was) Companion to Lee Harwood. I was surprised that the book was published in 2007, so long ago, it seemed. I like the book very much and think that it is an important collection on the works of a writer then happily still alive. I regret it being out of print, but I'm not sure it needs republishing. Perhaps one of the (younger? one hopes?) scholars who contact me as Lee's literary executor for permissions will thrust forward with a monograph soon. I have plans to co-edit Lee's prose, but this has been shelved, for a while.

I was surprised by my decision, because I thought it would be a positive one. I might, however, try to obtain some more copies.

I know, of course, that today would have been Lee's 79th birthday.

I don't want to just refer to obituaries on the day of his birth (remember 'Birthday Boy' in Dream Quilt?). Let's have an early photo of him,

and let's point to some writing by others. OK. These are good pieces, John Yau as a member of the Lee Fan Club (I guess i must be the secretary of that august body!) HERE, and (from this side of the pond), Ian Davidson's review of the 2004 Collected here.

My review of Collected Poems in two parts here and here. On later works here; on recent works here. And an earlier gift to him here. A later 'Laugh' with Lee Harwood may be read here.

And news of the developing British Library Harwood Archive here.

Celebrate Sweden’s National Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Kasja Bergstrom (plus full bibliography and a new poem)

Yesterday was the Danish day. (See here.) Today celebrate Sweden’s National Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Kasja Bergstrom, who was co-created by myself and SJ Fowler.

See here for more on Kasja (more than appears in Twitters) and here for more on SJ Fowler. We (actually it was Steve) concocted a longer biography than was finally published, so it seems the appropriate day to present that AND another of our works by Bergstrom that I had to omit from Twitters on length grounds. It follows on from the last sentences of the biography well:


Kajsa Bergstrom is one of the finest of modern, modest Northern European poets. Born into a gentrified family in 1956, in Ornskoldsvik, she is one of the last to follow the ecstatic revolution in Scandinavian literature, after the likes of Ibsen, Hamsun, Garborg and Strindberg, and on then from Ekelöf, Martinson, Tranströmer. The outpouring of reflective, burdened personal emotion, of self-analysis, of the destructive power of civilised discourse, marks out the early poetry, as though she were living the works of those who had come before her. Bergstrom is indelibly marked by her father’s death while she was a child. Her mother, a member of the petty nobility, still retained the Bergmanesque protestant hardness of her forebears, and seems to have been indifferent to her daughter and, as had happened with Schopenhauer, this emotional isolation surrounded by wealth produced a superlative gift for the imagination for the young poet. Like Schopenhauer too, this became directed toward the Oriental, the Eastern mode, in her turning away from Christianity and European parochialism.

After brief periods studying in London and Uppsala, Bergstrom became a student of music in Paris and became familiar with the work of the Tel Quel group. She forever maintained their influence on her was limited. Her first collection Flak (1977) was not received with any particular fanfare. She described its writing as suicidal, a process of poetry amidst emotional upheaval, and indeed her use of cryptic linguistic constructions, etymological tracings, repetitions, seems to hark to the best of European experimental movements and yet, almost by design, seem utterly impersonal, impenetrable to the reader.

As her work transformed, she returned to Stockholm, and her esoteric embracing of the poetic medium began to become tempered by more direct images in the text work that appeared to be increasingly offset by the remarkable use of typography, as though she were literally breaking apart the limitations of the Swedish language to express direct thoughts and images. The high experimentation left its trace in her use of materials and the ever present relentlessness of her images. By the time of Songbook (1996) and Noli Me Tangere (2005), when she had moved to Malmø, her oscillation between obtuse mysticism and deeply personal intellectualism had won her great acclaim.

from Noli Me Tangere

Elva

I     Manuskriptet

a write
             on her thought
       a flesh-filled  boka
                blue if we think differently and look
        taught then             one of them whistles they aren’t
essential seats are not guaranteed she sits on
        the bus and thinks her eye rests where she nests

lost grass as uniform as baize and three
     Jämthunds scrabble and bolt and the Asian horde
hunched with hair        thinks about our boka

           writing looking at her lips soft continually but her eyes are the softened
inviting him so horst        scarred up coiled
             towards them trained and savage in a film
       on her farm which seems neither mobile nor dark
                        she imagines writing            thinks there’s nothing
                      in rolls then the rolls are equal
                            measures you turn to notice and pray

           her hard drive next to her she imagines writing sorg
                     of this later she’ll say or write uncoiled
      and cut into neat squares to concentrate upon
                    crossing the road or covering the last vacant
feat of the journey



