MIROnline Workshop – 25 May 2019: Fran Lock and Simon Coltman

MIROnline’s next workshop, poetry and meditation with Fran Lock and Simon Coltman, takes place on Saturday, May 25th. This is a free event but places are limited. You can book your place on our Eventbrite page:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-and-meditation-with-fran-lock-and-simon-coltman-tickets-60940146619

Exploring ways to improve focus, access new images and ideas, and turn those ideas into poetry, this afternoon will provide you with the tools you need to use meditation and free writing in your own poetic pursuits. Writing and editing poems will also be of great use to prose writers due to the focus on the lyric nature of language.

The workshop will begin with a mindfulness meditation session and will involve shorter and more focused mediation throughout the afternoon. There will be a series of exercises aimed at generating, structuring and editing poems. Editing meditations will provide the opportunity to view your writing as a reader would.

The afternoon will culminate in a feedback session facilitated by Fran and Melanie. All participants will be offered the opportunity for more detailed feedback via email after the session. Work produced may also be considered for publication on our website or performance at one of our live events.

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Submission for Lamplight magazine

Do you write poetry, prose or essays that you feel deserve a platform? Or do you draw, paint or make photography? We would love to hear from you!

 

Lamplight is Birkbeck’s new bimonthly arts & culture magazine, launching in late April. The idea is to provide a platform for students to showcase their writing, visual art, and other creative pursuits. Content is nearly finalised for the first issue and there are just a small number of spaces left for submissions. For prose and essays, we are looking for 600-1200 word pieces. For visual art, we have no specific criteria. It’s unlikely that anything sent after the next two weeks will make it into the first issue (however, don’t let that stop you from submitting for Issue 2!), and the earlier your can get yours in, the better chance you will have of being featured in Lamplight Issue 1. If you have work you would like to share, get in contact with us at lamplightmagazine@gmail.com

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Poetry against Slavery: guided tours in October and November 2018

Poetry against Slavery: guided tours in October and November 2018

This guided tour takes place at 12pm and 3pm on Thu 4 October (National Poetry Day), Sun 14 October, Sun 21 October, Thu 25 October, Sun 18 November, Thu 22 November and Sat 24 November. Venue: Museum of London Docklands, No. 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL. The tour and museum entry are both free. All welcome with no need to book.

The London, Sugar & Slavery gallery at the Museum of London Docklands is a unique resource for exploring London’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, and for understanding the trade’s present-day legacies. As part of the museum’s Black History Month programme in October, and during the nationwide Being Human Festival in November, Matt Martin (Stuart Hall Research Scholar and PhD student in the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre at Birkbeck) will lead one-hour guided tours of the gallery, showcasing his research into how poetry has galvanised resistance against the oppression of African, Caribbean and Black British people.

From Africa’s rich heritage, through preservation of cultural legacies during slavery, to recent political activism, you will encounter and discuss poems that give voice to objects and images in the museum. Discover how African cultural origins have influenced language and poetry in the Caribbean, how poems inspired anti-slavery action in the Caribbean and the UK, and how later poets have drawn upon this history to oppose continuing racial injustices. The spoken and written word will emerge as powerful ways to build solidarity among and between communities. No advance reading required – all texts will be provided on the day.

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CFP Elegy: New Approaches – Deadline for Abstracts: 3 August 2018

Elegy: New Approaches

Department of English Studies and the Centre for Poetry and Poetics

Durham University, September 14, 2018

Extended Deadline for Abstracts: 3 August 2018

Keynote Speaker: Professor Stephen Regan

Elegy, as Jahan Ramanzani observes, is the ‘mimesis of mourning’. It is the poetic form and distillation of our common response to loss, meeting the need for consolation and renewal in the face of death. It fulfils several cathartic requirements: the expression of grief, anger, and disbelief; the idealisation of what is lost; and the preservation of its memory. Elegy’s catalyst can emerge as the death of a loved one or exemplary figure (often a fellow poet, as in Alfred Tennyson’s ‘In Memoriam’), the loss of love itself, or the loss of values that have receded from the cultural consciousness.

