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Friday, February 23, 2018

Meet the EUOIA collaborators: Jèssica Pujol i Duran

With Jèssica Pujol i Duran I created the Portuguese poems of Ana Cristina Pessao for Twitters for a Lark: Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors. You can read more about Pessao here. Note that the poems she writes are addressed to one of Pessoa’s lesser-known heteronyms! We had fun writing these!

Jèssica Pujol i Duran is currently a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Santiago de Chile. She was Poet in Residence at the University of Surrey in 2013/2014 and edits Alba Londres (albalondres.com). She has written and translated in Catalan, English and Spanish, and her poetry and translations have been published in various magazines and anthologies such as The Dark Would: anthology of language art and Donzelles de l’any 2000. She has two chapbooks in English, Now Worry (Department: 2012) and Every Bit of Light (Oystercatcher Press: 2012); a book in Catalan, El país pintat (El pont del petroli, 2015), and one in Spanish, Entrar es tan difícil salir, with translations by William Rowe (Veer Books, 2016).

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here

More on Twitters for a Lark here and here. See also A Translated Man ( an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here.)

All the collaborators are introduced at links available here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

My latest Non-Disclosure Agreement (Brexit) poem in draft as I write it

I made a habit of posting my topical sonnets earlier last year as they were written. (News just in: The Wyatt poems will be published soon by Knives Forks and Spoons.) I write about the Earl of Surrey ones here , where I also explain that the poems were temporarily posted, partly because I was often commenting on contemporary events, like Boris' gaffes, and I wanted to get an immediate audience. See here for one reference to this last sequence, feeding off of the sonnets of Charlotte Smith, and featuring Boris' then most recent gaffe. Here's my latest. I've been hinting here that I've got another sequence of poems I wanted to detourn; this time it is EEB's exquisite 'Poems from the Portuguese'. I pondered 'Brazilian Sonnets' as a title, using some bossa nova tropes, but they just got in the way (in today's poem Brazil appears). I regard the title (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. This one follows up on that... In a sense Robert and EB Browning had a mutual non-disclsoure agreement during their courtship. (There's another possible 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 in one of the poems, but haven't returned to it. Woof).

EBB's most famous (I will not be versioning this one)

Here's today's notes and drafts



– 6m points of light scattered across an intermittently darkening globe. There are more British people living in Australia than in the whole of the EU, and more in the US and Canada. As I have just discovered we have more than a million who go to Thailand every year, where according to our superb consular services they get up to

but to think about how we can undo the physical separation that took place at the end of the Ice Age.
Fly over the Channel at Dover and you see how narrow it is, the
It’s about continuing the astonishing revolution in tastes and styles – in the arts, music, restaurants, sports –
a fallacious reasoning: after this, therefore because of this
. It is there to achieve a political goal.
The aim is therefore to create an overarching European state as the basis for a new sense of European political identity.
sheeplike coughs of protest from the UK, the process of integration deepened, and the corpus of EU law grew ever vaster and more intricate,


laws. It would obviously be absurd, as Theresa May said in her Lancaster House and Florence speeches –of Hammurabi or Moses – if we were obliged to obey laws over which we have no say and no vote.

‘sincere inauthenticity’ (Toby Young)

lapidary: set in stone




A heavy heart, Belovèd, have I borne

‘A bigger diaspora, bonita, than any other rich nation
since the autarkic 1950s of spam and liver and sorrow
sheeplike coughs of bo-peep protest took place in this country
not so much because of our EU membership but because

of the most eye-popping things Brits wear in Brazil
which now have the lapidary status of samba-time...
… teleological … post hoc ergo… who I am and
roughly …propter hoc …what I’ve borne.’ Wake up!

Arouse your deep being, pump your fatty pump alive!
Lift yourself from your dream (my nightmare,
as mourning remoaner) towards your unaccomplished fate.

The speech I wrote you is ready, unbelieving Leaver.
It will slip onto your sincere inauthenticity like a condom.
The stars wink across our intermittently darkening globe.

22nd February 2018




A heavy heart, Belovèd, have I borne

‘A bigger diaspora, bonita, than any other rich nation
since the autarkic 1950s of spam and liver and sorrow
sheeplike coughs of bo-peep protest took place in this
Ice Age country because of our EU membership

The most eye-popping things Brits wear in Brazil
now have the lapidary status of samba-time...
… teleological … post hoc ergo… who I am and.. 
roughly …propter hoc …what I’ve borne.’ Wake up!