II   träsk

  Water and sand pillowing her advance past
                  its return in a way she’s returned and sold in multiples
             by the square you’re not sure which version
           of events in Master Johansgatan   a silent restaurant of sand
s          hut words past language into  
            with studium fat laws elsewhere today a pheasant                you
              prefer one
then tw
o the
n fou
r the
n unl
it clu
bs the a
ir fresh e
mpty
your interiority the woman in the suit processionally
                   detailed sunlight hops across the temporary
sward four rats swim the algae nod towards t          he




III            Imperium

Emporia
staggering ove
r to th
e sleepi
ng vagrant
wrapped in
fallen gold Harolden le
aves putting at the corner
they scuttle across the short g
rass but nothing impresses more
talk more get up you and sa
ndy buildings
redden though
walking alone
Hyllie Boulevard which has er
upted from below
the surface of the day da
mp cobbles dipping in
to countries  

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here. All the collaborators are accessible via links here.

Accompanied by biographical notes, the poets grow in vividness until they seem to possess lives of their own; they are collected now in Twitters for a Lark, published by Shearsman.   

More on Twitters here and here

This collection marks a continuation of the work I ventriloquised through my solo creation, the fictional bilingual Belgian poet René Van Valckenborch, in A Translated Man (read an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here ).

I see these two books as the first two parts of a fictional poetry trilogy. I have posited a possible continuing fiction here, but I am unsure which way this will go now.I talked about that yesterday too, on the Danish post.


SJ Fowler at the centre of the Manchester European Poets reading, with some EUOIA collaborators there too: Patricia Farrell, Scott Thurston, Tom Jenks - and me

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The Meaning of Form reviewed by Gareth Farmer in Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry



I’m pleased to say there is a thorough review of my The Meaning of Form in Contemporary Innovative Poetry (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) by Gareth Farmer in the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry (the journal Scott Thurston and I dreamt up a few years back and which Gareth now co-edits with Scott). Read it here. He ends:

The Meaning of Form is a noble and necessary part of the enterprise of taking us closer to the complex dynamics of the characteristics and operations of poetic form. There is, in Jacques Rancière’s phrase, an ‘aesthetic revolution’ going on, and many critics are joining the party. If, as Sheppard contends in his final chapter, ‘paraphrase […] is amnesia of form’, this book offers powerful smelling salts to jolt us back to a present of attentive concentration on form.

The book was largely sketched out on this blog: here’s a hub-post leading to a summary and links to relevant posts.

For those who can buy the book, or order it for libraries, here are the places to go to (raw links):

There’s also a review, on that page, of a fraternal book, Poetry and Performance During the British Poetry Revival 1960–1980: Event and Effect by Juha Virtanen, by Sally-Shakti Willow.

Check out the whole online journal here.

You can read Joey Francis’ account of the Sheppard Symposium here.

When I was co-editor the journal was hard copy. I left at the right point really because the change of technology signalled change more generally. It had always been my intention to leave the journal to younger souls (even before I started it) and I saw my role in life as setting up ‘provisional institutions’ for the innovative poetries. After I left I became involved with Storm and Golden Sky, the Liverpool reading series, which I proudly catalogue here. That took up nearly 3 years of the impulse. Then I suppose I was very busy with the book reviewed here! So now? About two days ago I decided I would no longer think of myself as ‘retired’ but as a 'full-time writer and Emeritus Professor of Poetry and Poetics'. I don’t see myself writing another critical book like the one reviewed, though being reviewed reminds me of the worth of my long endevours. Such work had never been part of an academic ‘career’, but part of my critical and creative attempt to re-configure the national poetic culture. What next? Well, I have a ‘treatise on metre’, called Pulse: All a Rhythm.  

Celebrate Denmark’s Constitution Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Trine Krugelund

Celebrate Denmark’s Constitution Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors conceptual poet Trine Krugelund who was created by myself. I mean: without a collaborator, since I mostly worked with others in this project, to create the volume Twitters for a Lark which is my most recent book. Collaboration was what made it enjoyable.

Krugelund in a rare photograph at the Louisiana, Denmark

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here. All the collaborators are accessible via links here.

More on Twitters for a Lark here and here. This collection marks a continuation of the work I ventriloquised through my first solo creation, the fictional bilingual Belgian poet René Van Valckenborch, in A Translated Man (read an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here ). 

