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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Liverpool Camarade 2015: general introduction (set list)

LIVERPOOL CAMARADE 7.30pm Wednesday 18th February 2015, at the Fly in the Loaf, Liverpool

An evening of collaborative pairings and the launch of 1000 Proverbs by Steven Fowler and Tom Jenks

Part One

Michael Egan and Steve Van-Hagen

Lindsey Holland and Andrew Oldham

Scott Thurston and Steve Boyland

Elio Lomas and Luke Thurogood

Robert Sheppard and The European Union of Imaginary Authors (EUOIA) (with James Byrne, Patricia Farrell, Steven Fowler, Scott Thurston and Tom Jenks). See below.

Part Two

James Byrne and Sandeep Parmar

Patricia Farrell and Joanne Ashcroft
Tom Jenks and SJ Fowler (launching their KFS Proverbs)

Hosts: SJ Fowler and James Byrne
Liverpool Camaraders: (front row: Lindsey Holland, Elio Lomas, Joanne Ashcroft, Steven Fowler (tongue out), Patricia Farrell (in buuny-ears and corset), Scott Thurston; back row: James Byrne, Andrew Oldham, Luke Thurogood, Tom Jenks, Michael Egan (behind Steven Fowler), Steve Van-Hagen (behind Patricia Farrell's bunny-ears), me, Steve 'Blazes' Boyland. 

The Running Order for the EUOIA

Very Short Introduction (Robert Sheppard)

Robert Sheppard introduces
1. Croatia Martina Marković (1982-) with James Byrne
2. Bulgaria Ivaylo Dimitrov (1979-) with Patricia Farrell
3. Sweden Kajsa Bergström (1956-) with Steven Fowler
4. Malta Hubert Zuba (1964-18/2/2015) with Scott Thurston
5. Luxembourg Georg Bleinstein (1965-2046) with Tom Jenks

Friday, February 27, 2015

25 Years of Creative Writing at Edge Hill: 25 Poets: Ian Seed

11th March 7.30 at The Rose Theatre, the Arts Centre, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk; £4.50 (on the door or by ticket)

A Poetry Event of Two Halves

A Quick Fire First Set of Poetry to Celebrate 25 Years of Creative Writing at Edge Hill

Matt Fallaize

Alice Lenkiewicz

Bill Bulloch

Natasha Borton

Scott Thurston

Joanne Ashcroft

Tom Jenks

(All these poets are featured on this blog. Go to for summary and links to all the poets

followed by the main act by the Main Man

Ian Seed

Ian Seed teaches Creative Writing at the University of Chester. He has lived and worked in different countries, including Italy, France and Poland. His poetry, prose poetry, fiction, reviews and translations have appeared in such journals as Blackbox Manifold, Free Verse, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, The North, PN Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry Wales, Shearsman, Stride and Tears in the Fence. Seed’s first full-length collection, Anonymous Intruder, was published by Shearsman in 2009. Shearsman have also published his collections Shifting Registers (2011) and Makers of Empty Dreams (2014).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

25 Edge Hill Poets: Janka Theisler

The link to my blog (which has some poetry on it amongst other things) is:

My time at Edge Hill:

Everything I hoped it would be and way more. In Scientia Opportunitas.

My poetics:

My writing ranges on a wide scale from experimental sound poetry to image-based poems. Eclectic with heavily nostalgic elements at times. I like writing about places (mostly cities) and collaborating with artists. Also, I'm influenced by my fascination for linguistics and in particular, phonetics.

Glock 19 (9mm)
Škorpion vz. 61 (7.65mm)
fully automatic
One Clip Duel
Tfft, Tfft, Tfft -
                                Fire -
Pshahh. Pshahpshahpshahpshah.
Duck again -
               Fire back
Pshahpshahpshah. Pshah. Pshah. Pshahpshah.
                         Get. Down.
Pshah Pshah Pshah Pshah
Tff-t -
fully automatic


Tea with milk, not lemon

The wrong side of the road

This is not my house.

