"The News from Poems" - William Carlos Williams Society Biennial Conference: June 18-

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The News from Poems

The Sixth Biennial Conference of the
William Carlos Williams Society

William Paterson University
June 18-20, 2015

Keynote Speaker: Paul Mariani
Author of William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked

The year 2015 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Williams' Journey to Love by Random House and a sort of midpoint in Williams' late career renaissance culminating in Pictures from Breughel. In Journey to Love, Williams continues a lyrical reaffirmation of his identity as a poet and of poetry as a necessary response to the vicissitudes of life—especially the vicissitudes of ageing and the diminishment of time, which is recuperated through poetry, made new:

My heart rouses
thinking to bring you news
of something
that concerns you
and concerns many men. Look at
what passes for the new.
You will not find it there but in
despised poems.
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.
Hear me out
For I too am concerned
and every man
who wants to dies at peace in his bed

What is "the news from poems" that is so compelling and yes so "difficult/ to get" despite our "lack" or desire? What does the poem demand of us? And what do we demand of the poem? Of the poems of Williams or those who followed or preceded him and the work of many of whom, along with the work of painters, are invoked here for the news they deliver?

The suggested focus of papers and panels for the Sixth Biennial Conference of the William Carlos Williams Society, at William Paterson University, includes the themes and concerns of the late poems and their relationships both to Williams' precursors and to his descendants in all their variety.

The conference incorporates a tour to the Great Falls of the Passaic River, Paterson, Garret Mountain, and Rutherford, NJ on Saturday, June 20. (A tour fee covers transportation and a box lunch.)

Proposals are welcome from all scholars wishing to participate in a round-table conference in which participants' papers (15-20) are circulated shortly before the meeting and each participant is allotted one hour within which time they introduce their work for 10-15 minutes, leaving ample time for questions and discussion of the points they raise.

Please send a brief proposal and short cv by April 1st to Ian Copestake at copers@gmail.com.