Arouse your deep being, pump your fatty pump alive!
Lift yourself from your heavy dream (my nightmare,
as mourning remoaner) towards your unaccomplished fate.

The speech I wrote you is ready, unbelieving Leaver.
It will slip onto your sincere inauthenticity like a condom.
The stars wink across our interminably darkening globe.


22nd February 2018

and the latest draft here:




A heavy heart, Belovèd, have I borne

‘A bigger diaspora, bonita, than any other rich nation
since the autarkic 1950s of spam and liver and sorrow…
sheeplike coughs of Bo-peep protest took place in this
Ice Age country not because of our EU membership…

The most eye-popping things Brits wear in Brazil
now have the lapidary status of samba-time...
teleological … post hoc ergo… who I am and 
roughly …propter hoc …what I’ve borne…’

                                                                        Wake up!
Arouse your deep being, pump your fatty pump alive!
Lift yourself from your heavy dream (my nightmare,
as mourning Remoaner) towards your unaccomplished fate.

The speech I sketched you is finished, unbelieving Leaver.
It will slip onto your sincere inauthenticity like a ruptured condom.
Dead stars wink across our interminably darkening globe.

22nd February 2018


No no no: here it is again: 12.27: 22/2/18



A heavy heart, Belovèd, have I borne

‘Sheeplike coughs, Bo-Peep protest, took place in this
Ice Age country not because of our EU membership.
We’ve a bigger diaspora, bonita, than any other rich nation
since the autarkic 1950s of spam and liver and sorrow.

The most eye-popping things Brits do in Brazil
now have the lapidary status of Dover ... I…M
P…teleological … post hoc ergo… who I am and …
PM …propter hoc …what I’ve borne… Count the…’

                                                                                   Wake!
Arouse your deep being, plump your fatty pump alive!
Lift yourself from your heavy dream (my nightmare
as mourning Remoaner). Face your unaccomplished fate.

The speech I sketched you is finished, unbelieving Leaver.
It’ll slip onto your ‘sincere inauthenticity’, a ruptured condom.
Dead stars wink across our interminably darkening globe.

22nd February 2018

AND:



A heavy heart, Belovèd, have I borne

Sleep-talk:
                  ‘Sheeplike coughs, Bo-Peep
protest, took place in this Ice Age country
not because of our EU membership. We’ve
a bigger diaspora than any other rich nation
since the autarkic 1950s of spam and liver and sorrow. Note
the most eye-popping things Brits do in Brazil!’
                                                                              Wake!
Arouse your deep being, plump up your fatty pump!
Lift yourself from your heavy dream (my nightmare
as mourning Remoaner). Face your unaccomplished fate.
The speech I sketched you, unbelieving Leaver, is finished.
It’ll slip onto your ‘sincere inauthenticity’ like a ruptured condom.

Dead stars wink around our interminably darkening globe.

22nd February 2018




OR:



A heavy heart, Belovèd, have I borne

Your sleep-talk’s threaded like a string of pearls
shuffling to the samba of your ambition: ‘We’ve
a bigger diaspora, bonita, than any other rich nation
since the autarkic 1950s of spam and liver and triste.

Sheep-like coughs, Bo-Peep protests, took place in this
Ice Age country not because of our EU membership. Note
the most eye-popping things Brits do in Brazil!’
                                                                             
Wake up! You bid me to shake you before dawn.
Arouse your deep becoming; arise your fatty pump!
Lift yourself from your heavy dream (my nightmare
as a mourning Remoaner). Face your unaccomplished fate.

The speech I sketched for you, unbelieving Leaver, is finished.
It’ll slip onto your ‘sincere inauthenticity’ like a ruptured condom.
Dead stars wink around our interminably darkening globe.

22nd February 2018






I'm bound to change it some more, but I'll leave it now. Enjoy your crispy pork rectum!






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

‘The fundamental unit of post-Brexit trade
will be American boneless pork rectum (inverted)!’

Above is the image to prove it!


Bibliography

Barrett Browning, Elizabeth, Aurora Leigh. London: The Women’s Press, 1978.

The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. London: John Murray, 1913.

The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. London, Edinburgh, etc: Henry Frowde, 1904.

Forster, Margaret, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. London: Vintage, 1998.

Woolf, Virginia. Flush. London: Vintage: 2002.

