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Durham University

Centre for Poetry and Poetics
Centre for Poetry and Poetics

The Centre for Poetry and Poetics at Durham University promotes the reading, writing and editing of poetry from classical antiquity to the present, as well as the critical exploration of current issues and ideas in literary theory. It incorporates and builds upon the work of the Basil Bunting Poetry Centre, encouraging new research on the valuable Bunting Archive and other important archival collections in the Palace Green Library

The Centre for Poetry and Poetics supports a strong tradition of live poetry events in Durham, including a series of readings each year at Durham Book Festival, for which it appoints the Book Festival Laureate.

The Centre has a University-wide membership and a lively programme of readings, seminars and lectures open to all. Recent speakers of international standing have included Simon Armitage, Paul Muldoon, and Terry Eagleton.

Extinction Elegies: An Evening of Poetry, Music and Ecology

28th October 2018, 18:30 to 20:30, Hatfield College Chapel, Graham Huggan, Alice Tarbuck, Veronica Fisiban, John Kinsella, and Luke Carver Goss

A free public evening of creative and critical writings considering the sixth great extinction, with Graham Huggan, Alice Tarbuck, Veronica Fisiban, John Kinsella, and music by Luke Carver Goss.

there you are, in full-moon’s gauze
two polished eyes orbiting your body’s fluffy gourd
a fluffy gourd with a pulse
a phrase from the earth stuck on your nose
your grace is to present yourself completely within the fissures
before time resumes and you disappear
as if you were never there
or as if I never saw you

- from Stuart Cooke ‘Northern Long-nosed Potoroo’

Extinctions remind us how human life is implicated in the life of others. As extinction becomes central, if not definitional, in our age of degeneracy, it is timely for us to consider how some species are adapting to environmental change and others are not. Species and habitats are not fixed; however, accelerating global environmental change increasingly marks our present moment leading towards the next ‘great extinction’: the sixth on our planet in its history.

The evening will feature:

  • The book launch of Colonialism, Culture, Whales: The Cetacean Quartet (Bloomsbury), which “examines the colonial histories of whaling, their legacies in contemporary tourism, and cultural representations of anxieties about extinction in recent literature, television, and film” (Graham Huggan).

  • Readings from two of the UK’s most exciting nature writers, Alice Tarbuck (Edinburgh) and Veronica Fisiban (Sheffield), including commissioned extinction elegies and new variations on ecopoetics

  • Information about a forthcoming publication on extinction by Little Toller, which includes contributions from Durham University Staff, Red Room Australia, and many more.

  • A commissioned piece of music by Luke Carver Goss, drawing together voices from Australia, Britain and Ireland.

We warmly invite you to bring your thoughts, questions and friends to the conversation. We hope there will also be time for your own contributions!

Further information on the project can be found here: https://www.dur.ac.uk/cce/02/extel/

Alternatively email: thomas.bristow@durham.ac.uk

With thanks to Durham Centre for Poetry and Poetics, English Studies, Durham Centre for Cultural Ecologies, Durham Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience.

Contact thomas.bristow@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

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