Centre for Studies in Literature

Poems are being written

“The Scenes, Surfaces and Textures of Creativity in Contemporary Literature”

On the 28th and 29th of November 2013, the Centre for Studies in Literature at the University of Portsmouth celebrated contemporary poetry.

On the 28th of November, the Centre sponsored a free public event featuring a book launch, wine reception and a poetry reading by the award-winning poet Simon Armitage, returning to his alma mater. Blackwell’s Bookshop was present with a display stand of recent publications by members of the Centre for Studies in Literature. Read more about the event.

The Centre for Studies in Literature’s seventh Annual Symposium took place on the 29th of November.

Symposium 2013

The topic this year was ‘Poems Are Being Written: the Scenes, Surfaces and Textures of Creativity in Contemporary Literature’. The keynote speakers at the event were Michael Wyndham Thomas, Kerry Featherstone and David Herd.

In recent years, while there has been what Marjorie Perloff calls a ‘dismissal of the first-person “voice”’ as the ‘foundational principle of lyric poetry’, there has also been a new interest in the specificity and particularity of the scene of poetry writing, or what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick calls, ‘the tableau of the poem itself’. Writers and critics have been concerned with how the writing process leaves its trace on the words of the poem, but also on their arrangement on the page; for, according to Susan Howe, ‘In the precinct of Poetry, a word, the space around a word, each letter, every mark, silence, or sound volatizes an inner law of form’. With the words of these writers in mind, the symposium organisers welcomed papers on topics including: the foregrounding of scenes of writing and/or reading in contemporary poetry; the emphasis on visuality and materiality in contemporary poetry’s negotiation between immediacy and formality, and spontaneity and orchestration; and the representation, fetishisation, visualisation and framing of the poet’s creative process in contemporary literature and culture.

Symposium 2013 Programme.

For more information please contact the organisers: 


image: Coruscation by Jenny Downing, used under a creative commons licence.

Poems are being written