Traditionally considered as a mode of consolation and reassurance, in modernity these tendencies have sometimes been questioned and rejected. How can the elegy function effectively, for example, in the era of police brutality and Black Lives Matter, or in the aftermath of the recent mass shootings at US high schools? Conversely, can elegy as a genre of response open up new ways of thinking about socio-political issues – can the homoerotics of certain Roman love elegies, for instance, help us explore the grief reaction to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s? For this conference, we seek papers that investigate new approaches to the elegy in its many forms, be it the elegies of the Civil Rights Movement, responses to political violence (such as the hauntingly beautiful poems of Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley), elegies of Diaspora, or the prominent elegies in the English tradition. We also welcome papers that consider the elegiac response as something that exceeds the poetic lyric: a diary entry of Woolf’s, for example, deliberates whether ‘elegy’ should supplant ‘novel’ when describing works such as To the Lighthouse, and traditions of ritual mourning such as keening can be approached as intersections of social and literary conventions. Our aim is to foreground these ‘texts’ as elegiac in their own right and to showcase recent research in this area.

This conference is envisioned as a forum for reflection on the current state of research on elegy and on potentially fruitful directions for future exploration. The organisers are especially keen to elicit proposals pertaining to new and emergent areas of interest, and/or which take an interdisciplinary approach to the subject. We also welcome proposals relating to elegies outside of the Anglophone tradition, although for the purpose of this conference all presentations must be delivered in English.

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers on the theme of elegy and the elegiac, broadly considered. Please send a 250 word abstract and a mini-biography (50-100 words) to Dr Laura McKenzie at elegy2018@gmail.com by 3 August 2018. For further details visit the conference website at https://bit.ly/2IMY5ya.

 

Contact Info: 

Dr Laura McKenzie

Department of English Studies

Durham University

 

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Birkbeck Poetry Workshop – 5 September 2017 7pm

BBK PWS 20170905 SEP

BIRKBECK POETRY WORKSHOP

THIS EVENT IS ORGANISED BY ALUMNI. MOST WELCOMED IS ANY POET, (INCLUDING CURRENT STUDENTS,) TO PRESENT A POEM FOR DISCUSSION.  

……………………………………………………………………………

Tuesday 5th September   7 pm till 9 pm Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square.

Chair: Richenda Power

Themes:

1) Lake

2) Stone

3) Skirt

Forms:

a) Free

b)Sonnet

c) Ballad

……………………………………………………………

Please feel free to bring along 12 photocopies of a poem to share, have constructively criticized or praised.

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Marina Warner Workshops: Arabic Poetry and Stories Translation Workshops – May-June 2017

Arabic Poetry and Stories Translation Workshops

‘It was and it was not…’: Translation in Action

(from Arabic into English)

May 11, May 25, June 6, June 27** 2017

**Please note the workshop on the 27th June will now take place in 

Room S118 , Paul Webley Wing (Senate House North Block) SOAS.

Professor Marina Warner (Birkbeck)

Professor Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS)

In conjunction with the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, Birkbeck. Directed by Steve Willey.

Booking: http://www.chase.ac.uk/arabic-poetry-translation

chase

Workshop Topics and Dates

Workshop 1: May 11 The writer Hanan al- Shaykh will discuss her work with translator Catherine Cobham.

Topic: The Wiles of Women. Poetry and Stories from The 1001 Nights (2:30 to 5:30 pm, SOAS, B104)

Public reading. 6.30-8.00 pm (SOAS B104)

Workshop 2: May 25 The writer Hoda Barakat will discuss her work; with translator Marilyn Booth, Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud Professor in the Study of the Contemporary Arab World, Oxford.

Topic: Mad Love. Nizami, The Seven Pavilions: The Tale of Leila and Majnun.   (2:30 to 5:30 pm, SOAS, SWLT)

Public reading, 6.30-8.00pm (SOAS SWLT)

Workshop 3: June 6 Writers tbc,  with Julia Bray, Laudian Professor, Oxford, and editor of Ibn Sai, The Consorts of the Caliphs.

Topic: Singing Girls. Poetry, stories, satire and elegy in the songs of the Abbasid qiyan (Birkbeck , Room 102, 30 Russell Square)

Workshop 4: June 27  The poets Tamim al=Barghouti and Yousif al-Qasmiyeh will read their work and discuss it.

Topic: Islamic Sicily or Siculo-Arab Literature: poems of Ibn Hamdis and others, and fables from Ibn Zafer, Solwan or the Waters of Comfort (Birkbeck, Room 102, 30 Russell Square)

**Please note the workshop on the 27th June will now take place in 

Room S118 , Paul Webley Wing (Senate House North Block) SOAS.

Final workshop in September/October will showcase the work completed over the summer.

Participants

16 places for CHASE PhD students; 10 places reserved for independent translators and scholars, for a total of 20 for each workshop.

Objectives

A: The workshops proposed will adapt methods used for bringing Greek tragedy to an Anglophone reader and apply them to Arabic literature.

With the help of scholars of Arabic literature, who are interested in the wider transmission and enjoyment of their subject, students will work alongside poets, dramatists, translation theorists, and writers of fiction, in order to revision (‘awaken’) Arabic literary texts for contemporary readers/audiences.

It has become customary, for example, for a poet with no Greek or Anglo-Saxon to re-inhabit a myth or a legend and bring it to vigorous new life– famous examples include Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf, Simon Armitage’s King Arthur, and the inspired contemporary revoicings of Ovid by Timberlake Wertenbaker and Kate Tempest. By contrast, the riches of classical and traditional literature in Arabic have in some sense been kept from those who cannot read or understand the language. The complexities of Arabic prosody and the vast range of genres and expressions of the Arabic and Persian narrative and poetic corpus seem to preclude access to all but scholars. Workshop participants will explore means and ways to make this literature accessible beyond the specialist circle.

The joint workshops themselves will examine how stories, motifs, characters, images travel across borders and migrate into new host cultures, moving into different languages, different genres, and on to different registers.

B: The workshops also set out to investigate collaborative exploration and discussion for translation/literary recreation in itself. Can the workshop model be a stimulus to the making of fresh, vigorous reawakened material from unfamiliar contexts and languages the writer-translator does not always know? The group sessions will provide the scope to be innovative about participation and collaboration for literary creativity.

Translators of the writers taking part will be present to discuss their task. However the project differs from strict translation, as applies to the work of contemporary Arabic novelists. The workshops are focusing on canonical/ancient/medieval/traditional material and its varying expressions because in this era of hostility to cultures associated with Islam, it is more important than ever to explore the riches of their vast literature and to understand the mutual entanglement of literary traditions.

These workshops will continue the project Stories in Transit, which undertakes nourishing storytelling and creativity in refugee communities. The project began in Oxford in May 2016 and Palermo in September 2016 and May 2017, and is a collaboration between Birkbeck, the University of Palermo, and the NGO Bibliothèques sans Frontières.

The material will include songs and squibs by medieval women poets, romances from Persia, the lyric poetry in Tales of the 1001 Nights, animal and other fables from Solwan, or The Waters of Comfort by Ibn Zafer from Sicily, written in the l2th century, or materials participants themselves propose.

Participants will attend all four workshops at which the visiting speaker and translator will address a text or group of texts; a general discussion about them will follow, leading to a choice of subject to develop work on over the summer and a reunion in the autumn to review the fruits of the workshop.  These will not aim to give faithful versions of the originals, but transpose them, sometimes even into a different form – eg poem to drama, story to song – the reawaken them and communicate them to readers and audiences today.

