New Generation to Next Generation 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry

Principal Investigator(s): Dr Niall Munro


Project start: March 2015

Project finish: March 2015

About us

This two-day conference, organized by the Institute of English Studies and Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre in collaboration with the Poetry Book Society, looks back at twenty years of New and Next Generation Poets. Its aim is to explore the legacy and impact of the scheme, but also use it as a focus to think more generally about contemporary poetry.

With panels discussing a wide range of poets, talks about the publishing and reviewing of contemporary poetry, and a poetry reading by Nick Drake and Helen Mort, this event offers a chance to consider the state and direction of British and Irish poetry now. The keynote address will be by Dr David Wheatley (University of Aberdeen), author of Contemporary British Poetry, and also includes a free public event on Friday evening with a reading and discussion by a 'cross-generational' panel of poets: Ian Duhig, Patience Agbabi, and Hannah Lowe.


Time Details
10.30- 11.00: Registration
11.00 -12.15:

Panel 1: Promoting an inclusive poetics

Chair: Wim Van Mierlo 
Afrodita Nikolova (University of Cambridge), ‘The place of performance poetry in Britain in light of the Next Generation Poets: collaboration or corruption of the poetry canon?’
Peter Raynard (Independent scholar) ‘The poetry of working class lives’
Jane Dowson (De Montfort University), ‘Carol Ann Duffy and the democratization of contemporary poetry’

12.15 -13.00: Lunch (please arrange your own lunch)
13.00 -14.15:

Panel 2: Voices of protest: women’s poetry across the generations

Chair: Jane Dowson
Sarah Corbett (Lancaster University), ‘A New Kind of Intimacy: Intimacy, Exposure and Rebellion in the poetry of Susan Wicks, Deryn Rees-Jones and Melissa Lee-Houghton’
Jennifer Wong (Oxford Brookes University), ‘Questioning place and identity: what the next generation women poets tell us’
Anna Hewitt (University of Reading) ‘“The Mad Cow is a Vogue Model”: Jo Shapcott, Gender Politics, and the New Generation Poets List’

14.15 -15.30:

Panel 3: Reviewing contemporary poetry

Chair: Aviva Dautch
Suzi Feay (Independent on Sunday)
Jeremy Noel-Tod (University of East Anglia and reviewer for various publications)

15.30 -15.45: Refreshments
15.45-17.00: Panel 4: The roles of the reader/the roles of the poet Chair: Niall Munro
Martin Kratz (Manchester Metropolitan University), ‘Poem Titles and the Title of Poet: Contemporary Titling Practices in the Poetry of Leontia Flynn and Michael Symmons Roberts’
Matt Bryden (Independent scholar),’Glyn Maxwell – Working Off Radar’
Bridget Vincent (University of Melbourne), ‘The Poet’s List: Alice Oswald as Anthologist’
18.00 -19.00:

John Coffin Memorial Event: a cross-generation reading and discussion by New/Next/Next Generation 2014 Poets (open to the public as well as delegates)

Ian Duhig (New Generation, 1994)
Patience Agbabi (Next Generation, 2004)
Hannah Lowe (Next Generation 2014)

You can register for this Reading on the Lectures and Readings page.

Next Generation Poets 2014: a celebration

To celebrate the latest list of twenty Next Generation 2014 poets, conference delegates are encouraged to attend the Poetry Book Society’s special Next Generation 2014 reading on Sunday 15 March in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre at 6.30pm. Readings by the poets will be introduced by Ian McMillan. To book tickets (£12/£10, concessions 50% off), visit the Southbank Centre websiteor telephone 0844 875 0073. You can find more details about the event on the PBS website.

Conference organising committee

  • Jane Dowson (De Montfort University)
  • Kathryn Gray (Aberystwyth University)
  • Anna Hewitt (University of Reading)
  • Chris Holifield (Poetry Book Society)
  • Niall Munro (Oxford Brookes University)
  • Stephen Regan (Durham University)
  • Wim Van Mierlo (Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London)