[UPDATE] With sleights learned from others: Basil Bunting and Friends (Durham, 4-5 July 2012)

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Durham University

With sleights learned from others: Basil Bunting and Friends

A conference at Durham 4-5 July 2012

Keynote speaker: Don Share, Senior Editor, Poetry Magazine



With sleights learned from others and an ear open to melodic analogies I have set down words as a musician pricks his score, not to be read in silence, but to trace in the air a pattern of sound that may sometimes, I hope, be pleasing.

Basil Bunting, preface to Collected Poems

This conference aims to emphasise the position of British modernist poet Basil Bunting in literary tradition, reconnecting him with the work that shaped him and the work he shaped. We invite papers that explore how movements in music, philosophy, religion, science, visual art, nature, politics, and fiction, as well as poetry, influenced Bunting, or were influenced by him in turn. We welcome proposals that consider the writers and thinkers associated with Bunting, whether directly or indirectly, as well as papers that focus on the poet himself. In addition to academic panels, there will be two poetry readings, as well as an optional third-day excursion to the nearby Brigflatts Quaker meeting house at Sedbergh.

Bunting is often viewed as a solitary poet, but even the phrase 'struggler in the desert' was pinned on him by Pound and paired him with Zukofsky; there are also his later associations with figures such as Jonathan Williams and Tom Pickard. Studying these acquaintances and friendships casts light on Bunting's poetry, as well as the broader modernist tradition to which he belongs. The conference will demonstrate the enduring importance of this intermittently neglected poet, by examining his contacts, correspondents, influences and influence.

Please send proposals of around 300 words for papers to Annabel Haynes (details below) by 19th March 2012. Papers should last 20 minutes.

Accommodation can be provided by the university, and more details will be available upon registration. We also welcome those who wish to attend without presenting. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, or require any further information, please contact the organisers.

'Friends' could include:
Dante Alighieri, W. H. Auden, J. S. Bach, Richard Caddel, Catullus, Kamo no Chōmei, Bob Cobbing, Robert Creeley, Saint Cuthbert, Peter Dale, Donald Davie, Karl Drerup, T. S. Eliot, Ferdowsi, Ford Maddox Ford, George Fox, Allen Ginsberg, Bill Griffiths, Hāfez, Ian Hamilton-Finlay, Horace, Omar Khayyam, Tony Lopez, Mina Loy, Lucretius, Hugh MacDiarmid, Barry MacSweeney, Manuchehri, Karl Marx, Thomas Meyer, Stuart Montgomery, William Morris, Eric Mottram, Lorine Niedecker, Charles Olson, George Oppen, Tom Pickard, Ezra Pound, Dorothy Pound, Rudaki, Saadi, Domenico Scarlatti, Colin Simms, Joseph Skipsey, Gael Turnbull, Francois Villon, Walt Whitman, Jonathan Williams, William Carlos Williams, Ludwig Wittgenstein, William Wordsworth, Louis Zukofsky.

With kind regards,
Annabel Haynes, Jack Baker, John Clegg and Matthew Griffiths

Conference organisers

Contact Details:
Annabel Haynes annabel.haynes@durham.ac.uk
Jack Baker jack.baker@durham.ac.uk
John Clegg j.r.clegg@durham.ac.uk
Matthew Griffiths m.j.r.griffiths@durham.ac.uk