18th October, The Blue Sky Café, Bangor, North Wales 7.00-10.00. Reading from A Translated Man as part of an event organised by Rhys Trimble.
Rene Van Valckenborch
Robert Sheppard: A Translated Man
Robert Sheppard has given this book over to his own invention, the fictional Belgian poet René 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 them. Out now from Shearsman.
Robert Sheppard on René Van Valckenborch
The ‘whole’ oeuvre of René Van Valckenborch is surrounded by mystery, perhaps of his own making. Published in fugitive publications in places as far apart as Cape Town and Montreal over the last decade, the poems of this Belgian are composed in Flemish and Walloon, and the stylistic divide between the two sets seems to reflect the societal linguistic divide of his troubled nation (although he never refers to this fact). These poems are translations from the Walloon of his ‘versions’ of Ovid, both from the unfashionable Tristia and the apocryphal ‘new’ Amores.
More at Holdfire Press.
Rene Van Valckenborch
100 twitterodes now complete for my followers and for the followers of my followers. Accompanying images at the blog listed above Nov 2010 +
Robert Sheppard (writing for Rene Van Valckenborch)