Saturday, May 13, 2023

The Liverpool Camarade at Open Eye Gallery : May 2023: the videos of my collaboration with Sarah-Clare Conlon

The Liverpool Camarade at Open Eye Gallery : May Thursday 11th 2023

Here's the traditional readers' photo-shoot. I decided to grin stupidly (for once). It hurt. 

As ever, all the vidoes of the event are online, accessible in two places: 

All the performances are online here

And can be found directly here too

 See more here: 

Venue and hosts: 19 Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront. L3 1BP. This is part of EUROFESTIVAL: exhibitions and events at the Open Eye Gallery.

Organised by SJ Fowler (see below for links to my accounts of his collaborative practice and theories of collaboration), who has been organising collaborative events, and 'European' ones, long before Eurovision blew in from Ukraine (and long before Brexit). The readers were 

  • Kārlis Vērdiņš and James Byrne
  • Hanna Komar and Michael Sutton
  • Katerina Koulouri and Patricia Farrell
  • Yasmin Hafedh and Sarah Dawson
  • Ailsa Holland and Stephen Sunderland
  • Robert Sheppard and Sarah-Clare Conlon
  • Tom Jenks and SJ Fowler
  • Stanimir Dimitrov and Michael Egan

My collaborator wrote about the upcoming event AND its participants in quite some detail, here: European Poetry Festival European Camarade at Open Eye Gallery Liverpool | Literature | Creative Tourist

Thanks Steve


This remarkable Camarade took place in one of Liverpool’s most brilliant galleries celebrating European poetry in collaboration with local writers (more or less).

This is the first Liverpool Camarade since 2015, about which I wrote here: Pages: Liverpool Camarade 2015: general introduction (set list) ( with videos, of course. I was deep in the writing of what became the collaborative anthology Twitters for a Lark at that time. But now we have real  European writers.

This event is part of Open Eye Gallery’s programme as a commissioned organisation for EuroFestival, which will take over Liverpool in the lead up to The Eurovision Song Contest. Sarah-Clare and I were vaguely working on the non-theme of rivers, as you can discern from our non-introduction! 

Here's a video of us. We were on first. Robert Sheppard and Sarah-Claire Conlon : EPF 2023 - Liverpool Camarade at Open Eye - YouTube

The text has now, January 2024, been published in Blackbox Manifold 31: see here: Pages: UNTITLED by Sarah-Clare Conlon and Robert Sheppard is published in Blackbox Manifold 31

A quiet day, [my diary tells me], with writing tasks and reading Baraka (Blues People) then - just as the heavens opened, out to the Open Eye, through the drenched but happy crowds at the Eurovision, for the L'pool Camarade. Len, David, and Alyssa were new crowds, but good to see and talk to Clare and David, albiet brtiefly. Pete Clarke there too. [Ailsa, Stephen (lives locally), Michael Sutton, Sarah Dawson: all folk I'd not met before.] The reading was pretty good, ... Clare and I did our stuff, first on (!) , and then P(atricia) and Katarina were good. The best was Michael Sutton (from Edge Hill) and Hanna Komar (a Bellarussian poet). James political, poets at the Palace spleen. To the Lion to talk to Michael Egan, Paul, Chris, and others... A good vibe!'

It's all there online for you.

Here's my accounts of earlier collaborations in these series: 

Pages: Twitters for a Launch part of the European Poetry Festival Manchester April 13th (set list) ( (This features my European Union of Imaginary Authors project: if you've not heard of that yet, try this for size: European Union of Imaginary Authors (EUOIA) - Home ( All Euro poets will be REAL for May's event!

Pages: Untitled by Joanne Ashcroft and Robert Sheppard performed at the European Camarade 2021(video and links) (This was a one-off with Joanne, with our text (and video) here.)

Some of my previous collaborative readings (in Manchester) are featured here:

Pages: Rimas Uzgiris and Robert Sheppard: collaborative poem 'Unreadable Expressions': text and video and notes

Patricia and I have collaborated and these two posts are about that (with video)

I write about the Camarade/European Poetry Festivals in some of my ‘Collaborations’ posts, beginning here, and review SJ Fowler’s book of selected collaborations. The introductory part one, flags up the themes and surveys the territory, here:

Part 10 is an account of Fowler’s poetics of collaboration. It is important for tracing the impetus behind the hospitality that directs these events. Here:

It was good to finally read at the Open Eye Gallery, third time lucky: the first talk on poetry and photography was called off, illness, though my text is on this blog here: Pages: Robert Sheppard: Talk for the Open Eye Gallery on Poetry and Photography December 2016. The second time was a launch for Charms and Glitter, killed by Covid and copyright. The sad story is told here: Pages: Whatever happened to the book Charms and Glitter? ( So, third time lucky, but I hope not the last...


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