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Twitters for a Lark : Poetry of the European Union of Imaginary Authors

Sheppard, Robert
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Shearsman Books
Published: October 20, 2017
ISBN: 9781848615656
122 pages


The EUOIA is the brainchild of Belgian poet Rene Van Valckenborch. For his last project before his disappearance around 2010, Van Valckenborch supposedly asked one poet from each of the EU states to write him a poem. Of course, he wrote them himself …

Each poem was then supposedly translated into Flemish (or occasionally French) via robot (online) translators and the resultant poem `finalised’ by Van Valckenborch before presentation on this website. The poems that follow are best thought of as collaborations between Van Valckenborch and the 25 imaginary poets and the robot translator. (As the EU expanded so did the Union: there are now 27 `members’.) We have, as usual, been accused of making these translations ourselves, or even of making the poets up (many of them might take exception, a few might be rather tickled by that suggestion).

Firstly our expertise does not extend to all the languages encountered. Secondly, our professional pride as translators would have prohibited the use of electronic translation devices and we have only been forced to enter into a secondary relationship with this medium by Van Valckenborch’s engagement with it, which we rather regret. -Annemie and Martin Krol-Dupuis (Brussels).

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