Rene Van Valckenborch (see here for his credentials: https://euoia.weebly.com/rene-van-valckenborch.html) talks to Robert Sheppard, as part of an occasional series of interviews, conducted when he turns up 'out of nowhere', like Bob McCorkle in Peter Carey's My Life as a Fake on my doorstep. (Thank God I'm not allowed to invite him in, thinks Sheppard.)
VV: I’m pleased to announce that I have some of my quennets published in The Penguin Book of Oulipo. https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-penguin-book-of-oulipo/philip-terry/9780241378427
VV: … and inventor of part two, ‘the co-created fictional poets of the European Union of Imaginary Authors (EUOIA)’. https://euoia.weebly.com/ That’s what it says in Twitters for a Lark … https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2017/11/robert-sheppard-with-others-twitters.html
RS: But the project is mine, and all your poems are mine. Everybody knows that!
RS: I also read the original quennets (the ones in the anthology) at the Bluecoat and performed them as a poetry reading-mime within an invisible cube. Quite a novel act-event.
RS: (Bashful.) As an Englishman, I couldn’t possibly comment on that circumstance. (See ttps://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2013/12/reflections-on-translated-man-last.html )
VV: It's my name on the poster, not yours. Now, at last, I’m vindicated with this, possibly my most out-there appearance to date. I feel myself stirring, if you’ll pardon the expression...
RS: … I don’t …
VV: ... cracking the old poetic bone. It’s been a long time. Ten years since my supposed ‘disappearance’.
RS: (Carefully) Where did you go, then? There was a rumour you were writing in German.
VV: Ha! That title The Salad in the Wardrobe was a joke, dummy.
RS: Good to hear it. But don’t get any ideas. Talking about coming back won’t get you into part three.
VV: Oh, there’s a part three planned, is there? How do you want me, darling? Flemish or Walloon?
RS: Cease your waffle, Belgian. I might work on Sophie Poppmeier, give her a little more reality. I might get her to collaborate with a mannequin. (See here for her elaborate biography: https://euoia.weebly.com/sophie-poppmeier-1981--austria.html )
VV: I made her up too, though, remember?
RS: I said you did, though I cooked up her burlesque performances. On the other hand, I might include my new work on the talking mongoose of the Isle of Man. Or Ern Malley, even, now I’ve been singing in the Ern Malley Orchestra. http://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2018/03/ern-malley-1918-1943-celebrating_14.html
VV: But Malley’s a fake!
RS: So are you. Didn’t you recently tweet, ‘It’s not my death I’ve faked, but my whole life’?
VV: Yes. I was feeling bad that day. Veerle Baertens won’t answer my letters, emails or Tweets. But the arrival of The Penguin Book cheered me up no end. It meant, poetry-wise, at least, that I am Somebody.
VV: Hello? Are you still there?
See here for my earliest encounter – one might say, pre-encounter – with the Oulipo: https://robertsheppard.blogspot.com/2011/07/innovative-sonnet-sequence-eight-of-14.html