Andrew Taylor

"Isn't it time somebody wrote all this down"

Robert Sheppard and The Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research Group, 1999-2013
A version of this article was presented at the Robert Sheppard Symposium at Edge Hill University, 8th March 2017


In the North West poetry scene, Robert Sheppard has been at the centre of things. This can partly be measured by his role as co-organiser of the now defunct Storm and Golden Sky reading series in Liverpool, but perhaps more importantly, Sheppard has created a legacy in the fields of poetry and poetics during his time at Edge Hill University.  As a tutor of creative writing, Sheppard has used the academic arena to work alongside poets he admires, invite guest poets to read at the university and offered a platform for students to read and publish their work.  Perhaps though, one of Sheppard’s kindest acts will be the formation and chairing of the Edge Hill Poetry & Poetics Research Group.

This article seeks to provide an historical overview of the work of the group and its members and assess the influence that Robert Sheppard has had on a wide-ranging group of poets. It will also chart the associative shared publications of the members of the group, alongside the various poets such as John James, Lee Harwood and Maggie O’Sullivan who read at the university’s Rose Theatre, and will further consider the disbanding of the group as founder members moved away from the North West.

Robert Sheppard arrived at Edge Hill University in 1996. Within a few years, he’d started arranging poetry readings at the university. At first, these readings were the National Poetry Day readings arranged in Sages dining hall, as it was then, on the university campus. These ‘celebrations’ of National Poetry Day ran for three years. The readings that Sheppard organised began with the evenings being titled ‘An Evening of Poetry to Celebrate National Poetry Day’, the first two took place on the 7Th October 1998 and the 7th October 1999. The final event was in 2000 and held in the university’s Rose Theatre.

In 1999, Sheppard appeared in the important poetry anthology, Other: British and Irish Poetry edited by Peter Quartermain and Ric Caddel and published by Wesleyan University Press. A launch followed at Edge Hill, in Sages Dining hall and featured some readers whose work had been anthologised.

1999 was also important as it was the formation of the Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research Group (PPRG).  The group first met on October 21st 1999. The founder members of the Group were Robert, Andrew Taylor and Cliff Yates. Taylor was about to start a PhD under Robert’s supervision, Scott Thurston who was soon invited to be a member, and Thurston and Yates were both working on PhD’s with Robert. The PPRG was a fluid group. This means that the group was flexible enough to have associative members like cris cheek and Patricia Farrell.  In terms of the idea of forming the PPRG, Sheppard noted this on his Pages blogzine:

"I notice John Seed wrote the following on his page for Shearsman: ‘In 1983 he moved to London and has taught History at Roehampton University since. Here for several years he was lucky enough to have Allen Fisher as a colleague. He was also lucky enough to find in the mid-80s, moving through the shabby upstairs rooms of various West End London pubs, the Subvoicive readings—and to be part of a discussion group which met for several years at the Tooting house of Robert Sheppard and Patricia Farrell.’ That discussion group was actually the blueprint for the current Edge Hill group, but this has developed into a different form." (1)

The original group met monthly at Edge Hill and the members alongside the founding members were: cris cheek, Cliff Yates, Neil Addison and Bill Drennan. The PPRG was not a typical workshopping group and did not remain an exclusively male cohort. The two ‘outsiders’ of the group, Neil Addison and Bill Drennan were invited to join by Sheppard. Consulting the biographies of the 2001 publication, Emergency Rations, released by the group,Bill Drennan was ‘a graduate of Liverpool University, where he completed a PhD on Blake. His poems have appeared, or are due to appear in Oasis and Fire.’ Neil Addison was one of the readers who appeared at the National Poetry Day event in 2000, at Edge Hill.

By the year 2000, the group’s ranks had increased. Angela Keaton and Matt Fallaize, both graduates of the MA in Writing Studies (as it was called then) at Edge Hill, had joined.

