CFP: [Poetry] conference France

full name / name of organization: 
Adrian Grafe
contact email:

This conference will examine the nature, status and voice of poetry within
English culture from the perspective of the public/private dialectic. It
will aim to discern to what extent poetry can claim to make itself heard
beyond the confines of its often tiny readership (with certain
exceptions). Does English poetry have any real social or public dimension
or rôle? And with what authority can it claim to speak if it confines
itself to the albeit fascinating experimentation of a J.H. Prynne? Is
poetry capable of being both a private voice and civic discourse (cf the
rôle and work of the Poet Laureate)? Can a poem restrict itself to the
political, or must it say something to and about the poet himself, as
Heaney thinks?
Is Larkin right to argue that modernism had caused a break between poetry
and the public by making poetry obscure, inaccessible to ordinary readers?
Concomitantly, the conference intends to explore the intimate, or "ex-
timate", nature of much contemporary poetry, which sometimes puts the
reader in a voyeuristic relationship with the text. The boundary between
public and private in poetry, as in life, is not always fixed, and likely
to be crossed or transgressed.
You are invited to send paper proposals (200 words) by December 20th 2007,
to Adrian Grafe (Paris IV) or Emily Taylor
Merriman (SF State Uni)

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Received on Tue Oct 02 2007 - 11:49:19 EDT

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