Quiet Subversions

The Given
, Robert Sheppard
(35pp, 5.00, Knives Forks and Spoons Press)

'I can't write what I don't remember' writes Robert Sheppard in this intriguing four-part pamphlet, but of course he can and does, questioning as he does so our ideas of biography, self and personal history.

Through processes such as listing, alphabeticizing, selecting, collaboration and deletion/exclusion, Sheppard creates a vivid sense of his poetic and personal journey toward today.

Here are small events and reported asides, half-remembered or imagined conversations with poets and musicians; all set in a wider, more general cultural context.

On one level this is one of the most accessible and readable works Sheppard has produced; it's also one of the strangest in its quiet subversions and playfulness, its self-questioning and self-awareness. Take nothing as given: 'this is where the future begins.'

     Rupert Loydell 2010