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

full name / name of organization: 
Páraic Finnerty / University of Portsmouth

On the 28th and 29th of November 2013, the Centre for Studies in Literature at the University of Portsmouth will celebrate contemporary poetry. On the 28th of November, the Centre will sponsor a free public event that begins at 5pm with a book launch and wine reception in Portland Building's atrium and ends with a poetry reading by Simon Armitage from 6.00-7.30pm.

The Centre for Studies in Literature's seventh Annual Symposium will take place on the 29th of November. 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, Kerry Featherstone and David Herd.

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 poem, 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 for the symposium 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 13th of September 2013.