The Pillow Talk of Robert Desnos takes the form of a short, scattershot biography of the poet, psychic shapeshifter, cat lover, concentration camp casualty and champion daydreamer, Robert Desnos (1900-45). Desnos was renowned for his ability to ‘speak surrealist’ at will, conjuring up incredible puns and wordplay, seemingly half asleep, during the Surrealists’ ‘period of sleeps’ in the early 1920s. Combining Desnos’s wordplay of 1923 with Milward’s wordplay of 2013, the piece tells a crackpotted history of the poet who said of himself: ‘My head is like a piggybank in which words, ideas, memories jingle pell-mell. I shake it all up. My mouth releases a coin.’
Richard Milward will be performing at The Sage Gateshead on 10 May and ARC Stockton on 23 May.
Robert Desnos (1900-45)
Richard Milward was born in 1984 in Middlesbrough. In April 2007, his debut novel Apples (Faber) was published to great critical acclaim. Northern Stage/Company of Angels produced Apples for the stage in 2010, touring it extensively in the UK, including an award-winning stint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Richard’s second novel Ten Storey Love Song (Faber, 2009) received accolades from the likes of Irvine Welsh and Lauren Laverne. His third novel Kimberly’s Capital Punishment was published in 2012. Richard’s writing has appeared in The Face, Dazed & Confused, The Guardian, The Independent, Arena, .Cent, Vice, Loops, Le Gun, Bare Bones, It’s Nice That, and others.