Sunday, September 24, 2006

Introducing Professor Robert Sheppard

On Tuesday I was ‘conferred’ as a professor at Edge Hill University, and I shall probably take on the title Professor of Poetry and Poetics. I celebrated this in the usual ways, but I thought here I’d explain the basis of my application, how I see it, why the title I intend to choose is apposite.

What follows are the ‘introductory remarks’ to my application, which I shall use in other contexts, hence the square brackets and final elision.

In a brief citation of my book Far Language, in her essay on contemporary poetic innovation, Professor Marjorie Perloff refers to me as a ‘poet-critic’, the hyphen appearing to announce an uneasy hybrid that dangerously looks as though it is trying to yoke by violence together two opposites. It suggests that unity is achieved by pressurised co-habitation, force of will. And yet, it is unity of purpose and project I would like to emphasise in [this presentation of] my academic career, a unity that is achieved by introducing a third term, ‘poetics’, not just as a mediator between the scholarly research of the ‘critic’ and the practice led research creative writing activities of the ‘poet’, although it is also that.

Poetics suggests a higher equivalence between the two activities, and relates these concerns to my own double-headed research, my supervision of research students, my designing and stewardship of the MA Writing Studies, my day-to-day teaching of undergraduates, my pedagogic innovations, and my current leadership role as Co-ordinator for Creative Writing at Edge Hill. It is at the centre of my proposed academic leadership role as a Professor….

... and read more stuff here.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Babylon Burning


Nearly 90 poets from around the world have contributed to Babylon Burning: 9/11 five years on, an anthology of poems on the Twin Towers atrocity and its consequences. But they aim for more than pious hand-wringing: the anthology will be free, but there will be a request to donate to the Red Cross.

nthposition, the site behind the anthology, wants to maximise the money raised by listing it on iTunes as a PDF. A print-on-demand paperback of the anthology will also be available from, with all profits going to the Red Cross.

Contributors to Babylon Burning are: Ros Barber, Jim Bennett, Rachel Bentham, Charles Bernstein, bill bissett, Yvonne Blomer, Stephanie Bolster, Jenna Butler, Jason Camlot, J R Carpenter, Jared Carter, Patrick Chapman, Sampurna Chattarji, Maxine Chernoff, Tom Chivers, Alfred Corn, Tim Cumming, Margot Douaihy, Ken Edwards, Adam Elgar, Elaine Feinstein, Peter Finch, Philip Fried, Leah Fritz, Richard Garcia, Sandra M Gilbert, Nathan Hamilton, Richard Harrison, Kevin Higgins, Will Holloway, Bob Holman, Paul Hoover, Ray Hsu, Halvard Johnson, Chris Jones, Jill Jones, Kavita Joshi, Jonathan Kaplansky, Wednesday Kennedy, Sonnet L'AbbĂ©, Kasandra Larsen, Tony Lewis-Jones, Dave Lordan, Alexis Lykiard, Jeffrey Mackie, Mike Marqusee, Chris McCabe, Nigel McLoughlin, Pauline Michel, Peter Middleton, Adrian Mitchell, John Mole, David Morley, George Murray, Alistair Noon, D Nurkse, John Oughton, Ruth Padel, Richard Peabody, Tom Phillips, David Prater, Lisa Pasold, Victoria Ramsay, Harold Rhenisch, Noel Rooney, Joe Ross, Myra Schneider, Robert Sheppard, Zaid Shlah, Henry Shukman, Penelope Shuttle, John Siddique, Goran Simic, Hal Sirowitz, Heather Grace Stewart, Andrew Steinmetz, John Stiles, William E Stobb, jordan stone, Sean Street, Todd Swift, Joel Tan, Nathaniel Tarn, Mark Terrill, HelĂȘn Thomas, Vincent Tinguely, Rodrigo Toscano, John Tranter and John Welch.

Babylon Burning will be available from 6 September from nthposition.
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Todd Swift
Poetry Editor - Nthposition