Saturday, April 27, 2019

The launch of The Robert Sheppard Companion (set list)

at Bluecoat, Liverpool, at 7.00 on Monday 13th May 2019

James Byrne introducing
An excellent launch of The Sheppard Companion, thanks to the editors James Byrne and Christopher Madden, Bluecoat, Bryan Biggs, Edge Hill, Paul Ward, and the participants.

I helped by reading a few poems to show what I’m up to now. I read

‘Poem’ (which will appear in my next book, Micro Event Space)

‘Mayan Thoughts at Brighton’ (for Lee Harwood, a number of old friends of Lee in  the audience), from 'The English Strain'.

‘Accordion Book 2’ (in the book (but also here)

‘Sound on the Lip of Silence': from the photographs of Trev Eales: Three female artists: St Vincent, Debbie Harry, and Patti Smith.

Empty Diary 2018 (which now appears on Blazevox; see here). 

Then onto parts of ‘The English Strain’: 4 from the book and 2 unpublished to finish. Here I am finding them in the book!

Links to a number of the published poems from Non Disclosure Agreement (the last part of the proposed book of The English Strain from which I read that night) may be accessed here:

I write about my sonnets generally here, and here and see here and here for more on my Petrarch obsession, which ‘The English Strain’ project into motion. (See Tom Jenks below, trying to unfold the literal mysteries of the Crater Press publication of Petrarch 3.)

There followed a long discussion of my work with Scott Thurston, Tom Jenks, and Ailsa Cox, moderated by Chris Madden.
The discussion: Chris, Ailsa, Scott and Tom

After a well-deserved break, the audience heard brief readings from Scott Thurston, Joanne Ashcroft, Patricia Farrell (more Ivalyo poems (see here), Tom Jenks and Chris McCabe (he read the Belevedere poem:

; you can even read it by zooming in on the photo!)

Published by Shearsman, the ‘Companion’ is edited by Christopher Madden and James Byrne, who hosted this launch.

Supported by Edge Hill University

Thank you, thank you everybody!


The book itself (James Byrne and Christopher Madden (eds.) – The Robert Sheppard Companion) is published May 2019. Paperback, 9 x 6 ins, 296pp, £16.95 / $27.50

ISBN 9781848616257

A substantial review of Robert Sheppard’s career to date, this volume includes critical writings and appreciations by Joanne Ashcroft, Charles Bernstein, James Byrne, Ailsa Cox, Nikolai Duffy, Patricia Farrell, Allen Fisher, Robert Hampson, Alison Mark, Christopher Madden, Adam Hampton, Tom Jenks, Mark Scroggins, Zoë Skoulding, Scott Thurston; plus a roundtable featuring Gilbert Adair, Adrian Clarke, Alan Halsey, Chris McCabe, Geraldine Monk and Sandeep Parmar. Plus new work by Sheppard.

You may order it here now:

Or navigate through the Shearsman website:

There’s more information (and links) on the symposium and exhibition in 2017 that fed into the book on my blog here:

Tom Jenks struggling with a copy of my Petrarch 3 (Crater Press)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Friday 18th April 1969:

Went into Brighton, got book of tape-recording and Ray Charles, 45.

[That may have been ‘Come Rain or Shine’, which I still possess, play - and enjoy. You can too. Here it is.]

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Robert Sheppard and Patricia: The Passionate Nymph'/The Impassive Shepherd' : European Poetry Festival, Manchester 2019 (set list)

On Saturday 13 April, Patricia and I read at Steven Fowler's wonderful European Poetry Festival. Unusually, we were assigned each other as verbal collaborators.

We made use, as a template, of the almost-collaboration between Christopher (‘Kit’) Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh, the former’s ‘The Passionate Shepherd to His Love’ and the latter’s ‘The Nymph’s Reply’. We have jointly composed two poems.

For the first we treated as a source vocabulary some words from a passage in Anthony Burgess’ novel A Dead Man in Deptford, in which the two poets converse. Seemed right for the venue, The Anthony Burgess Centre, in Manchester.

To correspond to Sir Walter Raleigh’s ‘reply’ to Marlowe’s poem, we jointly wrote a ‘reply’ to our first poem that was its ‘antonymic translation’. This technique, we discovered, was far from a mechanical selection of simple opposites.

 Also at:

The Passionate Nymph, begins:

‘And all that nymph buffet,’
feminine Kit said, ‘purgeth the pores!’
Raleigh, in his satyr’s shabby finery, read
the truth, amazed in his poetic turret.

The Impassive Shepherd begins:

‘But some of this imago fondling,’
manly Walter screamed, ‘bungs up the inattentions!’
Marlowe, on her dryad’s pristine pinny, failed to note
the ambiguity, blasé in his prosaic coalhole.

In the post HERE I provide links to former years and other activities and publications associated with the Manchester legs of the EPF 2018 and 2019.That includes Twitters for a Lark EUOIA reading and my collaboration with Rimas Uzgiris. All sorts...
The event also featured Kim Campanello and Leonce Lupette / Harry Man and Krisjanis Zelgis / Scott Thurston and Simona Nastac / Tom Weir and Endre Ruset / Colin Herd and Morten Langeland / Martin Kratz and Inga Pizane/ Sophie Carolin Wagner and Maria Sledmere / Nell Osborne and Vilde Valerie Bjerke Torset / Sarah-Clare Conlon and Jazmine Linklater / Tom Jenks and SJ Fowler / Tania Hershman and Christodoulos Makris.

We were only able to stay for the first half, due to a compromise with the medical condition of a relative. (It doesn't matter what words I use to describe this, it sounds mysterious. It's not: we just had to go!)

All the Manchester videos are now up

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Friday, April 05, 2019

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Monday, April 01, 2019