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Review: Kei Miller, A Light Song of Light, New Walk 2, 2011

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Publications | 0 comments

The ‘Some Definitions for…’ poems (definitions of song, night and three considerations of light) are in the vein of jerky Wikipedia style consciousness. Song, for example, is a common surname in Korea, a bankrupt low cost airline, a bargain and ‘any sound that escapes, also anything that escapes; a passage / out, the fling up of hands’.  The key word, like a term typed into a search engine, is merely a password to the possibilities inherent in meaning and language. Photo by TerryBrock (Flickr). CC BY-NC 2.0.

Interview: Gwyneth Lewis, New Walk 1 (2010)

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AP: When you returned to your Welsh murder mystery poem when writing Keeping Mum you found that your translations actually produced entirely new poems. Is bilingualism ultimately a creative way to live and write? GL: Well, I think the real leap isn’t from one language to another but from inarticulacy into a language, whichever one. It’s always the in-between two things that’s interesting, never the destination, which is why translation has become the image for poetry. I think it’s the particles that make the meaning. I mean you kind of jump and you lose a positron or a photon or two and you become a whole new chemical. So it’s that continual transformation that’s interesting to me. Languages are not guilty or innocent in themselves, they are different phases of poetic composition. They’re simply constructed in a different way because of the order in which I acquired Welsh, then...

Review: New Directions in Feminist Criticism, Peer English 6, 2011

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Publications | 0 comments

Parallels between Lerner’s Reading Women’s Poetry and Feminism, Literature and Rape Narratives may seem hard to argue. One engages with theory in order to re-theorize atrocity, while the other dismisses feminist theory from the outset and heads for a more popular, easy to read discussion. One deals with writers who are dead and makes a case for their remembrance and value, while the other takes more recent writing and even popular television and argues its value to contemporary feminism. While these texts take vastly different routes in their consideration of writing by women, their scope – across history in Lerner’s case and across borders and taboos in Brigley Thompson and Gunne’s – make them valuable new additions to the field.

Review: Matters of Life, Death and Trauma, Poetry Review 100.4 (2010)

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Publications | 0 comments

Some may have reservations that the voice and narrative first attempted in Petit’s pamphlet, The Wounded Deer – Fourteen poems after Frida Kahlo (2005), could be sustained effectively in the 52 poems of this collection. Yet, taking Kahlo’s canvases as a spur to the imagistic and abstract imagination, Petit establishes a frightening power that presses through the voice of her speaker, Kahlo herself.

PoetCasting

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Projects | 0 comments

Review: Gwyneth Lewis, ‘A Hospital Odyssey’, New Walk 1 (2010)

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Publications | 0 comments

A Hospital Odyssey takes an imaginative expedition through illness and the National Health Service. Poet Gwyneth Lewis has transposed fears from the contemporary world – cancer, helplessness and the waning of a loved one – to a world we can explore and understand only with our own sense of these fears in our reading.

Blogging, Postgraduate Life and the Contemporary Academy

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

This talk will consider how different kinds of blogging can complement postgraduate life and in particular the thesis writing process. With reference to both personal blogs and institutional project blogs, I will address what potential transferable and desirable skills can be gleaned and how these relate to institutional and funder aims in the contemporary academy. Invited talk for ‘Cultural Connections: exchanging knowledge and widening participation in the Humanities’, Digital.Humanities@Oxford Summer School, July 2013.

Humanities, Scholarship and the Digital Age

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

Who cares about the Humanities and why should digital engagement be a key part of modern academic practice? View a reusable Prezi here. Invited talk for ‘Humanities in the 21st Century’ symposium, (Inter-Disciplinary.net at Harris Manchester College, Oxford).

Great Writers Inspire Great Writing

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

Alex Pryce considers how writers are readers, influenced and inspired by the works of other writers. Taking as a starting point the literary afterlife of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and the influence of Romantic John Keats on the First World War Poet Wilfred Owen, Alex discusses how writers are challenged by precursory writers, and introduces some theories of influence from T.S. Eliot and Harold Bloom.” University of Oxford podcast, Great Writers Inspire

Are We Sitting Comfortably? A Review of Feminist Book Reviews

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“Book reviews remain important to authors, publishers, booksellers, peers, academics and general readers. They may shape what gets published, what stays in print, and what or who does not. If reviews are important, then it is also important to consider the health of reviewing culture. Thus, this paper will consider the current feminist book reviewing culture by interrogating reviews found in journals such as Feminist Review and Contemporary Women’s Writing, and feminist blogs and websites such as The F Word and For Book’s Sake.Both outlets present opportunities for engagement with texts by women and about women’s issues. Yet, there are often quite different value judgments made about the usefulness and validity of their reviews. This paper will consider several important facets of journal and online reviewing culture, including the kind of texts under discussion (and available...

