Poems Are Being Written: The Scenes, Surfaces and Textures of Creativity in Contemporary Literature

full name / name of organization: 
Paraic Finnerty (University of Portsmouth)

We are pleased to announce that the seventh Annual Symposium of the Centre for Studies in Literature (University of Portsmouth) will take place on the 28 of November 2013. The topic this year is 'Poems Are Being Written: The Scenes, Surfaces and Textures of Creativity in Contemporary Literature'.

The keynote speakers at the event will be Michael Wyndham Thomas and Kerry Featherstone, and the symposium will be followed by a poetry reading by Simon Armitage.

In recent years, while there has been what Marjorie Perloff calls a 'dismissal of the first-person "voice"' as the 'foundational principle of lyric poetry', there has also been a new interest in the specificity and particularity of the scene of poetry writing, or what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick calls, 'the tableau of the poem itself'. Writers and critics have been concerned with how the writing process leaves its trace on the words of the poems, but also on their arrangement on the page; for, according to Susan Howe, 'In the precinct of Poetry, a word, the space around a word, each letter, every mark, silence, or sound volatizes an inner law of form'.

With the words of these writers in mind, the symposium organisers would welcome papers that include, but are not limited to, the following topics: the foregrounding of scenes of writing and/or reading in contemporary poetry; the emphasis on visuality and materiality in contemporary poetry's negotiation between immediacy and formality, and spontaneity and orchestration; and the representation, fetishisation, visualisation and framing of the poet's creative process in contemporary literature and culture.

Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes in length. If you are interested in presenting a paper, please submit a 300 word abstract to Dr Christine Berberich (christine.berberich@port.ac.uk) and Dr Páraic Finnerty (paraic.finnerty@port.ac.uk)on or before the 9 of September 2013.