MA Group

Left-right: Scott Thurston, Stephen Farrell-Sheppard, Patricia Farrell, Robert Sheppard
Bill Drennan, Matt Fallaize, Angela Keaton and Andrew Taylor. Taken in Sheppard’s house, c.2000 © Andrew Taylor Archive/Edge Hill PPRG Archive.


As mentioned earlier, the PPRG was not a typical workshopping group. Certain rules of the traditional workshopping methodologies existed, such as the person whose work was under discussion, remained silent. The main difference though, was that only two members each month, submitted work and the group as a whole, were resistant to the idea that only poetry could be tabled for discussion. Sheppard had this to say about the group in an interview with Alan Corkish in the special edition of erbacce magazine, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Poetry and Poetics Research Group:

     Discussing poetics also avoids the worst aspect of the ‘workshop method’,
     where the group operates as a censorship regime or a market-testing cluster,
     policing and commodifying one another’s work. In fact, we’ve tried very
     consciously not to look at each other’s work with that supposed fake rawness,
     as though we’ve never seen one another’s poems before. (2)

The MA in Writing Studies was a natural source of members of the group. Robert would usually replace a departing member with somebody whose work he found of interest. The first of the original members to leave was Scott Thurston who had started a job at the University of Salford. Recalling his time at Edge Hill in October 2014 as part of Sheppard’s feature in Pages to celebrate 25 years of Creative Writing at Edge Hill, Thurston said this:

     Being involved in the (still extant) Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research
     Group was also a special part of my experience – giving and receiving intent
     and sustained feedback on my writing that has remained unequalled. (3)

Scott was replaced by Alice Lenkiewicz. Again, coming through the MA in Writing Studies, Lenkiewicz was to later play a vital role in raising the profile of the PPRG outside of the confines of Edge Hill.

There have always been publications associated with Edge Hill. In the erbacce interview in 2009, Sheppard notes that seven of members of the group were involved in editing six magazines. This interest in publishing stemmed from Sheppard’s insistence to MA students to ‘grab the means of production’ during lectures. This, combined with his own Ship of Fools press, run jointly with Patricia Farrell, originally to publish their collaborative work, led to Lenkiewicz’s magazine Neon Highway which began publishing in 2002. erbacce a magazine that I co-edit (to this day) with the aforementioned Alan Corkish, a fellow graduate of the MA in Writing Studies, began publishing in 2004. Sheppard himself started publishing Peggy’s Blue Skylight as a means for both undergraduate and post-graduate students to publish their work. Sheppard did indeed grab the means of production – Peggy’s Blue Skylight was published as a photocopied A4 double sided stapled magazine, clearly tracing a line from the music zines of the 1970s and 80s. Peggy’s Blue Skylight is now published online, chiefly for new undergraduates to Edge Hill.

peggy's blue sunlight

Some editions of Peggy’s Blue Skylight. © Andrew Taylor Archive /Edge Hill PPRG Archive.

Writing students at Edge Hill continue to publish. The Black Market Re:View is interesting as it offers a platform to those outside the institution, with its submission policy stating: ‘We do not publish anyone who is currently studying or working at Edge Hill University.’ (4)

In 2001 another publication emerged, Emergency Rations. The title was taken from Cliff Yates’ poem ‘Emergency Rations are Tasting Better and Better’ which was included as the opening poem in Emergency Rations and was later was used for Yates’ 2004 SmithDoorstop pamphlet. Interestingly, the publication was subtitled: Reports from the Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research Group. It featured work from active members of the group at that time. The publication aped the production of Peggy’s Blue Skylight in that it was an A4 stapled edition, black and white pages, with a colour cover.

Emergency Rations

Emergency Rations: Reports from the Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research Group, 2001. © Andrew Taylor Archive/Edge Hill PPRG Archive.

The rear cover of the edition of erbacce #18  dedicated to the PPRG indicates that among the members of the PPRG at this time were Sheppard, Neil Addison, Steve Van Hagen (a colleague of Sheppard’s in the English department at Edge Hill), Colin Harris, Alice Lenkiewicz, Daniele Pantano (another Edge Hill colleague of Sheppard’s), Andrew Taylor, Scott Thurston (who was invited to contribute to the journal as an ex member) and Cliff Yates.

erbacce no. 18

erbacce #18 cover. © Andrew Taylor Archive/Edge Hill PPRG Archive/erbacce archive.

