Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

‘moments/that stretch horizons’: an international poetry symposium for practitioners

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Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site


By focussing on one urgent theme in writing and two ongoing concerns with poetic form and production, this one-day symposium will take the temperature of poetry now. Practitioners (by which we mean poets and/or critics) will be brought into dialogue with each other in order to address these themes and concerns by reflecting on their own practices, as well as those of others. As the symposium’s title indicates in its quote from John Kinsella’s poem ‘Elegy for Mr Jack Sumner’, crucial to the event is its outward-looking, international dimension, as it will feature on its panels practitioners from Australia as well as those who are UK-based.

We will explore one theme current in contemporary writing, poetry about the environment, and two concerns of poetics: prose poetry and the lyric and poetry and publishing. Each panel set up to discuss these issues will be composed of a mixture of UK-based academics and writers and academics/poets from the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI). Each panelist will give a short (five-minute) position paper on the topic, which may include some of their poetry, and then the floor will be opened up for discussion.

Although we have an exciting line-up of speakers, the topics have been chosen to appeal to a wide range of poets and critics, and we will be warmly encouraging all attendees to contribute their thoughts during the panel discussions.


For more information, please contact the organizers: Dr Niall Munro ( niall.munro@brookes.ac.uk) and Prof Steven Matthews ( s.matthews@reading.ac.uk).

Biographical details of the participants appear below the programme.

10:00–12:00Panel 1: Poetry and publishing (John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre)
 Gerry Cambridge (print designer and founder-editor of The Dark Horse journal)
 Sarah Holland-Batt (poet, editor and critic, IPSI)
 Paul Hetherington (poet, editor and Head of the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) at the University of Canberra)
 Bridget Vincent (academic, University of Nottingham)
  Chair: Niall Munro (Director, Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre)
12:00–13:00Lunch (provided)
13:00–15:00Panel 2: Prose poetry and the lyric (JHB 407)
 Cassandra Atherton (writer, academic and critic, IPSI)
 Lucy Dougan (poet, editor and teacher, IPSI)
 Sarah Corbett (poet, Lancaster University)
 Jen Webb (poet, Distinguished Professor and Director, Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra and IPSI)
  Chair: Paul Hetherington (poet, editor, and Head of the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) at the University of Canberra)
15:00–15:30Tea and coffee (JHB 407)
15:30–17:30Panel 3: Poetry and the environment (JHB 407)
 Isabel Galleymore (poet and academic, University of Exeter)
 Katharine Coles (poet, novelist and editor, IPSI)
 Paul Munden (Director of NAWE, the National Association of Writers in Education and poet, IPSI)
 Harriet Tarlo (poet, editor and academic, Sheffield Hallam University)
  Chair: Steven Matthews (poet and academic, University of Reading)
18:00–19:30Poetry reading, featuring poets from IPSI and UK (JHB 407)

Gerry Cambridge is the founder-editor of the internationally regarded poetry journal The Dark Horse, and is also known as a print designer with a particular interest in typography. He designs websites, too, and undertakes design projects for a number of small presses as well as individuals; his clients include Red Squirrel Press, the Royal Literary Fund, and Mariscat Press, winner of the 2015 Michael Marks Pamphlet Award administered by the British Library. His quirky and idiosyncratic essay, The Printed Snow, published in summer 2015 by HappenStance Press and sold with a bespoke letterpress card, deals with the craft of typesetting poetry, typography and design. His volumes of poetry include Notes for Lighting a Fire (HappenStance Press, 2012) and Aves (Essence Press, 2007). His book about The Dark Horse, entitled The Dark Horse: The Making of a Little Magazine was published by HappenStance Press in 2016. Gerry also plays harmonica with various other musicians and singer-songwriters. http://www.gerrycambridge.com

Sarah Holland-Batt lives in Brisbane, where she is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Queensland University of Technology. She is the recipient of a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship and the W.G. Walker Memorial Fulbright Scholarship, among other honours. Her most recent book, The Hazards (UQP, 2015) won the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her poems have been widely published in journals such as The New Yorker and Poetry, and have been translated into several languages. She is the editor of The Best Australian Poems 2017 (Black Inc), and Poetry Editor of Island. https://www.sarahhollandbatt.com and https://twitter.com/the_shb

Paul Hetherington has published eleven full-length collections of poetry, most recently Burnt Umber (UWAP, 2016) and Gallery of Antique Art (RWP, 2016). He won the 2014 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards (poetry), and undertook an Australia Council for the Arts Literature Board Residency at the BR Whiting Studio in Rome in 2015-16. He is Professor of Writing in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra, head of the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) there, and a founding editor of the international online journal Axon: Creative Explorations. http://www.canberra.edu.au/about-uc/faculties/arts-design/courses/undergraduate/writing/tabs/staff/writing-staff/hetherington-paul

Bridget Vincent, Assistant Professor, Modern and Contemporary Poetry at the University of Nottingham, works on twentieth-century British and Irish literature, with particular emphases on poetics, modernism and the civic role of writing. In her current project (Poetry and Public Apology in the late Twentieth Century), she considers how literary works participate in acts of social reparation and apology, with specific attention paid to Geoffrey Hill, Adrienne Rich, and Judith Wright. Her PhD project on contemporary poetry and ethics was titled The Example of Poetry: Moral Authority and Exemplarity in Seamus Heaney and Geoffrey Hill. Her other research interests include ethical criticism; interartistic aesthetics and ekphrasis; eco-criticism; and ruin theory in contemporary fiction. https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/people/bridget.vincent

