CFP: [Poetry] Poetry and Belief

full name / name of organization: 
Thomas Day
contact email: 

Poetry and Belief

A Two-Day Conference
University of Central Lancashire
24-25 April 2009

This two-day conference aims to explore connections and/or disconnections
between poetry and belief, so to determine their currency in recent
academic debate and poetic practice. The term ‘belief’, here, serves a
broader purpose than to simply identify a particular poet’s religious (or
political) affiliations, and it is hoped that papers will seek to sound
the range of its applications both to the reading and the writing of
poetry. Above all, it comprehends attitudes to time and eternity, beauty
and truth, self and other, which condition the poetic process, tense as
this is with pressures that concomitantly attenuate belief. The conference
will include an evening of public readings by poets who, in their
different ways, have engaged with these matters, followed by papers and
panel discussions on the Friday and Saturday.

Papers are invited on any aspect of poetry and belief, and on any poet,
ancient or modern. Possible points of focus may include (but are not
restricted to):
(in-)sincerity; ambiguity; doubt and uncertainty; hope and despair;
silence; negation; alienation; the otherness of God; waiting; spiritual
journeying; mystical experience; vocation; self-sacrifice; the role of the
reader/the relation of the reader to the poem; poetry and prayer; Romantic
aesthetics (eg. Coleridge’s ‘willing suspension of disbelief’,
Keats’s ‘negative capability’); I. A. Richards’s and T. S. Eliot’s
theories of poetic belief; secular responses to religious poetry and
poetics; theological approaches to poetic language; politically-inflected
conceptions of belief.

250-300 word abstracts for 20 minute papers should be emailed to by 30th of November 2008.

Confirmed plenary speakers: Michael O’Neill (Durham)
                            Eric Griffiths (Trinity College, Cambridge)
                            Michael Edwards (Collège de France)

Poetry readings from: Sinead Morrissey, Michael Edwards, Michael Hulse,
Michael O’Neill

For further information on the conference and/or to request a booking or
please contact:

Emma Kelly, Conference Officer, Conference and Events Management
University of Central Lancashire, Foster Building Rooms 10, Preston PR1
2HE, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1772 892654 Fax: +44 (0) 1772 892977 Email:

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Received on Mon Aug 11 2008 - 05:28:33 EDT