During the interview with Alan Corkish in erbacce, Sheppard had this to say about the ethos of the group:

     It has grown into a tightly-knit group which enables us to be very frank
     about one another’s work and to be passionately interested in poetics as
     a developmental tool. That all sounds rather po-faced, but it’s actually fun,
     and we have a pretty developed repartee of jokes and taking the piss out of
     one another, so we are serious without being pompous. (5)

Cliff Yates, Andrew Taylor and Robert Sheppard

L-R Yates, Taylor and Sheppard, Edge Hill University Rose Theatre, 2004. Photograph © by Stuart Rayner. Andrew Taylor Archive/Edge Hill PPRG Archive.

What Sheppard didn’t disclose in the interview, was the often at times rowdy football chatter that went on. Cliff Yates is an Aston Villa fan, as is Steve Van Hagen. Being from Liverpool, Andrew Taylor of course, is an Evertonian. This made for some good banter which Sheppard didn’t approve of.

In an interview in Birmingham in December 2016, Andrew Taylor spoke to Cliff Yates about how he remembers the group working. He recalls that Sheppard didn’t hold back in critiquing the work of fellow members and that it was so different from the traditional ethos of the workshop. Yates said, ‘It was invaluable. We were lucky to have it (meaning the input from Sheppard).’ (6) Yates remembered that there was a shift away from the workshop elements to more formalised sessions of reading poetics. He recalls Sheppard’s instruction: ‘Just bring along something and tell us what you want to do with it.’ (7)

As Yates and Taylor were doing PhDs with Sheppard and so we were already bringing poetics along to receive feedback from the group. Yates went on:

     It wasn’t a clique. I think it was Robert had control of who was to be a part
     of the group, not in a dictatorial way, but it meant that it avoided being a clique.
     It was very diverse. When I started out I was sending a lot of stuff to magazines
     and when I joined the poetics group I was writing for the poetics group. I was
     thinking I’d found my audience. For the first time I had an audience. Even though
     I was writing for left-field magazines, the poetics group was quite different from those. (8)

The group eventually spread from Edge Hill and ventured into the wider confines of the North West. Alice Lenkiewicz, perhaps influenced by the readings Sheppard had arranged at Edge Hill, organised an event in Lark Lane in Liverpool. The reading on December 19th 2002 was mentioned in Sheppard’s ‘Words out of Time: Autobiographies and Unwritings’ published in 2015 by Knives Forks and Spoons Press. Sheppard notes ‘the Collect Gallery, crammed with poets.’ (9) Amongst the readers from the Poetry and Poetics Research Group were Patricia Farrell, Robert Sheppard, Andrew Taylor and Alice Lenkiewicz.

The Collect Gallery, Liverpool

The Collect Gallery, Lark Lane, Liverpool. December 19th 2002. Photograph by Andrew Taylor. © Andrew Taylor Archive/Edge Hill PPRG Archive.

Sheppard’s organising of the Rose Theatre readings were instrumental in bringing a certain kind of poetry to the North West. For ease of definition, perhaps we should use the phrases linguistically innovative poetry or innovative poetry. Where does the term innovative poetry originate? We can turn to Robert Sheppard for perhaps the most important historically accurate definition.

