The work of Edge Hill’s esteemed Professor of Poetry and Poetics is going to be celebrated at a special event next week (Wednesday 8 March).

Professor Robert Sheppard, a poet-critic who is best known for his influence on ‘linguistically innovative poetry’, a term coined in the 1980s to describe contemporary, avant-garde approaches to poetry, will be celebrated in a one day symposium.

Prominent modern poets from across the UK including Allen Fisher and Zoe Skoulding will discuss his creative and research papers from the last 20 years before concluding with an evening poetry reading. James Byrne, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, who is organising the event, said:

“Throughout the day some of the leading poets and critics will arrive at Edge Hill for a day of exciting panels which will generate new scholarship around Robert’s work. The evening reading brings together some of the most influential poets writing today. Personally, I see Robert’s creative and critical practice as decisive in shifting British poetry into innovative practice. He is a catalyst figure, who continues to inspire writers and students alike.”

Professor Sheppard has written a number of books and critical papers, his most recent being ‘The Meaning of Form in Contemporary, Innovative Poetry’.

To coincide with the symposium a special ‘Ships of Fools’ exhibition will be on display throughout March in Edge Hill Arts Centre.

Professor Shepherd set up Ship of Fools publishing company with Patricia Farrell in the mid-1980s to publish their art and text collaborations.

The symposium runs in M40/41 between 10am-5pm and is free to attend but to reserve a place please email [email protected]

The free evening poetry reading will take place in the Arts Centre between 7-8.30pm. To book a place please visit