Robert Sheppard

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Robert Sheppard is British poet and critic. He is at the forefront of the movement sometimes called "linguistically innovative poetry".[1]


Robert Sheppard was born in 1955 and was educated at the University of East Anglia (BA; MA; PhD). In 1996 he moved from London to Liverpool to teach at Edge Hill University, where he is currently Professor of Poetry and Poetics and Programme Leader of the MA in Creative Writing.[2]

Poetry and Criticism[edit]

Sheppard's magnum opus is his long-running work "Twentieth Century Blues". This was composed over many years, and published piece-meal before Salt Publishing brought out the complete work in 2008. "Hymns to the God in which My Typewriter Believes", published in 2006, illustrates Sheppard's view of poetry as one art among many, as it alludes to and builds on other artforms. Sheppard's sonnet sequence, "Warrant Error" was published by Shearsman Books in 2009. According to Sean Colletti, Sheppard is a major talent, whose use of form includes precise use of the couplet,[3] while Alan Baker calls his work "political poetry of the first order."[4]

Sheppard has edited important studies of poets Roy Fisher and Lee Harwood, and is editor of the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry" and the blogzine "Pages".

Published works[edit]


  • Returns:Textures,1985
  • Daylight Robbery: Stride, 1990
  • The Flashlight Sonata: Stride,1993
  • Empty Diaries: Stride, 1998
  • The Lores: Reality Street Editions, 2003
  • The Anti-Orpheus: A Notebook
  • Tin Pan Arcadia: Salt Publishing, 2004
  • Hymns to the God in which My Typewriter Believes: Stride, 2006
  • Complete Twentieth Century Blues: Salt Publishing, 2008
  • Warrant Error, Exeter: Shearsman Books, 2009
  • Berlin Bursts, Exeter: Shearsman Books, 2011
  • A Translated Man, Exeter: Shearsman Books, 2013

As Editor:

  • Floating Capital: New Poets from London
  • News for the Ear: Homage to Roy Fisher
  • The Salt Companion to Lee Harwood
  • The Door of Taldire: Selected Pomes of Paul Evans


  • For Language: Poetics and Linguistically Innovative Poetry 1978-1997
  • The Poetry of Saying: British Poetry and its Discontents (Liverpool University Press, 2005)
  • Iain Sinclair (Northcote House, 2007)


External links[edit]