Paratextual Politics in Contemporary Northern Irish Poetry

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“This paper will consider the political wrangling played out in some ‘paratexts’ which are key to our understanding of contemporary Northern Irish poetry. In using the term ‘paratext’, I will draw primarily on the ideas of Gerard Genette who first surveyed and explained the use of features such as dedications and epigraphs in his 1997 work Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. These paratexts are on the threshold of the text proper and play a part in our appreciation of it by their often implicit meanings and the reader’s conditioned understanding of them. Further, they are of interest when considering recent Northern Irish work because their prevalence is an ostentatious display of the flourishing tradition’s continued dominance.Dedicatory ‘networks’ have been a noticeable feature in Northern Irish poetry during the late 20th-century, often indicating friendships or artistic...

The Troubles Poetry of Post-Millennial Northern Irish Poets Living in Great Britain

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“This paper will consider how the work of emerging Northern Irish poets who live and work in Great Britain engages with the Northern Irish Troubles. It will interrogate how the geographical displacement of the authors reflects other kinds of distance manifest in the poetry and give critical attention to the peculiarly Northern Irish character of this detachment, considering how this is shaped in particular by the recent history of civil unrest. Taking in particular the work of Colette Bryce (b. 1970) and Nick Laird (b. 1975), two poets who grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and who have lived their adult lives in Great Britain, this paper will identify the characteristics of the expatriate Troubles poem in the post-Troubles era. Thus, this paper engages with the cultural memory and legacy of the period as well as examining the contemporary impact and engagement as it...

Canon/Vacuum: Two Views of Colette Bryce’s Poetry

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“Derry born poet Colette Bryce claims that literary criticism finds change hard, saying ‘[m]ale poets are usually criticised in relation to the canon whereas women poets are often discussed as working in a vacuum’. This paper will offer new critical insights into Bryce’s work by considering her in relation to both the canon and the vacuum. However, in an attempt to change critical paradigms in the manner the poet speaks of, it will address her work within a women’s canon and a men’s vacuum.Following from Alice Entwistle and Jane Dowson’s history of British and Irish twentieth century women’s poetry which identifies Carol Ann Duffy as the major poet in the recent women’s tradition, this study will interrogate the characteristics of such a canon. It will consider the parallels between Bryce and Duffy, exploring in particular the ways in which lesbian sexuality is legitimized in...

Not ‘A Gothic’: Leontia Flynn’s Unstable Genre

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“Hailed for her wry wit and original contemporary lyricism, the 29 poem sequence ‘A Gothic’ from Northern Irish poet Leontia Flynn’s most recent collection Profit and Loss (2011) seems to be a new direction. This paper will consider the conventional Gothic tropes being deployed in this sequence (including madness, doubling, screaming women and haunting) in order to interrogate what they reveal about Flynn’s attitude towards genre, poetics and selfhood. The most unsettling aspect of Flynn’s Gothic is its deliberate fragility. ‘A Gothic’ is barely ‘A Gothic’ at all. While Fred Botting defined Gothic as ‘writing of excess’ (1996), Flynn’s approach subverts this. Her work is restrained; most poems barely exceed two stanzas and make scant reference to the Gothic tropes which supposedly bind them together. The sequence portends to demonstrate Flynn’s approach to legacy, yet family and...

‘This Silence is [Un]Ambiguous’: Female Absence in Northern Irish Poetry Pre-1995

By on Jun 28, 2013 in Papers and Talks | 0 comments

“This paper will investigate the absence of women in contemporary Northern Irish poetry during an era of exceptional poetic activity within the province and the simultaneous, independent, growth of women’s writing outside of the province. The study will explore three kinds of female absence; not being published in single author collections, not being selected for any of the many anthologies of contemporary Ulster verse, and not appearing with any agency in the representations of women in the verse that was being published by famed male poets such as Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Paul Muldoon. Thus, this paper considers both the ‘business’ of poetry production and poetry itself to investigate exclusion and the popular conception that there were no Northern Irish women poets of note but for Medbh McGuckian. The title is taken from a statement by Ruth Hooley,...