Trine is one of the 5 fictional poets who actually appear in ATranslated Man and in (again) Twitters. That’s also why she has a page here on the EUOIA website. This quintet of poets forms the link between the books, and could be the link to a third part.


Denmark looking towards Sweden
Because I see these two books as the first two parts of a fictional poetry trilogy. (A trilogy never flew on two wings!) Indeed, Trine Krugelund has an important part in the post EUOIA poetry group, EUGE (The European Union of Generative Experimentalists) that I describe here. As a conceptual writer she clearly has a central role in putting their work together. Of course, the equally fictional 'Robert Sheppard' (the one featured in Twitters) might never translate that project into English (though Krugeland often writes in what she calls 'Google English'). My description of her as 'depositing on several platforms' was not just to express polymedialness, but to suggest her essential fellowship with the pigeon. Occupied as I am by other projects, it's difficult to project another project, as it were, at this time, but the way I work is by slowly drawing nearer to the right idea. When I get it it will be reported here (but so will all the interesting stages - even castoffs - on the way). Tomorrow is Sweden's National Day and I have a left-over collaboration from the book to share).

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Celebrate Italy’s Republic Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Lucia Cianglini

Celebrate Italy’s Republic Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Lucia Cianglini who was created by myself. What I mean by that is that she is one of the 5 fictional poets who actually appear in ATranslated Man as one of the 'fictional poets' of the fictional poet Rene Van Valckenborch: Belgian dolls, as I put it. That’s why she has a page here on the EUOIA website. This site was put together before I embarked on Twitters for a Lark which was mainly collaboratively written, except for the five poets.  This collection marks a continuation of the work I ventriloquised through Van Valckenborch in A Translated Man (read an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here ).

But the best place outside of my two books to read Cianglini is here.

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here. All the collaborators are accessible via links here.


More on Twitters here and here

I see these two books as the first two parts of a fictional poetry trilogy. One possible plan I have is to get the remaining 4 fictional poets in A Translated Man to continue Cianglini's epic poem &. I outlined that plan here, in a piece in which I intimate the existence of EUGE: The European Union of Generative Experimentalists is better. Euge! is German for well, well done.  Here’s an example from Cianglini's ‘Poem 5’, about the ampersand spotted in Cork that set her poem (and mine) off:

& an ampersand ghosted on the wall over from the coffee shop
is a hollow in a headlock with nothing to say to us
& there’s too much for the mind to do each second...
 
But maybe I won't do anything to follow up on the glories of the two 'fictional poetry' books. Perhaps that plan will be like a phantom limb sticking up numb and unfeeling from the corpse of the EUOIA. But documented in all its potentiality (which would be perfectly in keeping with the notion of 'genereative experimentation', wouldn't it?). The ideas here would be then part of the elaborate background to some other fiction, as yet undreamt... Billy Mills thinks I should walk away from these fictions. He might be right. See his review of Twitters here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Nick Ellis at the Handyman

I mention the pleasures of a certain Liverpool pub, the Belevedere, in my last post here (and the poems on its walls), and indeed, on Sunday I visited the Belve (but forgot to point the poems out to my companion Mike). Then we visited Ye Cracke (a veritable Beatles site, of course), The (‘little’) Grapes, before using our Old Bastards Bus Passes to glide down Smithdown to check out the Handyman (which graced this blog here, on the Ern Malley night - it was our venue), and in particular Nick Ellis. I’ve seen him about three times now at the Handyman and I like his combination of 1950s rock and roll singing, with folk style arpeggio guitar work, Scouse narrativity, and ending up with something that doesn’t sound like any of those things. Try to catch him if you can. He often does this Sunday 6-9 slot. Twitter keeps you up to date. https://twitter.com/nickellis_music

On Wednesdays it’s Dave O’Grady and the Dirty Feathers, equally good, playing ‘Americana’. https://twitter.com/SeafoamGreenHQ

It’s good to see such great music on my doorstep.

Here are some pictures of Ellis, taken by Mike Dunne.




You can see the Ern Malley poster in this one!
Then there’s the beer that they brew at the Handyman: another story… https://twitter.com/handymanSmarket

Monday, May 28, 2018

Chris McCabe and Robert Sheppard poems in the Belvedere, Liverpool!