My pillow is not continental

Neither is my breakfast

This is not my bed.

This is not my street,

These are not my things,

This is not my life

Tiny packs of crisps

Language barriers

It's okay, just sit there and do nothing.


This is just too strange

These are not my friends.


The tie, the shirt, the blazer, the shoes -

These are not my clothes.

Can I go home yet?

Just sit and say nothing.

This is not my time.

This is not my tongue,

This is not my home,

This is not my mind

No interaction

Just keep your mouth shut,

This is not my name.

Details of the MA in Creative Writing, of which Janka is now a student, at Edge Hill may be read here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Robert Sheppard: Poem in International Times

I have a poem in International Times. Yes, that International Times. It’s online now - and there is an archive of the ancient editions (I scrolled randomly to find a song for the magazine itself by Kevin Ayres, bless him, circa 1968). How I would have loved to have been in it in 1970; but I’m happy enough now to be a belated visitor. The new issues look pretty good. Here. And the archive here.

The poem is ‘Workless Washday: Burnt Journal 1952’, a birthday poem for Frances Presley (‘Burnt Journals’ is a special series of those). Read it here. I noticed they have tagged it 'Surreal poetry'.

IT from 1970

And thanks to Rupert Loydell, the poetry editor.

There is also an obituary to John 'Hoppy' Hopkins that includes some great photos of his world, as a countercultural organiser and co-founder of the journal here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ten Years of Pages: plans for the future

So, what are my blogging plans for the future? I'm not one to make grandiose plans (says the author of Twentieth Century Blues!). If anything, the posts I have assembled here and here and here and here and (yes) even here, on this page, about the past decade of this literary blog or blogzine Pages, teach me that it has found purpose as and when that has emerged.

1. I will finish posting the 25 Edge Hill Poets to celebrate the 25 years of Creative Writing at Edge Hill (and also it's 19 years since I was appointed there). 25 will probably number 28 or so by the end. Only one of them is fictional.

2. I will continue to post 'Set lists' of readings that I do. It's odd I haven't done this before (or maintained it consistently; I have found some earlier accounts). After all, I do make sure that every reading is different - and I put in as much energy for a small, amateur or a non-paying audience as I do for a large, knowing or paying one.

3. I will continue my practice of deleting out of date announcements of readings etc. Some are converted into set lists and re-blogged. (If you can have 're-tweet', and we know the person who first used that word, why can't you have 're-blogged'?)

4. I will post any more de-selected pieces from my selected poems History or Sleep. Or other works for that matter. There might not be any, of course. Here you can access one that carries links to all the others (to date).

5. I will post any more rough materials that emerge out of The Meaning of Form project. The book is now called The Meaning of Form in Contemporary Innovative Poetry. And scheduled for delivery in October 2015. Again, there might not be many (though one deleted passage is scheduled for early April, and another fascinating but clumsy account of how Allen Fisher used a crumpled collage of a book about Crewe as the commentary to the first Proposal is smuggled into the already existing, and much read, post on that book. That's here). I will of course announce the publication of the book, if I or it, gets there (I never count those chickens.)

6. I will do a lot of internal linking of posts (old and new), and not be afraid to update a past post, which is why you will find a post from 2006 offering a link to a later post in 2015. This practice of internal linkage was the only thing I learnt from a student's essay on 'how to keep a literary blog' (oh, that - and the suggestion that readers of blogs like lists like this list!). But then possibly it was also the working method of the network of Twentieth Century Blues, with its strands, lists and linkages.

7. I will announce all my publications, of course. 2015 looks like being a bumper year for book or pamphlet publication, as it happens. Liverpool Hugs and Kisses, Fandango Loops - both already out and announced here and here, Words Out of Time from KFS, The Drop from Oystercatcher, Unfinish from Veer, History or Sleep: Selected Poems from Shearsman....

