Friday, April 29, 2005

Robert Sheppard: TEXTintoTEXT


As an accompaniment to my reading - just back from it - at Bury Art Gallery on the evening of 28th April, I offer (via links) some examples of the class of work I dub ‘text and commentary’, mostly written between 2001-3. (Most of them will be published as Hymns to the God in Which my Typewriter Believes.) By this I mean that, although such works are responses to, writings through, alongside, against, out of, other works of art (on the whole), they are intended to be read independently as well as in relation to. They are as textual as much as they are intertextual.


I read ‘Parody and Pastoral’ which makes use of Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s poem ‘Pastoral’, in On the Periphery (Street Editions, Cambridge, 1976); see also her Poetic Artifice (Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1978), Chapter Five, ‘Pastoral and parody’, pp. 112-63, which reprints the poem on page 125.


I read the third part of ‘Reading The Reader of Bernard Schlink’ attempts exactly that, one of my paragraphs for each of its chapters (excepting the independent ‘Prologue’). It is published in English, the edition I used, by Phœnix, London, 1997.

I read with Mark Novak and Carolyn Thompson.

Mark is a poet, political activist, and trade union militant, organiser of the Union of Radical Writers and Workers (URWW) and editor of the poetry journal 'Cross Cultural Poetics' (Xcp). He has recently published Shut Up Shut Down with Coffee House Books (2004), a collection of poetic sequences focussing on US union struggles and the effects of their defeat on local communities as well as other labour issues. Jolly good it is too. I read it on the train back. Patricia helped him read some of it.

Carolyn Thompson is a text artist, no, she said she wasn't a text artist. Check out the Text Festival site.

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