Writing in Pages, his blogzine, Sheppard says this:

     Linguistically Innovative Poetry’ had humble origins in the March 1988 issue
     of this magazine during its first series. Using the phrase to specify work ‘for
     which we haven’t yet a satisfactory name’, it was the way poet and critic Gilbert
     Adair described the kinds of British poetry he believed had been ‘operating
     since 1977’ in ‘fragmentation and incoherence’. The choice of date is decisive;
     it marks the Arts Council's takeover of the Poetry Society and the atomizing
     of the community of British Poetry Revival writers. Adair, possibly looking at
     it with a London bias and from the perspective of one who had not been a
     member of the British Poetry Revival, declared that there had been a ‘public
     invisibility of the poetry’ and ‘ditto of a theorizing discourse’. (10)

A further definition comes from former Poetry and Poetics Research Group member, Scott Thurston. Thurston, writing in the introduction to his book ‘Talking Poetics: Dialogues in Innovative Poetry’ (Bristol: Shearsman Books, 2011) states that

     innovation is certainly a fraught concept when used in relation  to cultural practices, but its adjectival use      in terms such as formally innovative poetry or Linguistically Innovative Poetry, demonstrates its history      of being used to refer to British and Irish poetry that has otherwise been described as avant-garde,      experimental, neo-modernist, non-mainstream, post-avant, postmodernist and as constituting a ‘parallel      tradition’’ Thurston notes that it was the poet-publisher Ken Edwards who coined the phrase in an article      he published entitled ‘The Two Poetries”. (11)

Since 1998 a veritable who’s who of the so-called linguistically innovative poets (and others) have appeared, at Sheppard's invitation, to read at Edge Hill.  Poets such as Tom Raworth, Geraldine Monk, Adrian Clarke, Dell Olsen, Maggie O’Sullivan, John James, Lee Harwood, Bill Griffiths, Erin Moure, Iain Sinclair, Harriet Tarlo and Zoe Skoulding among others, all appeared at the university. Usually, the support or warm up acts consisted of members of the Poetry and Poetics Research Group. This was important in establishing the group’s identity within the university and at the time, was a major encouraging factor for members of the group.

The group spread out further into the North West, when member, Alice Lenkiewicz arranged a series of readings around various Liverpool venues. Invited guests, such as Bill Griffiths and Allen Fisher featured. A memorable reading took places at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery in June 2006. Featuring Allen Fisher, the reading also featured members of the poetry and poetics research group: Angela Keaton, former member Scott Thurston, Patricia Farrell, Dee McMahon, Alice Lenkiewicz, Matt Fallaize, Cliff Yates, Andrew Taylor and Robert Sheppard.

Lenkiewicz was instrumental in propelling the Poetry and Poetics Research Group forward. Alongside her magazine, Neon Highway, her organising and promoting of the group clearly stems from the encouragement from Sheppard.

In February 2007, at the suggestion of Dee McMahon, a member of the group, who came through from the MA, the active members of the group, Angela Keaton, Andrew Taylor, Dee McMahon, Cliff Yates, Matt Fallaize and Robert Sheppard, entered the Edge Hill TV recording studio and recorded their poetry: The result was a compact disc, called ‘Points of Reference.’ Sheppard sold the CDs through Edge Hill. McMahon, who was working at the library at the university, had previously arranged a reading in the Learning Resource Centre, in October 2006, at which members of the group read. 

Angela Keaton and Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor and Angela Keaton reading at Edge Hill University’s Learning Resource Centre, October 11th 2006. Photograph by Peter Griffiths © Andrew Taylor Archive / Edge Hill PPRG Archive.

Lenkiewicz would host a final Neon Highway event at Tate Liverpool in 2009, entitled ‘Crunch’ and was subtitled ‘The Wall Street Crash of 1923 and the Credit Crunch.’ Readers that day were Sheppard, Lenkiewicz, Patricia Farrell, Andrew Taylor, Cliff Yates, and Scott Thurston. The reading took place in the gallery’s fifth floor.

Robert Sheppard reading at Tate Liverpool

Robert Sheppard reading at Tate Liverpool, 25th January 2009. Photograph by Andrew Taylor. © Andrew Taylor Archive/Edge Hill PPRG Archive.

Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh

In terms of an established identity and the sense of a cohort, certain members of the Poetry and Poetics Research Group were successful in publishing their poetics in a major publication. In 2009, Salt published Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh, Manifestos and Unmanifestos, edited by Rupert Loydell, with the book described by Salt as a ‘creative writing guide.’ It featured poetics by Cliff Yates, Robert Sheppard, Scott Thurston and Andrew Taylor. This was a timely publication. The Poetry and Poetics Research Group held its tenth anniversary celebrations by ‘Going Public.’ A series of events were held at Edge Hill to celebrate the occasion. The launch of the Loydell edited book took place in Sheppard’s words ‘throughout the whole series.’

Despite the exclusivity hinted at by Alan Corkish in the erbacce interview, there had always been an egalitarian aspect to the Group. Sheppard was keen, as and when money was made available, to invite guest writers to visit the Group and open it up to the public. Usually these sessions would be heavily driven by the invited writer discussing their poetics. Writers such as Matthew Welton, Maggie O’Sullivan and Jeff Hilson visited these meetings. MA students and members of the public were encouraged to attend. This idea was extended during the tenth anniversary celebrations.

‘Going Public’ was a series of four open meetings that ran throughout October and into November of 2009. Members who presented poetics were Daniele Pantano and Michael Egan, Dee McMahon, Robert Sheppard, Scott Thurston and Cliff Yates and Andrew Taylor.

Among the papers presented were Sheppard’s ‘Fictional Poems and Fictional Poetics: the double oeuvre of René Van Valckenborch’, Dee McMahon’s ‘Stories of the Line - Provocation, Process and Product’ and Daniele Pantano’s 'Living in Translation: A Discussion of Exile, Translingualism, and Writing Your Way Home.'

The tenth anniversary celebrations continued with a reading by Cliff Yates at the Rose Theatre on November 11th. Yates was launching the Salt edition of his book Frank Freeman’s Dancing School, which was later reissued in 2015 by The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, in a revised edition.  Also reading that night, as support, were Daniele Pantano, Dee McMahon, Scott Thurston, Robert Sheppard, Michael Egan and Andrew Taylor.

Yates left the group in 2010. This was precipitated by a move away from the area. The group had always been fluid, with members coming and going, primarily from within Edge Hill itself. Joanne Ashcroft joined the group just before Yates’ departure. This shift left founder members Robert Sheppard and Andrew Taylor as the sole remnants of the original cohort. Patricia Farrell who had completed a PhD in Philosophy, became more active. Taylor would leave in 2013, when a move away from the Liverpool area meant that being active in the group was impossible. Joanne Ashcroft remembers her introduction to the group:

I remember talk of an initiation for new members that I was a bit concerned about - ducks were mentioned! Being awed that I'd been invited to join. Regretting that members like Cliff, Angela, Alice and others I'd admired the work of, began to leave around the time I joined. You [Andrew Taylor] and Robert were at every meeting and Dee [McMahon] and Matt [Fallaize] were always supportive and friendly faces. I remember Tony Cullen first reading Anlaf in his rich Wigan accent - which was just perfect. I remember you getting irate about Kenny Goldsmith and conceptualist writing! (12)

Tom Jenks joined the group in September 2012, just after he’d started a PhD under Sheppard’s supervision. Jenks remembers:

     Among the work I took to the group was some early versions of the visual pieces that eventually appeared      in M58, some computer generated poems using the methodology I developed as part of my research and the      beginnings of On Liberty, Repressed, which eventually came out in book form on Knives, Forks and      Spoons Press. So the PPRG was in at the start of some important works for me. (13)

As if to reiterate Sheppard’s statement about the first incantation of the PPRG being fun and not taking itself too seriously, Jenks remembers a particular incident when first attending the group:

     I also remember a cat walking past the window outside during one of the meetings and you commenting on      it. Robert said that you probably wanted to eat it. You commented that was a bit harsh. Robert replied that      was just the sort of man he was. I feel this exchange in some way encapsulates the essence of the PPRG.      (14)

Sheppard sees the PPRG as being three different groups during its existence so far. In 2017, Joanne Ashcroft emailed Andrew Taylor to say that she was considering reforming the group. It is easy to follow Sheppard’s reasoning with regard to the strands of the PPRG. If we take the first era as being from the formation of the group by Sheppard, Taylor and Yates until Yates’ departure in 2010, then the second phase can be taken to be until Taylor’s departure in 2013. This third phase can be categorised as beginning in 2017, with Joanne Ashcroft as convenor. Members of the new version of the PPRG include, Sheppard, Patricia Farrell, Tom Jenks and other former members, Dee McMahon and Matt Fallaize. Of course, Robert Sheppard is a member.

