Poetry Centre

Colloquium 07

  • Authenticity and the Lyric Voice

    Keynote speaker: Al Alvarez

    Confirmed speakers: Robert Hampson; Nick Selby; Alice Entwistle; Jahan Ramazani

    Poetry Reading: Helen Farish

    Colloquium aims

    The aim of this colloquium is to create space for discussion of issues surrounding twentieth- and twenty-first-century lyric poetry, particularly as it engages with notions of voice and authenticity.

    The colloquium is open to anyone with an interest in modern and contemporary poetry, regardless of whether or not they are presenting a paper or have any academic affiliation.

    To register, please see info below. The deadline for registration is Friday 4 May.


    12-13 May 2007

    The conference will begin at 10.00am on 12 Saturday, and finish at 3.30pm on 13 Sunday. The provisional programme can be found below.


    The registration fee is £50 for all those attending. This includes lunch on both days, tea and coffee, and a wine reception on the Saturday, but does not include accommodation, breakfasts, or dinners. You will have the opportunity to sign up for a conference dinner nearer the time. See below for information about how to register.

    If you are only able to attend one day, the cost is £35 for the Saturday and £25 for the Sunday.

    We also recommend Pickwick’s guest house, which is fairly close to the campus.


    The colloquium will be held in Headington Hill Hall, which is part of the Oxford Brookes Headington campus - it’s situated in parkland one mile from the city centre. Free parking will be available on the Headington campus for the duration of the colloquium.

    Bus services to and from Oxford city and Headington are fast and frequent. The express coach service to London (100 minutes) stops nearby.

    How to register

    To register, send a cheque for £50, made payable to ‘Oxford Brookes University’, to Rachel Buxton, English Dept, Oxford Brookes University, Gypsy Lane, Oxford, OX3 0BP. Please include your contact details, including e-mail address if possible, and let me know if you require a receipt.

    If you are only able to attend one day, the cost is £35 for the Saturday and £25 for the Sunday.

    The deadline for registration is Friday 4th May - please ensure cheques reach me by this date.

    Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

    Rachel Buxton


    10:00–10:30 Registration; tea and coffee
    10:30–10:50 Welcome
    10:50–12:10 Session 1 – Chair: Professor Steven Matthews
    • Dr Nick Selby (University of Glasgow): ‘Being “in the picture”: remembering and the lyric body in Frank O’Hara’s “In Memory of My Feelings”’
    • Dr David Arnold (University of Worcester): ‘Without Lyrical Interference: Surreal Objectivism’
    • Giles Goodland: ‘Be one traveller: negotiating the first person in the poetry of Frost and Reznikoff’
    12:10–13:10 Lunch
    13:30–14:30 Plenary – Al Alvarez: ‘How to Listen’
    14:50–16:10 Session 2 – Chair: Dr Alex Goody
    • Professor Jahan Ramazani (University of Virginia): ‘Lyric Poetry and Globalization’
    • Dr Reena Sastri (University of York): ‘“desire, and the freedom to imagine it”: embodiment and lyric freedom in Rita Dove’
    • Matthew Powers: ‘A Domestic Disturbance: Silence, Myth, and the Lyric in Louise Glück’s Meadowlands’
    16:10–16:30 Tea and coffee
    16:30–17:45 Session 3 – Chair: Dr Stephen James
    • Sabina Kim (York University, Toronto): ‘Lyrical Sound’
    • Jennifer Sykes (Hertford College, Oxford): ‘For the Sake of Rhyme: Sound v. Sense in the work of Simon Armitage and Paul Muldoon’
    • Professor J. Fitzpatrick Smith (Wittenberg University): ‘“Les transports de l’esprit’: Ciaran Carson’s The Alexandrine Plan and The Twelfth of Never’
    18:00–18:30 Poetry Reading – Helen Farish
    18:30–19:30 Wine reception
    20:15 Dinner
    09:45–10:00 Tea, coffee and pastries
    10:00–11:20 Session 4 – Chair: Dr Jane Dowson
    • Dr Alice Entwistle (University of Glamorgan): ‘The lyric sequence and the contemporary woman poet in Wales’
    • Yomna Saber (University of Nottingham): ‘Gwendolyn Brooks’s A Street in Bronzeville: Finding and Giving Voice’
    • Aaron Deveson (University of East Anglia): ‘Two Modern Lyric Poets: David Constantine and Denise Riley’
    11:20–11:40 Tea and coffee
    11:40–13:00 Session 5 – Chair: Dr Reena Sastri
    • Professor Robert Hampson (Royal Holloway, University of London): ‘Misremembered Lyrics: Denise Riley and Ken Edwards’
    • Dr Victoria Sheppard (Southampton University): ‘“Pulled at by voices”: Experiments with Voice in Contemporary British Poetry’
    • Professor Jennifer Ashton (University of Illinois at Chicago): ‘Mainstreaming the Avant-Garde: Sincerity and Form in Recent US-Based Poetry’
    13:00–14:00 Lunch
    14:00–15:30 Session 6 and closing comments – Chair: Dr Rachel Buxton
    • Dr Stephen James (University of Bristol): ‘The authentic eccentric: Geoffrey Hill’
    • Will May (Balliol College, Oxford): ‘“Drawn by everything in turn”: displacing the lyric “I” in the poetry of Stevie Smith’
    • Kit Fan (University of York): ‘Thom Gunn and the Occasions of Poetry’