8. I will possibly post some more critical materials that have slipped out of view.

9. I will start to track the progress of my ongoing collaborative project the European Union of Imaginary Authors, and the coming into being of my solo fictional poet Sophie Poppmeier. (Volumes two and three of the Fictional Poems Project, it occurs to me now, with A Translated Man as the first. See here too.) The Poppmeier posts are coming soon, and already written and scheduled for 13th/20th/27th March 2015.

10. I will try not to schedule posts months in advance (like that last one) although it has been useful for the form work as I churned it out, for the 25 Poets who needed to be one a week, and for the EUOIA posts (upcoming but written a while back). Indeed, these 'Ten Years of Pages' posts were started months ago, but - then - that's also why they are so detailed, as I've added to them over time. (So there is a place for scheduling, but it detracts from pure blogness - I want that word too.) I'm going to break this one. I'm wondering about celebrating a particular birthday with x important poems drawn from a list, leading up to or trailing away from that date. I don't know whether I will actually do that.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ten Years of Pages: Ten Posts Nothing - Or Little - to do with Poetry

There actually is very little that has nothing to do at all with poetry on Pages. It is a poet's blog, after all, so even the less obvious posts might be tangentally linked to poetry. But here, in order of posting, are the least relevant to the stated themes.

1. Django Reinhardt's Guitar: talismanic object.

 2. Tony Parsons: a friend celebrated

3. The Blind Lemons: Tony Parsons' band celebrated (there is another post which has a photo of me reading 'Smokestack Lightning' along to the band. They had used the text in performance, but this is the only time I read it myself, the band softening to allow my voice to be heard). Tony and I used to play the blues together as Little Albert Fly.

4. This is probably the first post where the blog is talking about itself, in this case its archiving by the British Library. I have put in a recent link to that. (Something I am doing a lot is augmenting earlier posts with new images and fresh links.)

 5. Frank Sinatra, a great clip of Frankie and Jobim. Or it was. The Estate snatches video off of YouTube quicker than you can say ‘FBI Tribunal!’ so it isn't there now. Go onto YouTube, type in Frank Sinatra and see what's up there for the next few days. Any way for now, try one of these. They seem to be identical adverts so may survive the purging for a while.

This post has little to do with poetry, but that 'little' is that the lyrics of the song were written by a poet, AND it's a curious fact that one of the de Campos brothers wrote a book on bossa nova and its opposition to the bel canto tradition. Which is why Sinatra is having difficulty holding back in a way the early, saintly Astrud Gilberto had no trouble achieving. Sinatra said: 'The last time I sang this quiet I had laryngitis'; the trombonist on the Jobim-Sinatra album said: 'If I play any quieter, I'll be playing out the back of my head'. It's hard (I've tried, a legend in my own bath time.) Here's the original post:

'What the hell's that hanging round the back of my microphone?'

6. An act of simple solidarity with Pussy Riot.

7. Another reminder of my Malcolm Lowry activities as a Firminist. David Markson is a good read in anything but the conventional sense. His novels made me never to want to read another novel, a great achievement and one I might manage to live by one day. Until then, plough on through the procedural tedium of so mcuh contemporary fiction.

 8. It's a shame that the only video of me singing (other than the 'Smokestack Lightning performance at the Bluecoat which involves a little vocalising ) is one of my inebriated New Year's Eve sessions with Steve on piano. At least this wasn't the new year some of the party spent the night in A+E! (That's another story, as they say.)

9. My funeral eulogy for my father. 

10. Memories of a good gig (even if the jerking bass player on this Later gig is not actually the one from the band). I have been subscribing to The Wire for a couple of years now and it is responsible for me finding all kinds of interesting bands and artists, mostly new: The Necks, Nicole Mitchell, Josephine Foster, The Glasgow Improvisors' Orchestra, the Fire Orchestra, Alasdair Roberts, Matana Roberts, John Butcher, The Thing, The Cherry Thing, Matsuo Butoh, Peter Brotzmann, Mary Halvorsson, Thumbscrew, Tyshawn Sorey, Steve Lehman and this group, The Bad Plus.