Booking: http://www.chase.ac.uk/arabic-poetry-translation

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London 18th-Century Postgraduate Reading Group: ‘The Dangerous Mix of Atomism & Poetry’, 19 April 2016

 

The second session of the London 18th-Century postgraduate reading group will be at 12.30pm on Tuesday 19th April in Room S3.05, Strand Building, King’s College London, WC2R 2LS. We’ll be continuing with the theme of Resentment and Regard (more details on the group’s blog, here).

‘Whatever in Lucretius is Poetry is not Philosophical, whatever is Philosophical is not Poetry’ – Samuel Taylor Coleridge to William Wordsworth, May 1815.

The week’s reading is focused on the simultaneous resentment and regard directed towards Lucretius’s poetics from the late seventeenth-century English translations onwards. Seen as a prime example of atheistic poetry, the publication of various translations of Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura provoked many backlashes that both regarded the high quality of his poetic verse whilst resenting the atomistic philosophy it aimed to teach its readers. We will look at various commentaries on Lucretius and his translations across the early to mid-eighteenth century as a way of discussing the interactions between poetics and dangerous philosophies in the period:

 

– Lucy Hutchinson’s dedication to her unpublished 1675 translation of De Rerum Natura [Available online here]

– John Dryden’s comments on Lucretius in his ‘Preface to Sylvae’ [Available on Eighteenth Century Collections Online here, images 10-18]

– Thomas Creech’s Preface to his 1682 translation of De Rerum Natura, [Available on Early English Books Online here, images 8-11]

– Aphra Behn’s ‘To the Unknown Daphnis on his Excellent Translation of Lucretius’, [Available on Eighteenth Century Collections Online here, images 62-65]

– Richard Blackmore’s preface to his 1712 anti-Lucretian poem Creation [Available on Eighteenth Century Collections Online here, looking at pages 1-2; 32-52]

– Later comments on Lucretius in the 1740 The Christian Free-Thinker: Or an Epistolary Discourse Concerning Freedom of Thought [Available on Eighteenth Century Collections Online here, pages 28-34]

 

Topics to discuss might include: the religious ramifications involved in a turn towards a classical past; the use of poetics to present philosophy; the power and danger of poetry; the place of Lucretius’s poetry as part of a gendered resentment in Behn and Hutchinson; the balance of regard for poetics and resentment for philosophy; the use of poetics to simultaneously promote and overturn.

For optional critical material on the place of Lucretius in the eighteenth-century, see: David Hopkins, ‘The English Voices of Lucretius from Lucy Hutchinson to John Mason Good’, in The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 254-273.

For further information (and for copies of the readings if you cannot access them through your institution), please contact Robert Stearn (rstear01@mail.bbk.ac.uk) or James Morland (james.morland@kcl.ac.uk).

You can read about the first session’s discussion here.

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Spiralbound Reading, 19 April 2016

Spiralbound Reading (hosted by the CPRC) – 19th April 2016

You are warmly invited to the launch of three poetry books by Spiralbound, a non-profit artists’ publishing project exploring the influence of new digital technologies on the material presence of the book.

When: 19 April 2016, 7-9pm
Where: Birkbeck College, Room 102, 30 Russell Square
Who: Ghazal Mosadeq, Andrew Spragg, Florence Uniacke

About The Readers

Ghazal Mosadeq is a writer, poet and translator. Her poems and short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines in the UK, Iran, Canada, Portugal, and Greece. She is the winner of the 2013 Bayhaqi Short Fiction Prize and her collection of poems dar jame ma (2010) was shortlisted for the 2011 Khurshid poetry award in Iran. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Andrew Spragg was born in London and lives there. Recent books include Tether//Replica (Sprialbound/Susak Press, 2015), OBJECTS (Red Ceiling Press, 2014), A Treatise on Disaster (Contraband Books, 2013) and To Blart & Kid (Like This Press, 2013). Occasional info:sectorhabits.tumblr.com

