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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

TOMORROW: Wednesday 23rd August at 7PM. Free entry: The Other Room, The Castle, The Northern Quarter, 66 Oldham Road, Manchester

EUOIA NIGHT! Tomorrow: Wednesday 23rd August at 7PM. Free entry: The Other Room, The Castle, The Northern Quarter, 66 Oldham Road, Manchester

Tomorrow night, the Other Room celebrates the European Union of Imaginary Authors, with readings in person from Robert Sheppard, Alan Baker, Joanne Ashcroft, Patricia Farrell, Allen Fisher, Tom Jenks, Scott Thurston and Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl and SJ Fowler on video. We are told that the EUOIA is the brainchild of Belgian poet René Van Valckenborch, whose double Flemish and Walloon oeuvre can be read about here. But who believes that?


Conceived as a continuation of the fictional poems Robert Sheppard ventriloquised through the bilingual Belgian poet René Van Valckenborch in his A Translated Man (2013), the complete 28 poets of the EUOIA (European Union of Imaginary Authors) which we will only have time to sample take on a variety of new meanings in Brexit Britain. This collaborative work will be published before Brexit 'happens' as an anthology by Shearsman Books. (We are at the proof-stage with that.) Mostly conceived before Brexit, you can discovered how Brexit became Shexit, as 'Robert Sheppard', the UK poet, becomes fictional, optional and expelled.

Cover by Ivalyo Dimitrov (who will be reading tonight)


Working in collaboration with other writers, Sheppard creates a stylistically various programme of these European writers, whose works range from the comedic to the political, from the imaginatively sincere to the faux-autobiographical. History may not be argued away by the fictive. Accompanied by biographies of varying detail and plausibility, the poets grow in vividness until they seem to possess lives of their own. There is no resultant ‘Europoem’ style, but a variety of styles that reflects the collaborative nature of their production.


The full rosta of collaborators is: Jason Argleton, Joanne Ashcroft, Alan Baker, James Byrne, Alys Conran, Kelvin Corcoran, Anamaría Crowe Serrano, Patricia Farrell, S. J. Fowler, Allen Fisher, Robert Hampson, Jeff Hilson, God’s Rude Wireless, Tom Jenks, Frances Kruk, Rupert Loydell, Steve McCaffery, Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, Sandeep Parmar, Simon Perril, Jèssica Pujol i Duran, Zoë Skoulding, Damir Šodan, Philip Terry, Scott Thurston, René Van Valckenborch. (Most of them are real!)
 


 

Read more about the European Union (of Imaginary Authors) here and here.

Read Joanne Ashcroft's hopes for the evening here. And see our previous attempt to animate our creature, Matus Dobres of Slovakia here, and read about this fictional poet and find links to his texts here.

Luxembourg's George Bleinstein (co-created with Tom Jenks) has an interesting life (some of it still to come) and you can trace that life, with the help of embedded vidoes (Group Captain Carol Vorderman, sausages, that sort of thing), here.  

Estonia's Hermes (co-created with Rupert Loydell) is a bit of a dick: links to poems here

More about The Other Room here

And here's my last reading at The Other Room, where I read the Flemish poems of Rene Van Valckenborch: https://otherroom.org/videos/or-43-sandeep-parmar-robert-sheppard-rachel-smith-videos/

The Book may be bought (but not yet) here: http://www.shearsman.com/ws-shop/product/6460-robert-sheppard-ed---twitters-for-a-lark

In other news: Atlantic Drift: A Transatlantic Anthology of Poetry and Poetics (co-edited by James Byrne and Robert Sheppard), EHUP and Arc Publications, 2017, is now OUT! See here: