Climate Crisis, Lyric Crisis?: Contemporary Poetry and the Environment

deadline for submissions: 
May 17, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
University of Bristol
contact email: 

Climate Crisis, Lyric Crisis?:Contemporary Poetry and the Environment



natural says the news. Also the body says it.’ Jorie Graham


‘I place my feet/

with care in such a world.’ William E. Stafford


‘Task: to be where I am.’ Tomas Tranströmer


What is the role of poetry in times of loss and unravelling? How do poets respond to environmental distress – and register the unnaturalness of the current weather – even as they continue to bear careful witness to their local landscapes and places? If ignorance about what is lost ‘undermines the reality of the world’, as Zbigniew Herbert put it, then how might poets affirm reality without also affirming negation?

We invite proposals that explore these and related questions. Any approach is welcome, although we are especially interested in presentations that offer close readings of contemporary poets. Papers can be anywhere between 15-20 minutes long, and we particularly welcome submissions from postgraduate students.

Further details:

This symposium will take place at the University of Bristol, from 1.30-7.30 on the 25th of May. The day will consist of academic papers, a poet’s panel featuring Hugh Dunkerley, Carrie Etter and Yvonne Reddick, and conclude with in person readings by Hugh Dunkerley and Yvonne Reddick and an online reading by Alycia Pirmohamed.

If you’d like to present a paper, please submit abstracts to William Wootten and Michael Malay at the following addresses: &