Shakespeare and the Contemporary Sonnet - 20 October 2012 London, UK

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Roehampton University, London

Shakespeare and the Contemporary Sonnet
Saturday, 20th October 2012, Roehampton University, London

This symposium brings together four renowned contemporary poets and four leading Shakespeare academics to consider the ways in which contemporary poetry continues to be shaped by the innovations of Petrarch, Wyatt, Sidney and particularly Shakespeare in the sonnet form.

It will address questions such as: what are the essential features of the sonnet that make it recognisable as such, and to what range of themes or subject matter does it lend itself? Is it possible to write a sequence of sonnets, or does the form essentially defy narrative? What are the characteristics of Shakespeare's sonnets that have made them so intriguing to later poets, and what are the similarities and differences between writing sonnets in the 1580s and 2010s?

The keynote lecture will be given by Heather Dubrow, Chair in the Poetic Imagination at Fordham University, and the author of both a seminal, critical work on the sonnets, Captive Victors: Shakespeare's Narrative Poems and Sonnets, and a collection of original poetry, including sonnets, Forms and Hollows.

The panel discussions will feature poetry readings, discussion and debate between some of the foremost contemporary poets working with the sonnet─Jeff Hilson, Harryette Mullen, Tim Atkins─including those both critically and creatively engaged with the Shakespearean sonnet─Don Paterson and Philip Terry─and a leading Renaissance scholar and current editor of Shakespeare's sonnets, Cathy Shrank.

The conference welcomes all those with an interest in the sonnet form: scholars, creative practitioners, students and poetry enthusiasts.