For the record, the first incarnation ran from October 1999 – August 2010, the second ran from August 2010 – August 2013 and the third began in April 2017.

Perhaps it’s best left to Matt Fallaize to sum up the influence of Robert Sheppard and the Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research Group in its first manifestation:

     It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say I owe a great deal of my working practices
     and the evolution of my poetics to my time at Edge Hill, both on the MA and
     further as a member of the Poetry and Poetics Research Group. The MA opened
     my eyes to some of the transformational practices which have become a part of
     my poetics, and simply spending time with dedicated and talented writers has
     driven my own writing further than I ever expected it to, and into some unexpected places. It compelled      me to take my own work seriously (not a lesson to be underestimated) and quietly nudged me in the      direction of a little more intellectual rigour than I might otherwise have employed.

     It gave me a permission to continue, and obligated me to take risks. It let me
     celebrate the mundane and then told me sternly to try harder, it tried hard not
     to roll its eyes when I got a bit too smug, and was always compassionate, warm
     and thoughtful. (15)

At the formation of the PPRG in 1999, the motivation of behind the formation of the group was, as Sheppard noted, ‘with the hope that discussion of poetry and poetics would further the practice and thinking behind innovative poetry.’ (16) It soon became clear that the group was something much more than that. Sheppard remembers that the group was at the beginning of something not only for Edge Hill University, but the North West of England too:

     It became (the PPRG) more than that with the interaction of the people within it. It became a society of      friends of the art of writing poetry, which was gratifying. It unconsciously recruited some local writers to      Edge Hill's PhD programme. It is difficult to remember a time before that when there was no sense of vital      poetry scenes in Liverpool (or the North West) or a thriving research culture at Edge Hill. The PPRG      played its part in developing all of this. When I arrived in Liverpool in 1996 there was literally nobody      there: Geoff Ward and Sean Bonney had left the city; somebody mentioned a Cliff Yates in Skem. We      corresponded. Its current state again combines postgraduates, staff and poets outside the university. It's a      deliberate loose fit. (17)

Sheppard’s own take on the reformation and continuation of the PPRG is rather neatly summed up by ‘the beat goes on.’ (18)


The full list of people who were members of the Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research Group, between 1999 and 2013 (incarnations one and two) are Robert Sheppard, Cliff Yates (left 2010), Andrew Taylor (left in 2013), Scott Thurston, Neil Addison, Bill Drennan, Dee McMahon, Matt Fallaize, Daniele Pantano, Steve Van Hagen, Michael Egan, Colin Harris, Patricia Farrell, Angela Keaton, Alice Lenkiewicz. Joanne Ashcroft, Tony Cullen, Hazel Mutch and Lindsey Holland.

Biographies, as of 2017, of some members of the Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research Group 1999-2013.

Neil Addison is travelling.

Joanne Ashcroft is convenor of the second (or third) Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Research Group. She has published From Parts Becoming Whole with The Knives Forks Spoons Press, in 2011. She was the winner of the Poetry Wales Purple Moose Prize. She is studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University, supervised by Professor Robert Sheppard. The thesis is titled ‘Sound in the Wor(l)ds of Maggie O’Sullivan, Bill Griffiths and Geraldine Monk’.

Tony Cullen published a pamphlet Songs of Anlaf with erbacce-Press. He lives in Chorley.

Matt Fallaize has remained in Ormskirk. He ran the excellent Source deli /café in the town, until 2017 and has published two pamphlets, Delete Recover Delete published by Knives, Forks and Spoons in 2013 and L39 published by erbacce-Press in 2010.