Meet the EUOIA collaborators: Simon Perril

With Simon Perril I created the Latvian-poems of the Scott Walker-loving  Janus Raups for Twitters for a Lark: Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors. You can read more about him here.

Simon took part in the first launch of the book at the Poetics at the Edge conference in Luton last year (see here for accounts)! I also write about his non-collaborative poems in my book The Meaning of Form (see here) AND here in detail…Posts below:



Simon Perril’s poetry publications include Beneath (Shearsman: 2015) Archilochus on the Moon (Shearsman: 2013), Newton’s Splinter (Open House: 2012), Nitrate (Salt: 2010), A Clutch of Odes (Oystercatcher: 2009), and Hearing is Itself Suddenly a Kind of Singing (Salt: 2004).  As a critic he has written widely, editing the books The Salt Companion to John James, and Tending the Vortex: The Works of Brian Catling. He is Reader in Contemporary Poetic Practice at De Montfort University, Leicester. And at Leicester we shall be launching the anthology on the 10th March. More information on this blog soon. 

There are two poems by Simon here, and an account put together for his last Edge Hill appearance, here.

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here

More on Twitters for a Lark here and here. See also A Translated Man ( an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here.)


  All the collaborators are introduced at links available here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Meet the EUOIA collaborators: Sandeep Parmar

With Sandeep Parmar I created the French poems of Carde-Vitale for Twitters for a Lark: Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors. Nothing is known about this writer except that that he/she/they reside in Paris. The reader should investigate the poem, not consult the biographies. However, here’s a biography for Sandeep!

She was born in Nottingham in 1979 and was raised in Southern California. She received her PhD in English Literature from University College London in 2008 on the unpublished autobiographies of the modernist poet Mina Loy. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She is the Reviews Editor of The Wolf magazine and edited The Collected Poems of Hope Mirrlees and the Selected Poems of Nancy Cunard for Carcanet Press. Her critical book on Loy, Reading Mina Loy's Autobiographies, appeared from Bloomsbury in 2013. Her poems are published by Shearsman Books.

Sandeep teaches in English Literature at the University of Liverpool, where she has just been made a professor. Congratulations from the EUOIA! Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Guardian, The Los Angeles Review of Books, the Financial Times and the TLS. She is currently writing a novel, which is partly set during India’s Green Revolution in the 1960s. She is a BBC New Generation Thinker and Co-Director of Liverpool’s Centre for New and International Writing, and was a judge for the 2017 Forward Prizes for Poetry.

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here

More on Twitters for a Lark here and here. See also A Translated Man ( an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here.)

All the collaborators are introduced at links available here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Meet the EUIOA collaborators: Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl



With Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl I created the Frislandic poems of Hróbjartur Ríkeyjarson af Dvala for Twitters for a Lark: Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors.  

Hróbjartur Ríkeyjarson af Dvala was born on Dvali, a small island (called Duilo on some maps) offshore of the larger island of Frisland in 1948. As a child he was deeply steeped in the folklore of Frisland, but after education at the University of Godmec in Historical Cartography, in 1976 he founded the Black Volcano Poets who abandoned the complex (and frankly inexplicable) metrics of traditional Frislandic verse in favour of open field metres and post-surrealist content, with an American Beat tinge. An accomplished jazz vocalist, he spent a year at Berklee School of Jazz in 1978, but dropped out to concentrate on writing poetry and experimenting with hallucinogens. He taught at various universities in the US and, after a time as Visiting Writer at Argleton University in North West England, he returned to Frisland, just in time to become principal spokesman for the Ashen Revolution of 2002, which dragged Frisland into the twentieth century. Ríkeyjarson af Dvala was elected to parliament, the Lagadag, representing Ocibar, where he is a passionate advocate of Frisland’s (apparently hopeless) candidacy for membership of the European Union. The poem here was composed just after he left Berklee.

Frisland you ask? Well, I’d already written the ‘Robert Sheppard’ poem that appears in the anthology, which is about Ern Malley (and his hoax), appropriate as we approach Liverpool-born Ern's centenary, and the last lines are:

shoulders a volcanic island
erupting into fictive cartography

as fresh as the isle of Frisland
its cities of Ocibar and Godmec

his panama tilts into a sun disk
or twitters for a lark
 
which, of course, lend their words to the title of the volume. Eirikur, who I met in Bangor, where I’d appeared as Rene Van Valckenborch, was interested in fictional poems – and when he suggested we forget the EU and deal with the mythical islands that appear (just below his native Iceland on Renaissance maps) I jumped at it. We wrote both an ancient poem

‘Joyful are boars when the swill is filled, and eager their eating.
Quarrelsome are bears, as Beserkers when fearsome in the field,
Once dairymen approach…’. etc

and the modern poem of Ríkeyjarson af Dvala.

