Pete Clarke
Website Design by Tony Knox 2006 - 2011.
All images copyright of the artist.

Project 14 : Poetry Beyond Text

Poetry Beyond Text: Vision and Cognition
is a multi-disciplinary research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and based at the Universities of Dundee and Kent.
The project uses methods from literary criticism, aesthetics, experimental psychology, fine art and creative practice to study how readers respond to hybrid works which combine the textual with the visual, including digital poetry, concrete and visual poetry, artists' books, text film and poetry combined with photography. The project commissioned poets and artists to make work together including Will Maclean, John Burnside, Robert Sheppard & Pete Clarke, Thomas A. Clark, Marian Leven, Robin Robertson, John Cayley, Simon Biggs, Deryn Rees-Jones and Giselle Beiguelman.


As an interdisciplinary project ‘Poetry Beyond Text’ focusses on four key research questions:

1. When art works combine textual and visual elements, how do the modes of attention specific to reading text and viewing images interact and modify each other?

2. What factors determine whether the combination of textual and visual elements in such works enriches or limits their meaning and aesthetic value?

3. How are evaluative and interpretive responses to such works affected by the development of enhanced reflective awareness about the processes involved?

4. How can critical and psychological models of perception and aesthetic experience inform and be informed by the creation of new works of art?

‘Poetry Beyond Text: Vision, Text + Cognition’ ISBN 978-0-9568371-0-3

Pete Clarke and Robert Sheppard ‘Poetic Collaborations’

Pete Clarke and Robert Sheppard, Professor of Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Edge Hill University after this initial project invitation have continued working exploring image and text based on Sheppard’s published works. They collaborated on a letterpress, woodcut and silkscreen printmaking series -‘Forme’, ‘Lyric’, ‘Manifest’, ‘This is not Guilt’ and ‘Tangled Scree’.

‘Each of these prints contains poetic text on various scales, some resembling ‘headlines’ or titles, others reading as fragmented and repeated ‘body’ text. There is a visual assembly of these component elements that is suggestive of Russian Constructivist prints, combining abstract colour shapes, blocks of text, and oblique angles and these historical visual influences interact with a ‘poetic of increased indeterminacy and discontinuity, the uses of techniques of disruption and of creative linkage’, to apply Sheppard’s own description of the ‘Linguistically Innovative Poetry’ movement in which he has played a notable part. The word manifest teases the viewer with overtones of manifestos, of historical references and political activism in its dynamic layout. There are visual overtones as well of the dynamic aesthetics of Rodchenko and Popova, whose work from the brief period from 1917-1925 produced energetic and stylistically groundbreaking visual art with text’.




‘Visual Research Centre’, Dundee Contemporary Arts March-April 2011,
‘Scottish Poetry Library’, Edinburgh May-July 2011
‘Royal Scottish Academy’, Edinburgh November-December 2011
‘Get Back’ Graphic Works, Kunstraum Dreizwanzig, Cologne 2012

Catalogue ISBN 9781901922875
‘Manifest’, The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University, exhibition and symposium April 2013

'Dusseldoffer Poesietage' Betonbox, Duusseldorf 2016.

An overview and critical presentation of Clarke and Sheppard’s collaboration was presented in a research symposium at the Arts Centre, Edge Hill University exploring ideas around cultural collaborations in April 2013. Dr Patricia Farrell gave a critical paper on the Clarke Sheppard collaboration which was then presented in a research forum at Strathclyde University in 2013.

Robert Sheppard moved to Liverpool in 1997 and works at Edge Hill University where he is currently Professor of Poetry and Poetics. Books include Twentieth Century Blues, Warrant Error and Berlin Bursts.