Niall Munro
is a Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre. He is the author of Hart Crane's Queer Modernist Aesthetic (Palgrave, 2015), and his main research interests are in American modernistliterature, modern and contemporary poetry, and the literary and cultural memory of the American Civil War. Together with Professor Kate McLoughlin (University of Oxford), he is the convenor of ‘Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction,Reconciliation’, supported by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, an international seminar series from 2017-18 which explores the ways in which cultural commemorative practices contribute to post-war reconstruction and reconciliation. His current bookproject is entitled 'Our only "felt" history': American modernism and the Civil War'. https://www.brookes.ac.uk/english-languages/staff-and-students/academic-staff/?wid=&op=full&uid=p0076993

Cassandra Atherton was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in 2016 and a Visiting Fellow at Sophia University, Tokyo, in 2014. She has published seventeen critical and creative books and has received many national and international research grants for poetry. Her most recent books of prose poetry are Exhumed (Grand Parade, 2015), Trace (Finlay Lloyd, 2015), and Pikadon: Post-atomic Alice (Mountains Brown Press, forthcoming). Cassandra was invited to judge the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry (2014, 2015) and the Lord Mayor’s Prize for Poetry (2016, 2017). She is the poetry editor of Westerly magazine. http://cassandra-atherton.com

Lucy Dougan’s books include Memory Shell (5 Islands Press), White Clay (Giramondo), Meanderthals (Web del Sol), and The Guardians (Giramondo). A past poetry editor of HEAT magazine and the current one for Axon, she works as Programme Director for the China Australia Writing Centre at Curtin University and for the magazine Westerly. http://www.axonjournal.com.au/author/paul-hetherington-lucy-dougan

Sarah Corbett grew up in North Wales and currently lives in the Calder Valley. She has published three previous collections with Seren Books: The Red Wardrobe (1998), which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the T.S. Eliot Prize, The Witch Bag (2002), and Other Beasts (2008). A selection of her translations from the Dutch poet Mustafa Stitou can be found in Uit Het Hoofd / By Heart (Five Leaves Press, 2006). Sarah gained a PhD from Manchester University in 2013 and currently teaches Creative Writing at Lancaster University. Her fourth book, And She Was, a verse novel, was published by the Pavilion Poetry imprint from Liverpool University Press in 2015. She has recently completed a novel and will have a new collection from Pavilion Poetry in 2018. http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/english-literature-and-creative-writing/about-us/staff/sarah-corbett

Jen Webb works at the University of Canberra, and has been published in journals such as Mascara Literary Review, Hecate, New England Review, The Amethyst Review (Canada), Bathtub Gin (USA), The Lake (UK), and in translation, in Poetry and Thought (China). She has been widely anthologised, and her poems have been selected by Les Murray and John Tranter for Best Australian Poems. She has published six pamphlet collections, and is editor for the Australian Book Review’s ‘States of Poetry’ annual anthology. http://www.canberra.edu.au/about-uc/faculties/arts-design/courses/undergraduate/writing/tabs/staff/writing-staff/webb-jen

Isabel Galleymore’s debut pamphlet is Dazzle Ship (Worple, 2014). She held a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2012 and her poems have appeared in magazines such as Poetry Review, Poetry, Poetry London and The Rialto. She became the Charles Causley Poet-in-Residence at Launceston in 2016, and recently completed her doctoral study on ecopoetics and metaphor at the University of Exeter. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/isabel-galleymore and https://twitter.com/igalleymore

Katharine Coles’ fifth poetry collection, The Earth Is Not Flat (Red Hen 2013), was written under the auspices of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Her sixth collection, Flight, was published by Red Hen Press in 2016. A Professor at the University of Utah, she served from 2006 to 2012 as Utah Poet Laureate and in 2009 and 2010 as the inaugural director of the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. She has received grants and awards from the NEA, the NEH and the Guggenheim Foundation. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/katharine-coles

Paul Munden is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Canberra, where he is also Program Manager for the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI). He is Director of the UK's National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE). His collections include Asterisk (Smith|Doorstop, 2011), Analogue/Digital (Smith|Doorstop 2015) and The Bulmer Murder (Recent Work Press, 2017). A new collection, Chromatic, will be published by UWAP in October. http://www.poetrybusiness.co.uk/paul-munden

Harriet Tarlo is a poet and academic who has been practising, publishing and teaching since the early nineties. She is currently Reader in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. Her critical work has included studies of modernist poets, particularly H.D., and her main areas of interest are in gender, landscape and the environment/eco-criticism, and experimentalism/avant-gardism. From the 1990s onward, Harriet developed her own poetry, and she frequently publishes her own poetry and essays/reviews on contemporary poets. She has published several poetry books and edited a well-received anthology, The Ground Aslant: Radical Landscape Poetry (Shearsman, 2011). Since 2007 she has collaborated with artists to work on exhibitions and artists’ books involving text and image. Since 2011, she has been working on place-based collaborative projects with the artist Judith Tucker (University of Leeds). https://www.shu.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/staff-profiles/harriet-tarlo

Steven Matthews is Professor in English Literature (Modernism) at the University of Reading. His primary research interests are in modernism and its aftermaths, and in modern and contemporary British, Irish, and American poetries. His book T.S. Eliot and the Early Modern Literature, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. Steven also publishes on Samuel Beckett, Thirties writing, and post-colonial poetry. His first collection of poetry, Skying, was published by Waterloo Press in 2012. Various of his more recent poems have been published in magazines, journals, and anthologies, including Stand, Poetry and Audience, Origami Warriors, and From the City to the Saltings: Poems from Essex. He has been a regular reviewer of poetry for the TLS, London Magazine, and Poetry Review, and Poetry Editor for Dublin Quarterly Magazine. His Ceaseless Music: Sounding Wordsworth’s The Prelude was published in April 2017, and involves personal and autobiographical reflections in the wake of Wordsworth’s poetry, along with new poems created for the work. https://www.reading.ac.uk/english-literature/aboutus/Staff/s-matthews.aspx