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl is an Icelandic poet and novelist. For his novel Illska (Evil, 2012) he was awarded The Icelandic Literary Prize and The Book Merchant’s Prize, as well as being nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literary Award. In 2012 he was poet-in-residence at the Library of Water in Stykkishólmur, in 2013 he was chosen artist of the year in Ísafjörður and in 2014 he was writer-in-residence at Villa Martinson in Sweden. Since his debut in 2002 he has published six books of poems, most recently Hnefi eða vitstola orð (Fist or words bereft of sense, 2013) and two collections of essays. Eiríkur is active in sound and performance poetry, visual poetry, poetry film and various conceptual poetry projects. Eiríkur has translated over a dozen books into Icelandic, including a selection of Allen Ginsberg’s poetry. He lives in Ísafjörður, Iceland, a rock in the middle of the ocean, and spends much of his time in Västerås, Sweden, a town by a lake.

He appeared on videotape at the August 2017 EUOIA Night in Manchester (he’d read the month before at The Other Room)



  All the collaborators are introduced at links available here.

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here


More on Twitters for a Lark here and here. See also A Translated Man which collects the Van Valckenborch poems ( an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here.)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Meet the EUOIA collaborators: Steve McCaffery


With Steve McCaffery I created the Irish poems of Sean Eoghan for Twitters for a Lark: Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors. You can read more about him in the book itself, which of course is where his two poems are!

On the other hand, Steve McCaffery has been twice nominated for Canada’s Governor General’s Award and is twice recipient of the American Gertrude Stein Prize for Innovative Writing. He is the author of over 40 books and chapbooks of poetry and criticism. An ample selection can be savoured in the two volumes of Seven Pages Missing (Coach House Press) as well as in Panopticon, Tatterdemalion (Veer Books), Alice in Plunderland (Book Thug), Revanches (Xexoxial), and Parsival (Roof). His book-object-concept A Little Manual of Treason was commissioned for the 2011 Shajah Biennale in the United Arab Emirates. A founding member of the sound poetry ensemble Four Horsemen, Toronto Research Group, and the College of Canadian ’Pataphysics, he is now David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the University at Buffalo.​ 



Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here

More on Twitters for a Lark here and here. See also A Translated Man ( an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here.)

All the collaborators are introduced at links available here.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Meet the EUOIA collaborators: Rupert Loydell

How could I not work with Rupert Loydell? Rather like S.J. Fowler he is Mr Collaboration (though I don’t think they’ve worked with each other (yet)). With Rupert, I created the Estonian poems of Hermes for Twitters for a Lark: Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors. You can read more about (and see) Hermes here, and, yes, he is a bit of a dick. Twit for a lark. In fact, he’s responsible for ‘Robert Sheppard’ leaving the EU (OIA that is). See here for Rupert’s severe interview with the Beast!

Rupert Loydell is Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University, a poet and a painter. He has published many many books of poems, the most recent of which is Dear Mary (Shearsman: 2017).

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here.
More on Twitters for a Lark here and here. See also A Translated Man ( an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here.)

All the collaborators are introduced at links available here.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Meet the EUOIA collaborators: Frances Kruk

With Frances Kruk I intended to create the German poems of Karla Schaffer for Twitters for a Lark: Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors. Unfortunately Frances has been ill and convalescing for most of the time the book was being assembled. We decided to leave our page blank. This means we could re-visit it. BUT it means that we’ve also offered this enormous hole at the centre of Europe, which (I suspect) is not the way Germans want to see themselves. At least in our little universe, they are stuck with it!

Frances Kruk is a Polish-Canadian poet and artist whose work has appeared in various international media. Her most recent publication is lo-fi frags in-progress (Veer Books: 2015). This is an excellent book, which I first read when  it was part of her PhD: get it.

Read more about the European Union of Imaginary Authors here and here

More on Twitters for a Lark here and here. See also A Translated Man ( an early account here; the book is also available from Shearsman here.)

Frances wrote recently to say she liked the colouful cover. So here it is again, big!


All the collaborators are introduced at links available here.