The Belvedere pub in Liverpool is a particularly delightful Liverpool haunt, with a vast range of regulars and locals. One night I was talking to the landlord John O'Dowd about the fact that I knew three poets (the third is Ranjit Hoskote) who had written about the pub (had written poems which feature and name the pub). As he had a holograph Brian Patten poem on the wall already, I suggested he added ours to his collection. On Friday Chris McCabe and I dropped in to the pub to admire our handiworks. (With Sarah Crewe and Patricia Farrell.)

Above you can see me reading Chris' poem (which is about a meeting he and I had in the Belve), and behind me lies my poem, 'Meaning Me', a sonnet from the sequence 'It's Nothing'. If you're in Liverpool, do drop by and read them. And stay for a glass or pint of beer, or even a gin. (John has added to the language the noun Ginnaseum to describe his boozer.

Here's a different poem by Chris that mentions the pub, 'The Poets of Liverpool'.  And my poem appears in Molly Bloom 13 (here, but this link doesn't get you to the right poems at the moment). My poem names some famous and infamous customers; Chris names a famous dog of the pub.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Twentieth Century Blues published ten years ago!

But not 10 years ago TODAY! I forgot the date, last month, the 15th. It was published by Salt on the day of the launch in 2008 at Bluecoat, of which two recordings may be seen here. What is not recorded is the panic earlier in the day, tracking the books as they moved across England, towards Liverpool! But arrive they did, too late for me to learn to read from the volume itself, to navigate its 400+ pages, but soon enough to be able to sell (a lot of) them. Ade Jackson filmed these two extracts from the Poetry in the City event he organised. The first clip contains 'Smokestack Lightning', using some of the dying technology I had used for a London performance in 1990 or so; the second is 'A Dark Study for Lee Harwood', a quiet affair, in lineated prose, a form of the late 1990s. I write about the event here. (And give the text of 'Smokestack' too. It is not easy to hear what I'm saying at times, since I move around and manipulate tapes. I think the audience could hear.) 
 

The book, now available in a paperback edition, can be purchased here.

There are some more details of this massive project there too, though the publication date given is wrong! It was April 15th 2008. I hope if you haven't got it you will consider playing a decade-long worth of catch up!
Twentieth Century Blues was written  between 1989-2000, and incorporated earlier texts when it needed to. I think of the book now as the first volume of a collected poems. In fact, the book in full is called Complete Twentieth Century Blues.
Twentieth Century Blues is a network (or ‘net/(k)not- work(s)’ as I called it) of texts that are interrelated by 75 multilinear ‘strands’. That the project would seem open to the technology of hyperlinks did not pass me by, and I would like to utilise this in future presentations, although I conceived of the network’s design before this possibility, or its now apposite metaphor, became available. Imagine the strands as links. ('Links in Ink' was actually the title of the evolving index that I published serially throughout the project's writing. Or it was the title by its end.)

One POETICS of Twentieth Century Blues may be read here
Another, 'Linking the Unlinkable' (poetics of Twentieth Century Blues) here.

I can be seen reading some poems from Twentieth Century Blues here as part of the Other Room Readings in 2008. (On the first clip I read ‘A Dirty Poem and Clean Poem for Roy Fisher’, ‘From a Stolen Book’ followed by a selection from ‘Empty Diaries’, the sequence with which I continue on the second video, if there is one through this link.)

The BIG book (I didn’t think there would ever be a big book) collects some previous publications, like

Logos on Kimonos


and some materials were displayed at the Ship of Fools Exhibition last year, in this case, relating to the long poem ‘Schrage Musik’.

There was also this display at the Bluecoat reading in 2008 on top of the piano!

Todd Thorpe’s review of Twentieth Century Blues may be read here.

Mark Scroggins’ book chapter on it may be read about here

Edward Larrissy's The Cambridge Companion to British Poetry, 1945-2010, includes Simon Perril's compressed piece ‘High Late-Modernists or Postmodernists? Vanguard and Linguistically Innovative British Poetries since 1960’, which mentions Twentieth Century Blues in terms of the problems of the long poem.