Florence Uniacke is a poet living in London.
She can be reached at florence.uniacke@gmail.com

About Spiralbound
Spiralbound is a non-profit artists’ publishing project exploring the influence of new digital technologies on the material presence of the book. Strongly supported by London gallery studio1.1. and existing as an offshoot of Susak Press, we work with artists and writers who want to use the book medium to experiment beyond and challenge their usual practice. By subverting the capabilities of digital print on demand, the project’s aim is to publish book editions that can remain uncompleted and in flux as we allow our authors the opportunity to re-shape and interfere with the book’s original version.
http://susakpress.org/spiralbound

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One-Day Symposium: ‘W. S. Graham: The Far Coasts of Language’, 18 March 2016

W S Graham Symposium

 

One-Day Symposium: ‘W. S. Graham: The Far Coasts of Language’
Organised by the Bristol Poetry Institute, University of Bristol

Speakers: Jon Cook (UEA), Ralph Pite (Bristol), Natalie Pollard (Exeter), David Punter (Bristol), Denise Riley (UEA), William Wootten (Bristol)
When: Friday 18 March 2016
Where: Link Room 2; 3-5 Woodland Road, BS8 1TB11:00-16:30

This one-day symposium, hosted by the Bristol Poetry Institute, will feature six short talks on various poems by W. S. Graham, one of the most extraordinary poets of our time, with ample time for participation by the audience.

Admission is free but booking is required by Eventbrite; lunch will be provided:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ws-graham-symposium-tickets-21110067781

Any enquires regarding this event please contact: poetry-institute@bristol.ac.uk

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Verdant Intersections: An Event on Landscape, Ecology, Poetry and Performance

Verdant Intersections

An Event on Landscape, Ecology, Poetry and Performance

Hosted by the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, Birkbeck College, University of London.

When: 4 March, 7-9pm
Who: Linda Russo, Dan Eltringham and Laura Burns
Where: Birkbeck College, University of London – Room 102, 30 Russell Square

Linda Russo, Dan Eltringham and Laura Burns will be presenting a combination of critical and creative work for around twenty minutes each in response to one of the following themes: human/non-human ecologies, geopoetics, ecopoetics, landscape and/or site-specific work.

After the readings/presentations Richard Hamblyn and Stephen Willey will co-chair a short discussion between the participants.

 

About the speakers
Linda Russo is the author of two books of poetry, most recently Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way (Shearsman, 2015). Participant, winner of the Bessmilr Brigham Poets Prize, and a collection of literary-geographical essays, To Think of her Writing Awash in Light, winner of Subito Press lyric essay prize, are forthcoming. Her recent reports on Bioregional/Body-Regional poetics is “Emplaced, and local to.” She lives in the Cascadian region of the northwestern US, tends garden plots, and teaches at Washington State University.

 

Dan Eltringham is working towards an AHRC-supported PhD at Birkbeck College, entitled ‘William Wordsworth and J. H. Prynne: pastoral, enclosure and the commons’. In autumn 2015 he participated in the interdisciplinary network ‘Land, People, Poetry’ at Colorado State University as a visiting scholar. His poetry and translations have appeared in E-Ratio, Blackbox Manifold, The Goose, Intercapillary Space, Emotions in Dialogue, and Scabs are Rats Zine 4, and in two pamphlets, Mystics and Ithaca. His first full-length poetry collection is in process and he co-edits Girasol Press.

 

Laura Burns is a performer and writer working at the intersection of poetry, dance, live art and installation. Her work seeks to call into question the agency of the nonhuman world, reconsidering how language and consciousness stems from the biological unfoldings of the thinking worlds around us. Her practice explores how embodiment, orality and a practice of belief in unknowing, give rise to new perceptions, an ecology of knowledges and choreographies of being-with.

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