A Translated Man

A Translated Man

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Robert Sheppard has given this book over to his own invention, the fictional Belgian poet Rene Van Valckenborch. Apparently writing in both Flemish and Walloon, and translated and edited by entities as shadowy (and dodgy) as himself, Van Valckenborch's split oeuvre derives from the linguistic and cultural divide within contemporary Belgium. By the time Van Valckenborch disappears into poetic silence he seems an enigma of his own making, a comic figure with tragic attributes, a mystery to all swept up in his apparition. When his story is finished he leaves behind the deliberately discontinuous evidence of a dual poetic adventure - one half siding with history and opting for a breathlessly recurring triplet verse, the other obsessing over place and space and restlessly and increasingly playing with experimental forms. Behind and within them all, Sheppard is extending his formal and referential range: from homages to film-makers to Twitterodes, from accounts of tribal masks to cuboid quennets, and poems about Belgium of course. Above all, he is exploring the limits of the author-function. This is an imaginary collection with real poems in it.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 132 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 7mm | 205g
  • Exeter, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1848612842
  • 9781848612846
  • 3,226,627

About Robert Sheppard

Born in 1955, Robert Sheppard was educated at the University of East Anglia. Apart from the publications listed below he was editor of three magazines, 1983, which, despite its name, existed in the 1970s as a cassette tape magazine of recorded poetry; Rock Drill; and Pages, the latter of which still exits as a blogzine here. He has read his work at dozens of venues and has worked in collaborative performance with dancers and musicians. He was an active part of the alternative poetry scene in London during the 1980s and 1990s, before moving to Liverpool, to take up a post teaching English and Creative Writing at Edge Hill University, where he is currently Professor of Poetry and Poetics. Between 1989 and 2000 he wrote a long work (or 'net/(k)not/- work(s)' as he called it) entitled Twentieth Century Blues, which was published in a 'complete' edition in 2008. Subsequent collections include Warrant Error (2009) and Berlin Bursts (2011), both from Shearsman. He has also published critical studies, The Poetry of Saying: British Poetry and its Discontents (2005) and When Bad Times Were Good (2011), a monograph, Iain Sinclair (2007), and an edited volume, The Salt Companion to Lee Harwood (2007). He also edits the blogzine, Pages.
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