The Oulipo, acronym for OUvroir de LIttérature POtentielle (Workshop for Potential Literature), is a small literary group dedicated to creating new possibilities for writing. When put into practice, their innovations have resulted in a fascinating, highly idiosyncratic body of literature. The starting point for each endeavour is the use or invention of a set of formal rules, called restrictions or constraints, which are then scrupulously adhered to in order to arrive at texts previously inconceivable or unimaginable. These trammels are invariably of great clarity, highly inventive and, often, fiendishly challenging - essential in forcing one's mind to the furthest reaches of its intelligence and creativity. The corpus of work is exceptionally wide-ranging, from tiny fragments, lists, sentence-series to poems, stories and full-out novels. All compositions belong to (at least) one in a lexicon of hundreds restriction-categories, each bearing its own charming, if not exactly illuminating, appellation: lipogram; perverse; heterosexual rhyme; N + 7; prisoner's restriction; pre-cooked language; asphyxiation; tautogram; corpuscular poem and Canada Dry.