Sunday, April 08, 2018

Twitters for a Lark launch at Bangor University 6th April 2018 (set list)

Twitters for Lark launch at Bangor University (as part of the Expanded Translation conference and project)

These are my notes, which I spoke from, extempore.

I am very happy tonight to be launching this collection (I think of it as that rather than as an anthology), Twitters for a Lark – this collection of co-created fictional European poets. And I’m thrilled I have so many of those co-creators here, in a sense coincidentally, at the Conference. Though not so coincidentally, given the conference!

But first I want to read three poems from a different project. There are three reasons for this, two of them connected to the European poets project, the first not.

I want to read from my versions of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s versions of Petrarch, because they are expanded translations, the theme of the conference, and because today is a special day in the Petrarchan calendar. On this date in 1327 he first espied Laura (she also is reported to have died on this day, etc….) That is the theme of my Petrarch 3 poems that (along with the work of others whom I have written about in my book The Meaning of Form) so exercised Peter Riley recently.(Peter Hughes talked about his Petrarch project in a paper that was largely on his Leopardi follows-up. Great stuff.)

But my reason –the second reason – for reading these are also that they are openly poems about Brexit. My ‘Wyatt’ is partly a servant of that first unstable Brexiteer Henry the Eighth, and also a kind of contemporary civil servant or a spy

I read Hap 5,6, and 13. More on that project here:

The third reason I read those poems was that, despite the name, the European Union of Imaginary Authors (the EUOIA) is not a Brexit project. Who could have predicted that my mild joke, my Belgian fictional poet, RVV, invented all of these poets in 2013 or so, would have become so politicised a concept, and that some of us (‘almost most’ as my poem says) learnt to love the EU too late, and that the EU failed to enamour itself to the slender ‘Many’. Nevertheless, I shamelessly argued in the blurb for Twitters, ‘If the right poets for the times don’t exist, then they have to be invented,’ though I did fess up: ‘Although devised before the neologism ‘Brexit’ was spat across the bitter political divide, this sample of 28 poets of the EUOIA … takes on new meanings in our contemporary world that is far from fictive, ‘fake news’ or not.’

Rene Van Valckenborch as a project: was about translations and exploring the author function, the way work constellates around a name… Meet Rene here.

EUOIA in it

and straight into the reading. More about collaboration than translation per se.

featuring my collaborators

Zoe Skoulding
James Byrne
Alys Conran
Philip Terry
Jeff Hilson

All the collaborators are accessible via links here.

and our creations:

Gurkan Arnavut (Cyprus)
Martina Markovic (Croatia)
Christofol Subira (Catalonia)
Paul Coppens (Belguim)
Ratsky Josef (Hungary)
Alys Conran

James Byrne (and Robert Sheppard)

Lily Robert-Foley


Zoe full of life: Zoepoetics

Haps led into reading with Zoe, an account of how she set the whole thing off, by suggesting we use my unused fictional poets; with James, who added a few new details about Martina; and with the wonderful Alys; the joys of collaborating with somebody one previously hadn’t know.

Philip and I decided we’d demonstrate our loose antonymic translation by me reading (slowly) Van Valckenborch’s quennets and Paul Coppens’ translations.
Philip Terry showing the audience the shape of the Qunnet form

Jeff and me: which I pre-visaged as a high-octane belter, but something else happened. We were reading in the School of Music, and there was an organ in the corner, that worked, and so, finding that Lily Robert-Foley could play keyboards, we enlisted her services, and she played pieces under each of our two poems, and they were considerably interrupted by the slow music (her own songs), slowing both of us down and punctuating and re-articulating the work (appropriate, I should say, because Ratsky is an organist-poet and the poems feature organ-related notions!) Simutaneous intersemiotic translation, in Sophie Collins’ terms.Many thanks to Lily!

after Jeff:

Thanks at the end to: Zoe for setting it off, Zoe and Jeff for including it in this conference, Zoe and Jeff and all the other poets for collaborating, and everybody for coming…

Thanks to Jeff for the photos...(That's why he isn't in them.)

This event was part of the ‘Expanded Translation’ Project. Read more here and here:

And read here Zoe Skoulding's response to Peter Riley's review of some 'expanded translations' (including my Petrarch 3), but it's also an account of the Bangor Conference at the whole research project: here.

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here More on Twitters here and here. Updated link:

Read about the August 2017 Other Room Manchester reading of the EUOIA poets (pre-launch of Twitters) here

Read about the November 2017 mini-launch in Luton here.

And the Leicester (States of Independence) launch: