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Friday, April 27, 2018

Celebrate Holland’s King's Birthday with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Maarten De Zoute

Celebrate Holland’s King's Birthday with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Maarten De Zoute who was co-created by myself and an online cut up engine, God's Rude Wireless.

See here for more on Maarten and here is a second poem we wrote (which was left out of the book for space reasons): I had to cut my own creations first...

I worked in collaboration, over a number of years, with a team of real writers, to create a lively and entertaining body of work of fictional European poets.

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here. All the collaborators are accessible via links here.

Accompanied by biographical notes, the poets grow in vividness until they seem to possess lives of their own; they are collected now in Twitters for a Lark, published by Shearsman.   

More on Twitters here and here

This collection marks a continuation of the work I ventriloquised through my solo creation, the fictional bilingual Belgian poet René Van Valckenborch, in A Translated Man (read an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here ).

I see these two books as the first two parts of a fictional poetry trilogy. Not sure what I should do next though...


Monday, April 23, 2018

Celebrate St George’s Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Robert Sheppard who was created by the real Robert Sheppard

Celebrate St George’s Day with European Union of Imaginary Authors poet Robert Sheppard who was created by the real Robert Sheppard. Both English.


See here for more on the real one and here for more on the fictional one he became, by the end of the process of writing the EUOIA project! This includes the full version of the bibliographical note that Patricia Farrell wrote for the project (that was shortened for the book publication).

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here. All the collaborators are accessible via links here.

Accompanied by biographical notes, the poets, Sheppard included, grow in vividness until they seem to possess lives of their own; they are collected now in Twitters for a Lark, published by Shearsman.   

More on Twitters here and here

I see these two books as the first two parts of a fictional poetry trilogy. Perhaps the third part should involve the fictional Robert Sheppard...I did announce in Twentieth Century Blues that I would fragment into many personalities and that seems to have been echoed by the problematics of the EUOIA. I have a parenthetical phrase in the introduction to Twitters that says '(himself one of the fictional poets by the time the project concluded)', which I think is quite neat, and points towards realising something like the scenario mooted in Twentieth Century Blues. Though I actually doubt I've the energy to carry that off to its conclusion. But I do want to write a 'third part'.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Last Other Room (Manchester) 18th April 2018


It was all going so well; we were sitting on the Manchester train, pulling out of Lime Street, having decided to give the Whitworth a go before the final TOR, and I settled down to my Baraka Blues People, when Patricia's phone rang. I could hear it was something serious and it was about our son. And we were just pulling into Liverpool South Parkway. Where we got off... and never made the above gig.

I want to express my gratitude to the dynamic trio who organised these readings, Scott, Tom and James, and my personal debt to them as a a frequent reader (but infrequent attendee; it often clashed with MA teaching).I read from Twentieth Century Blues 10 years ago; performed my collaboration with Bob Cobbing (Patricia being Bob!) at the Cobbing evening; read the Van Valckenborch works from A Translated Man; and last August conducted the EUOIA reading. There are posts on this blog throughout featuring set lists and embodied videos or links.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Twitters for a Launch part of the European Poetry Festival Manchester April 13th (set list)

Twitters for a Launch part of the European Poetry Festival Manchester April 13th



In addition to the European Camarade there were readings from European Union of Imaginary Author poets with me, but mainly featuring my collaborators

Patricia Farrell
SJ Fowler
Tom Jenks
Joanne Ashcroft
Scott Thurston
James Byrne
Sandeep Parmar

and our creations:

Ivalyo Dimitrov (Bulgaria)
Kasja Bergstrom (Sweden)
Georg Bleinstein (Luxembourg)
Matus Dobres (Slovakia)
Hubert Zuba (Malta)
Martina Markovic (Croatia)
Carte-Vitale (French resident)

I introduced the event, using this 'script':

I decided to write the poems of the European Union of Imaginary Authors (the EUOIA) long before I thought it would feature as part of a European Union of REAL Authors festival, for which, many thanks to Steven Fowler, MC extraordinaire of the Camarades. I decided to write them long before the ugly neologism (now not so neo) BREXIT arrived to complicate the project – and give to it a fresh political edge. If the right poets for the times don’t exist, it seems, then they have to be invented.

I decided to write these poems – working through a list of 28 imaginary poets drawn up for another project – collaboratively, to ensure the variety that such a project deserves. I took my lead from the collaborators: they chose the country and poet and often wrote the biographies that are sprinkled among the biographies of the real poets in this newly published volume Twitters for a Lark which we are launching tonight – and which I am hoping you will want to buy. Some of the poems were first devised for Camarades of various kinds, so that again makes tonight pertinent.

I decided in performance that, apart from a number of two-voiced pieces, the results of the processes of collaboration – the production of a third voice, as collaboration theory suggests, and in our case, the production of persons and personas and pessaos to inhabit that voice – demanded that a single voice should render the single and singular poems, which is not the characteristic practice of collaborative performance. So remember that everything you hear was produced collaboratively between my seven guests and myself, although you may hear only one voice, and not a lot of me. That means tonight, in this section, there are 15 poets reading, not all of them real.

Then Patricia Farrell and I performed a simultaneous two voiced piece by Ivalyo Dimitrov (Bulgaria). Then SJ Fowler and I read ‘Flak’ by Kasja Bergstrom (Sweden), Steven first poem, me the second. Tom Jenks and I performed a simultaneous 2 voiced verision of the single enigmatic poem by Georg Bleinstein (Luxembourg). Matus Dobres (Slovakia) was next up, with Joanne Ashcroft reading the single poem.
Scott Thurston read the single poem of Hubert Zuba (Malta). (Scott was carrying evidence of Zuba’s demise, but this was not revealed to the public, a bit like the evidence surrounding Scripal’s poisoning.) James Byrne and I read ‘Memorials’ by  Martina Markovic (Croatia), James number 7; me 26. Sandeep Parmar read the single long poem by Carte-Vitale (French resident).

Watch it all here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQv2UZRMLsg

or here:


Read more about the European Poetry Festival here:



All the videos are to be found here: 


and embedded on the website with some pictures too

Most of the evening's performers

At the Manchester gig I was also collaborating with a real Lithuanian poet Rimas Uzgiris, https://www.europeanpoetryfestival.com/rimas-uzgiris

which I thought went well.You may see that here.

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here. All the collaborators are accessible via links here.

This will probably be the last Twitters for a Lark launch reading. 

Read about the August 2017 Other Room Manchester reading of the EUOIA poets (pre-launch of Twitters) here

Read about the November 2017 mini-launch in Luton here.

And the Leicester (States of Independence) launch:


Read about the Bangor launch here.

More on Twitters here and here.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Twitters for a Lark launch at Bangor University 6th April 2018 (set list)

Twitters for Lark launch at Bangor University (as part of the Expanded Translation conference and project)


These are my notes, which I spoke from, extempore.

I am very happy tonight to be launching this collection (I think of it as that rather than as an anthology), Twitters for a Lark – this collection of co-created fictional European poets. And I’m thrilled I have so many of those co-creators here, in a sense coincidentally, at the Conference. Though not so coincidentally, given the conference!

But first I want to read three poems from a different project. There are three reasons for this, two of them connected to the European poets project, the first not.

I want to read from my versions of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s versions of Petrarch, because they are expanded translations, the theme of the conference, and because today is a special day in the Petrarchan calendar. On this date in 1327 he first espied Laura (she also is reported to have died on this day, etc….) That is the theme of my Petrarch 3 poems that (along with the work of others whom I have written about in my book The Meaning of Form) so exercised Peter Riley recently.(Peter Hughes talked about his Petrarch project in a paper that was largely on his Leopardi follows-up. Great stuff.)

But my reason –the second reason – for reading these are also that they are openly poems about Brexit. My ‘Wyatt’ is partly a servant of that first unstable Brexiteer Henry the Eighth, and also a kind of contemporary civil servant or a spy

I read Hap 5,6, and 13. More on that project here:



The third reason I read those poems was that, despite the name, the European Union of Imaginary Authors (the EUOIA) is not a Brexit project. Who could have predicted that my mild joke, my Belgian fictional poet, RVV, invented all of these poets in 2013 or so, would have become so politicised a concept, and that some of us (‘almost most’ as my poem says) learnt to love the EU too late, and that the EU failed to enamour itself to the slender ‘Many’. Nevertheless, I shamelessly argued in the blurb for Twitters, ‘If the right poets for the times don’t exist, then they have to be invented,’ though I did fess up: ‘Although devised before the neologism ‘Brexit’ was spat across the bitter political divide, this sample of 28 poets of the EUOIA … takes on new meanings in our contemporary world that is far from fictive, ‘fake news’ or not.’

Rene Van Valckenborch as a project: was about translations and exploring the author function, the way work constellates around a name… Meet Rene here.

EUOIA in it

and straight into the reading. More about collaboration than translation per se.

featuring my collaborators

Zoe Skoulding
James Byrne
Alys Conran
Philip Terry
Jeff Hilson


All the collaborators are accessible via links here.

and our creations:

Gurkan Arnavut (Cyprus)
Martina Markovic (Croatia)
Christofol Subira (Catalonia)
Paul Coppens (Belguim)
Ratsky Josef (Hungary)
Alys Conran

James Byrne (and Robert Sheppard)

Lily Robert-Foley

Robert

Zoe full of life: Zoepoetics

Haps led into reading with Zoe, an account of how she set the whole thing off, by suggesting we use my unused fictional poets; with James, who added a few new details about Martina; and with the wonderful Alys; the joys of collaborating with somebody one previously hadn’t know.

Philip and I decided we’d demonstrate our loose antonymic translation by me reading (slowly) Van Valckenborch’s quennets and Paul Coppens’ translations.
Philip Terry showing the audience the shape of the Qunnet form

Jeff and me: which I pre-visaged as a high-octane belter, but something else happened. We were reading in the School of Music, and there was an organ in the corner, that worked, and so, finding that Lily Robert-Foley could play keyboards, we enlisted her services, and she played pieces under each of our two poems, and they were considerably interrupted by the slow music (her own songs), slowing both of us down and punctuating and re-articulating the work (appropriate, I should say, because Ratsky is an organist-poet and the poems feature organ-related notions!) Simutaneous intersemiotic translation, in Sophie Collins’ terms.Many thanks to Lily!

after Jeff:

Thanks at the end to: Zoe for setting it off, Zoe and Jeff for including it in this conference, Zoe and Jeff and all the other poets for collaborating, and everybody for coming…

Thanks to Jeff for the photos...(That's why he isn't in them.)

This event was part of the ‘Expanded Translation’ Project. Read more here and here:



Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here More on Twitters here and here.

Read about the August 2017 Other Room Manchester reading of the EUOIA poets (pre-launch of Twitters) here

Read about the November 2017 mini-launch in Luton here.

And the Leicester (States of Independence) launch:




Friday, April 06, 2018

Robert Sheppard: the Petrarch sonnet project finished with poem 100

I have made a habit of posting my topical sonnets as they were written. They are versions of versions of Petrarch, largely. They start with Petrarch 3. See here and here and here and here for more on my Petrarch obsession/project, including how to purchase Petrarch 3 from Crater press in its 'map' edition. Read the 'original' translation (if you see what I mean) and a doggie version here. (Today is 6th April, the day Petrarch claimed to have first spotted Laura, and the day she died 21 years later.)


In 'It's Nothing', my failed attempt to 'write the self', the word 'Brexit' appears for the first time, as though the themes of the poems that follow erupted into the sequences almost by accident.

The Thomas Wyatt poems will be published soon by Knives Forks and Spoons. 'Brexit' is now a firm thematics. Here's a HAP:
from Hap: Understudies of Thomas Wyatt’s Petrarch


I write about the versions of the Earl of Surrey's sonnets which followed here , where I also explain that the poems were temporarily posted on this blog for about a week each, partly because I was often commenting on contemporary events, like Boris' gaffes, and I wanted to get an immediate audience. Here's one touching on Trump's 'trans ban' and upon the macho version of diplomacy that seems to prevail in the White House. I held it back from publication as it became a veritable thicket of scare-quotes to show I wasn't expressing the opinions involved. That's also why I published it with the 'original' but it clearly shows what I'm doing, I hope, at:
http://internationaltimes.it/direct-rule-in-peace-with-foul-desire 

See here for one reference to my next sequence, feeding off of the sonnets of Charlotte Smith, and featuring Boris' then most recent gaffe. 

Bringing the total of sonnets to 100 I've used 14 of EEB's exquisite 'Poems from the Portuguese'. I pondered 'Brazilian Sonnets' as a title, using some bossa nova tropes, but that ended up as the title of the first seven. I regard the title (which came to me in a flash) as peculiarly apposite: I'd read that one of our leading (Tory) politicians has a Non Disclosure Agreement with one (or more?) of his lovers; the second poem is about the President's Club outrage - the girls had to sign such an agreement. In a sense Robert and EB Browning had a mutual non-disclsoure agreement during their courtship. (That's another suggested scenario too: Mistress Elizabeth receives gentlemen callers in Wimpole St, who have to perform beastly acts, possibly taking on the persona of the dog Flush (see Virginia Woolf's fine biography of this hound) I activated that possibility, mildly (for me) in a couple of the poems. Woof). The second group of seven (out of fourteen) are like the earlier 'Direct Rule' Surrey poems in that they are overdubbed by another voice.

Some of my related OVERDUBS, a non-sequence of versions of Milton’s sonnets have been published online. They may ALL be accessed here.

I would like to thank Clark Allison for following my temporary posts and responding by email to every poem, and was honest about his responses to these satirical outrages.
EBB's most famous one. I didn't touch it

So, what does the project consist of then?

Petrarch 3
Overdubs from Milton
two sonnets for Lee Harwood
It's Nothing
breakout
Hap: Understudies of Sir Thomas Wyatt's Petrarch
Surrey with the Fringe on Top
Elegaic Sonnets
Non Disclosure Agreement

See Peter Riley. Like Father Ted, he says: Down with this sort of thing! Here.



'Even putting it on Twitter won’t get Bo and Go or Fox and Dox
to RT it or DM me,' but above is a picture of Fox during his Globe-Trotting Expeditions looking for trade deals. But the local juice has defeated him here. But below is a more appetising sight!



My poem The Soul’s Rialto Hath its Merchandise contains the lines:

‘The fundamental unit of post-Brexit trade
will be American Boneless Pork Rectums!’

Above is the image to prove it! Though I've removed the word 'inverted' from the poem (I don't know what that means in terms of pork arse). Here's a man who is proving he alone can eat it. (Remember John Gummer and the Burger?) Each place is set with a box of BPR, it appears.

It will be a Boneless Pork Rectum and Eat it Britain after 'Bregsit' (new pronunciation), rather than the Cake and Eat It one on offer.