Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Robert Sheppard and two others at Peter Barlow's Cigarette 24th October 2023 (set list)

An evening of alternative poetries happened at Peter Barlow’s Cigarette with me and two others. It was meant to be Patricia (Farrell) reading, but she was unavailable and I went instead. Patricia has had a short notice eye operation. She would have had to squint and glare at the audience with a piratical wink. (See ) 


Tuesday, 24th October 2023 

(not one of their usual Saturdays)

The (very fine) Carlton Club, Carlton Road, Whalley Range, Manchester.

I was reading with 


Paradise Takeaway, a long poem with Luton Airport in it, is out from Two Rivers Press on 21 October 2023. Other recent publications include Two Verse Essays (Longbarrow, 2022) and two further volumes of his translations from the Russian of Osip Mandelstam (The Voronezh Workbooks and Occasional and Joke Poems, Shearsman, 2022). He lives in Berlin, which is where I last saw him at his wonderful Berlin Festival, at which both Patricia and I read, and Stephen sat on my hat!

And I wasn't (quite) reading with ELOISE OUI because the trains are shit in this country, so I left at half time. Only later, reading Alistair's Paradise Takeaway in the Belve did I realise that that is one of the emphatic and powerful themes of his book; though I actually had interruption-free travel, but we can't risk it, can we? In fact, the taxi journey was worse, caught in Man United traffic...) Anyway, apologises to ELOISE, who

is a multipurpose artist from Leeds. She is the writer and director of two upcoming short films: Warm Egg, a sci-fi-infused musical drama, and O River, a psychedelic cat-and-mouse Western set in the Yorkshire Moors. These projects are currently in post-production, with plans for release at various festivals in the upcoming year. Eloise writes poetry and paints for fun and for work she’s a graphic prop designer for tv shows, contributing to the visual storytelling of the small screen.


I read from the ‘English Strain’ Project, two poems: 

1 Afterword: The Shepherd's brow etc...' (see here: Pages: No need for a fourth book of The English Strain, I've decided (

2 Aftershock: Monitoring ... (see here: Pages: Another 'final' poem of the English Strain sonnet project: looking eastwards and to the Ukraine ( ), but nothing from Doubly Stolen Fire. Otherwise, all new work. And on to:

3. The Area (a new work due to appear in The Long Poem Magazine. It is a long poem!)

4. Empty Diary 2022 (a work due to appear in a Broken Sleep anthology on 'Masculinities'. Up for pre-order here:

5. Empty Diary 2023. (About piss drinkers.)

Empty Diary context here:  Pages: Robert Sheppard: The last two Empty Diary poems are published on Strideabout the ones for 2020 and 2021 (with videos).

finally, 6 (to cool it down) 'Late Advance to Bonheur', a poem i.m. John James, published here:  Robert Sheppard: ‘Swift Songs’ and Essay on James’ ‘A Theory of Poetry’ – Glasfryn Project

Then it was time to go: thanks to Joey Francis and the team for a great (truncated, for me) night. And thanks to the audience for responding with laughter to what Joey called 'the first poem about edging that we've had in ten years!' (That's number 4 above.)


Locating Robert Sheppard: email:  (don’t use the Edge Hill email); website: Follow on Twitter (or is it X?): Robert Sheppard (@microbius) / Twitter  latest blogpost: