Saturday, February 26, 2022

Reflections on Fictional Poetry and Fictional Poets (1 and hubpost for the sequence)

Some of these posts have been incorporated into a prose chapter of my 2023 book, Doubly Stolen Fire, which you may read about, and purchase, here: Pages: Doubly Stolen Fire (a new book of hybrid texts) is now OUT (


It seems a different world, doesn’t it, in which my piece of fictional dirty burlesque performed by the fictional poet Sophie Poppmeier called ‘Pegging Putin’ could be thought of as quite funny. And it was funny, but its resonances seem a little unreadable now, as the Russians invade Ukraine. For Sophie Poppmeier’s lockdown journal, to which this piece refers, and of which it is a sequel, and to which this new sequence of posts is a sequel, read here :


Danny/i the talking amnnequin

A related ‘transient’ piece begins here: Pages: One Off Episode: Transient Global Amnesia and the Fictional Poetry Project (EUOIA and all that) (

 Now you are ready to move on.


This story (as largely told in the serial posts of Sophie Poppmeier’s journal; see link above) bifurcated as soon as she sold Danny/i. (Again, you can read about Danny/i via the links below: it was a poeticising mannequin dressed in Russian military uniform. Again, that seemed quite funny at the time it was written.) It was collected by a collector of such remains. 

a.      In England, Jason Argleton concocted his fiction. During a house clearance, he explained, to whom isn’t entirely clear, the manuscript Different Lines, that strange re-write of the canonical Movement anthology New Lines, was discovered in the loft of an elderly English teacher on the Isle of Man. It fortuitously found its way to Jason (and to his mentor, that’s some version of me) in Liverpool, who realised its value. Only they knew this bevvy of English poets was fictional, and their poems are fictional too, so fictional that they need not exist (the poems, that is). There was no need for them to have been written. But there they are, attempting to re-write literary history. A temporal-spatial transposition, to which is added Sheppard’s single ‘lead’, a hostile review of Different Lines, purporting to come from a reputable journal of the time. (Of course, that’s only a fiction too, but you’ll have to wait to read the wee fragment of it that exists.) 

b.     ‘In Berlin,’ Sophie Poppmeier wrote in the last entry to her lockdown diary, ‘my silence proved temporary, once Danny/i had gone. I sat brooding no longer over the file of scribbles, Book Five, or the inviting empty notebook, Book Six. I may yet cross the threshold of lyricism into something beyond. : Sophie Poppmeier (1981-) Austria - European Union of Imaginary Authors (EUOIA) ( Even if the post-Covid world (and Jason too, judging by his silence) had no use for me, I deserved a projected future, as did every creature emerging from lockdown with a vaccine pulsing in the muscles. I would come into my own, by coming out of my own.’


See the next instalment for an update. As usual, this post will become a hubpost for this sequence.

Part two: Pages: Reflections on Fictional Poetry and Fictional Poets part 2 (

Part three: on the political pitfalls of fictional poetry: Pages: Reflections on Fictional Poetry and Fictional Poets part 3 (

Part four: on cultural appropriation: Pages: Reflections on Fictional Poetry and Fictional Poets part 4 (

Part five: on the distinction between fictional poets and fictional poems: Pages: Reflections on Fictional Poetry and Fictional Poets part 5 ( 

Part six (final post): on my first fictional poet, Rene Van Valckenborch; some reminders and lessons: Pages: Reflections on Fictional Poetry and Fictional Poets (part 6 - the final part) (

A further section was written after posting the six parts above, and may be read here: Pages: A further thought on fictional poetry and imaginary authors (

All these entries may be thought of as the working notes towards the third book of my fictional poets project, after A Translated Man and Twitters for a Lark, which has its own website, EUOIAEuropean Union of Imaginary Authors (EUOIA) - Home ( ; this contains a page about Poppmeier tooSophie Poppmeier (1981-) Austria - European Union of Imaginary Authors (EUOIA) ( ) I have no idea whether this will appear in print as a third book, but I'm working on that assumption.

Books one and two are described here: Pages: Celebrate Belgium’s Independence Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Paul Coppens and with Rene Van Valckenborch (

In addition to my work with fictional poets (there are lots of links to that on this blog, and on this post, actually) I have been part of a Malley ‘centenary celebration’, that you may read about here:
Pages: Ern Malley 1918-1943: Celebrating the centenary in his place of birth Liverpool (set list) (

But there's more to say about Ern. An essay on the Ern Malley affair and its Liverpool celebrations may be read here:

An essay on the Ern Malley affair and its Liverpool celebrations may be read here: