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Shifting Territories: Modern and Contemporary Poetics of Place


  • University of London (map)

Shifting Territories will consider the recent wave of new nature writing and poetry which goes beyond traditional representations of landscape to venture into borderlands, edgelands and urban environments: a development which has been addressed in texts like Granta 102: The New Nature Writing (Summer, 2008), Tim Dee’s ‘Nature Writing’ essay in Archipelago 5 (Winter, 2010–2011) and Poetry Review 102: The Poetry of Place (Spring, 2012). The conference aims to determine if this current poetic and critical interest in poetry of place is a direct response to environmental crises or whether it is merely a refashioning of what poetry has always taken as its subject. By creating a space for dialogue about modern and contemporary poets’ use of place, we seek to address the development of this subject in the 20th and 21st-centuries. The conference will examine the ways in which poets use language to negotiate the relentlessly shifting concepts of identity and place and how particular locations, or states of flux, have shaped their aesthetic.

Poets and keynote speakers:

David Morley (EnchantmentThe Invisible Kings) – Poetry reading with images

Eóin Flannery (Oxford Brookes University) – Listen to the Leaves: The Ecologies of Contemporary Irish Poetry

Jo Shapcott (Of MutabilityTender TaxesMy Life Asleep) – Poetry reading