Not everybody liked Twentieth Century Blues. Here’s account of a negative take by Andrew Duncan.
https://robertsheppard.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/steve-spence-on-andrew-duncan-on.html

The accusation of being 'overheated' (the poem, not me; I can regulate my body temperature), probably relates to the sequence of 'Empty Diaries' (1900-2000) that runs through the project, and which is read from on the Other Room video. Here's one:

Flesh Mates on Dirty Errands


Empty Diary 1993
Fucking Time 3
Twentieth Century Blues 25 

Her garters hook his
bullseye adorned for exposures
less human than her
latex condom mouth a
porn starlet with a
strap-on sexing her
second skin bruised with
verbs that frig their
nouns (his anus flinches
at my invasive breath

Gender collusion, uneasy meat

October 1993

I clearly haven't learnt my lesson because I've extended the sequence out of Twentieth Century Blues (the only permitted extension of the strands noted in the multiple sub-titles, as above), as a sequence 2001-14, a corona of sonnets, but not part of the 100 sonnet book I'm thinking of calling Hap Hazard.  


The first eight appeared in The Literateur. Find them here or here.  The final six appeared in an edition of Blackbox Manifold. See here. Here's part of one sonnet:


Fabulously fierce in Givenchy and Gucci guide women
transform technology yet at the age of 35 Zoë is in the best shape
of her life she’s the faith healer who beat six neophytes
to death during exorcism rituals Plunderhead’s
bundles of women’s hair (his aggregate trophy) wriggle towards
daylight to look at business life with a female gaze to see their
bodies break down Fuckeye’s things flip out and up free gifts
red legs cut from dancers perform mid-step across
the Extended Mind he conducts along the entire length of his length


The 2015 one was published in India by Ranjit Hoskote at Poetry at Seagam. Empty Diary 2015

The 2016 Empty Diary was published in the special 50th issue of Erbacce. See here. Empty Diary 2017 is as yet unfinished, still tweaking it; I haven’t written 2018 yet (though I have written 2055, and 1327 for that matter!) So Twentieth Century Blues possesses this extensive pod.

The title of the book Twentieth Century Blues refers not to the kind of blues I have sung (and do, again, briefly, on the 'mythology of the blues poem, 'Smokestack Lightning', above), but to a kitschy Noel Coward song from 'Cavalcade'. Have a listen... Three versions: Noel Coward in a version from the 1950s; the song as featured in the 1933 - was it? - film; Marianne Faithfull in a Weimar version...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

John James reading 'Baudelaire at Cebazan'


This is John reading the poem as part of our launch of Atlantic Drift in February 2018 at the London Review of Books shop. Possibly part of his last reading, it was recorded by the steady hand of Jennie Byrne, writer and intern with the Edge Hill University Press. She misses the first few lines, so here they are:

your text is traced in burnt sienna
across the span of ochre wall in the old Co-op at Cebazan
& tells me now as it did in my youth
of how the wine sings in the bottles...

It's on page 141 of our anthology. It's the gentlest call to revolution that I have ever heard.

I remember John more here (with photos and a poem I wrote for him in 2005).

Sunday, May 20, 2018

i.m. John James (and my poem 'As Yet Untitled Poem' for John James)

Sad to hear of the death of John James. We last saw him on this blog at the launch of Atlantic Drift in London in January, see here. He wasn't in the best of health then. Here's me watching him read.


But I also want to remember him at his reading at Edge Hill in 2005, as he is in this photograph, holding his Collected Poems aloft, and as he is addressed in this poem I wrote after he'd left the house with Patricia to talk to the students the morning after the reading. (It appears in Berlin Bursts.) He is an astonishing poet. I'm glad I taught his work to students, and I'm glad he's in Atlantic Drift. 


A certain kind of elegance has gone out of the world.  


As Yet Untitled Poem

for John James

I beg you to hear this boy. And hear him out.
His morning poem you’re in, now,
is neatly creased as a crisp new shirt, stiff-
backed and clipped on its cardboard torso, posed.

It trips you over the cat from the film you’ve never
seen, as you search for your spectacles.
I use my enormous brain to seek the signals
they emit. We are both The Prisoner

on this island, Crusoes of overlapping surveillance.
Sleep is where we’ve come from, captive, a misty place                            
of drizzled desire and mordant fear. The fog has
lifted, real enough, for the expedition that must

set off for the explanation. Your house-
guest, a sort of vapour that
an opening door dispels, coughs his soft pardons.
Serious poetry is back in town:

the Unfinished Alba of the Unknown
Troubadour, whose vida is word for word. The
beloved of this lyric is the hero of that epic, where
sometimes I did seek, I beg you now to flee this boy.

2005

Watch him reading 'Baudelaire at Cebazan' at the LRB here.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Day of Collaborations/ors (Liverpool Light Night)

Yesterday, a day of collaborations, without fully realising it. Until reflecting this morning.

