robert sheppard

Robert Sheppard, Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Edge Hill University, is celebrating the publication of his third book this year.

History or Sleep – Selected Poems (Shearsman books), features carefully chosen poems taken from Robert’s wide collection of published books, from 1985’s Returns  to Words Out of Time which was published in 2015.

The book explores the recurring and developing themes of Robert’s work and their changing forms. Robert describes the book as opening with ‘chaos’ and ‘invention’; ending with ‘changing’ your ‘life’.

When asked about how he selected the featured poems, Robert said:

“I imagined somebody coming to the work for the first time and I wanted to not just show the best but a selection that worked in terms of shorter poems and extracts. I tried to be representative, across time, and between styles: prose poetry and innovative poetry, extracts from sequences and stand-alone lyrics.  At other times I followed my intuition and had to de-select some poems, merely on the basis of length.”

Professor Robert Sheppard has worked at Edge Hill in the Creative Writing department since 1996, also coordinating the monthly Poetry and Poetics Research Group meetings. When he’s not writing, Roberts spends his spare time editing the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry and the blogzine Pages, and is a Fellow of the English Association.

Robert gave a reading from History or Sleep – Selected Poems last week at Liverpool’s Caledonia venue. The coming weeks will see him travel to Sheffield and London to celebrate the book’s launch at two further events. He will visit The University of Sheffield on Wednesday 16th December and on Tuesday 12th January will appear at the Shearsman Readings, Swedenborg Hall, Central London at 7:00pm.

Robert’s book History or Sleep – Selected Poems is available to buy online, just click here.