Tom Jenks' most recent book is Crabtree: the libretto (The Red Ceilings Press), with others including Sublunar (Oystercatcher Press), Items (if p then q), The Tome of Commencement (Stranger Press) and On Liberty, Repressed (Knives Forks and Spoons). He co-organises The Other Room reading series in Manchester and edits the avant objects imprint zimZalla.

Angela Keaton published two pamphlets with erbacce-Press.

Alice Lenkiewicz is an artist.

Daniele Pantano is a Swiss poet, artist, literary translator, critic, and editor. His individual poems, essays, and reviews, as well as his translations from the German by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Georg Trakl, and Robert Walser, have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies worldwide. Pantano’s poetry has been translated into several languages, including Albanian, Bulgarian, German, French, Kurdish, and Farsi. His most recent works include ORAKL (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), Robert Walser’s Fairy Tales: Dramolettes (New Directions, 2015), Dogs in Untended Fields: Selected Poems by Daniele Pantano (Wolfbach Verlag, 2015), and Robert Walser: Comedies (Seagull Books, 2017). Pantano taught at the University of South Florida, served as the Visiting Poet-in-Residence at Florida Southern College, and directed the Creative Writing program at Edge Hill University, England, where he was Reader in Poetry and Literary Translation. Pantano lives somewhere at the end of a line. For more information, please visit

Patricia Farrell is a poet and visual artist. The Zechstein Sea was published by Shearsman in 2013 and A SPACE COMPLETELY FILLED WITH MATTER (Veer, 2015) (with Joanne Ashcroft) Conversational Nuisance [A3 poster] (zimZalla object 031, 2015)

Andrew Taylor teaches at Nottingham Trent University. His second collection from Shearsman March was published in September 2017. Recent publications include Air Vault published by Oystercatcher in 2016 and The Liverpool Warehousing Co. Ltd published by zimZalla, also in 2016.

Scott Thurston is reader in English and Creative Writing at the University of Salford. His latest pamphlet Figure Detached Figure Impermanent was published by Oystercatcher in 2014.

Steve Van Hagen teaches at Coventry University and his pamphlet Echoes, Ghosts and Others with Futures Ahead of Them was published by Holdfire Press in 2012.

Cliff Yates left the group in 2010 after relocating to Cheltenham. His latest collection, Jam was published by SmithDoorstop in 2016.



1. Robert Sheppard, ‘Introduction to the Fifth Series, The Edge Hill Poetry and Poetics Group’ in Pages Thursday May 21st 2009. <> accessed 11th February 2017.

2. Interview between Robert Sheppard and Alan Corkish, erbacce #18, 2009, p.4

3. Scott Thurston in Pages: 25 Edge Hill Poets: Scott Thurston, Friday 24th October 2014 <> accessed 24th July 2017.

4. The Black Market Re-View <> accessed 24th July 2017.

5. Robert Sheppard interview with Alan Corkish, erbacce #18, 2009, p.3.

6. Interview by the author with Cliff Yates, Birmingham, December 19th 2016. The interview took place at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. Robert Sheppard Words out of Time: Autobiographies and Unwritings, (Newton-Le-Willows: Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2015), p.43

10. Robert Sheppard, ‘The History of the Other part five: Linguistically Innovative Poetry and Small Rooms in London’ in Pages, Thursday July 5th 2005. <> accessed 11th February 2017

11. Scott Thurston, Talking Poetics: Dialogues in Innovative Poetry, (Bristol: Shearsman Books, 2011), p.XX

12. Email from Joanne Ashcroft to the author, 2nd August 2017.

13. Email from Tom Jenks to the author, 7th August 2017. The author is editor of M58.

14. Ibid. Also, Sheppard was well aware that the author is a strict vegetarian.

15. Matt Fallaize in Pages 25 Edge Hill Poets March 18th 2015 <> Accessed 11th February 2017.

16. Email from Robert Sheppard to the author 16th August, 2017

17. Ibid.

18. Email from Robert Sheppard to the author 3rd August, 2017

Copyright © Andrew Taylor, 2019