It began with writing through some of Trev Eales' photographs in preparation for our collaboration. See here:
 
http://robertsheppard.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/trev-eales-photography-and-friendship.html
http://robertsheppard.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/robert-sheppard-talk-for-open-eye.html


Here's a random snippet:
 
he’s re-formed for
the music as
he reads the
hands on the
keys to find
where he is
or where he’s
being pushed


Later, I read more of EUOIA collaborator Alys Conran's brilliant first novel, Pigeon. It's grim, it's funny; it captures the nuances of bilingualism, and I haven't finished it. I seldom read a book where I don't want it to end. This is one. See here:


http://robertsheppard.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/meet-euioa-collaborators-alys-conran.html


Alys reading our collaboration in Bangor

Then it was out to the Liverpool Light Night, and to Bluecoat to look at the many paintings Pete Clarke has produced using my poem about the Liverpool car park fire, 'Arena Area':

parked in the park forever

a darkness that darkens the lungs
concentrated pitch

That's one of them in the Bluecoat studio: 'blistered skin...' it says...


Pete has collaborated with me (I have collaborated with him) on making a number of prints and paintings over the past decade and I posted images from our Edge Hill exhibition here and here. A later work for the Print Bienniel in Krakow may be viewed here and Pete's own website is here. One was a runner-up for the Adrian Henri Prize, and this year his work has been selected for the John Moores Painting Prize! Fingers crossed.

Then, from the very windows you see in this photo, I spotted Jo Blowers, watching a dance piece, with whom I have worked over many years. She'd been ill so it was great to see her out and about! And to talk.

Here's Jo performing (appropriately) at Bluecoat, a piece with a text by me (published in Unfinish). Some links to her work, our works:


http://robertsheppard.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/robert-sheppards-shutters-at-prelude-to.html

and https://robertsheppard.weebly.com/collaborations.html


Then we (Patricia, Philip Jeck and I) walked to the Belvedere and I checked that they had put up the poems about the place by Chris McCabe and myself (a collaboration of sorts) - and they had. (More of that later, I think.) The whole day being spent in the company of Patricia, my most consistent collaborator (and currently an author of a piece on my collaborations with Pete!), as well the other half of Ship of Fools. (And so much more.)


https://patriciafarrell.weebly.com/


Odd then that I should wake up to find a note I clearly made to myself the night before: 'Write a book about Frank Sinatra - and you.' I wonder what I meant.

I have a page on my website about my collaborations (outside of the EUOIA), here:


https://robertsheppard.weebly.com/collaborations.html

Read more about the collaborative project EUOIA here and here. All the collaborators are accessible via links here. More on Twitters here and here.
  

Monday, May 14, 2018

Twitters for a Lark reviewed by Billy Mills (links and notes)

Nice to have Michael Gove in the segue to Billy Mills’ review of Twitters for a Lark given Gove's role in my selection of new sonnets, which really IS my ‘poetry after Brexit’ book, possibly to be called Hap Hazard, with lines like 


... are they grey EU gunboats firing on our freighters,

our entrepreneurs smuggling inflammable cladding,

the dead and the dying dumped in the English Channel
as France dowses England’s chalk redoubt in cheap cheese? No.


Twitters is only accidentally about Brexit, by timing, as I've explained on this blog a number of times .

 Here is the whole review. Billy nicely states

And what it stands for, I think, is resistance to the nonsense idea that the UK is, or can be, anything other than European. The main theme that emerges is an interwoven history, from the classical world through the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Greek bailout, and it is fitting that the final country represented is the UK, the country that proposes to turn its back on that shared history, the ‘fictive cartography’ that is all too real, and that binds us all together.

I’m disappointed that Billy thinks ‘the contents of the book matter less than its being,’ but he’s pretty good on that being, as above. (He does like the collaboration with Alys Conran, though, and so do I!) And when he asks, ‘Nonetheless, I can’t but wonder if it’s getting near time for the EUIA (sic) to disband’, he clearly hasn’t taken in the acrimonious break up of the European Union Of Imaginary Authors, as described in the introduction! Even the five vowels are lost to the four winds! (However, I do have some post-EUOIA plans: here!)

The book is more about collaboration than Brexit, I feel, but Billy has his focus on other recent books as well.

Reviews have been slow, so it’s good to see this one. Thanks Billy!

Read more about the EUOIA here and here. All the collaborators are accessible via links here. More on Twitters here and here.