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Durham University

Centre for Poetry and Poetics

Lafcadio Hearn Cultural Centre

We work with the Lafacadio Hearn Cultural Centre at Teikyo University of Japan in Durham to bring attention to the life and work of this important cosmopolitan voice in late nineteenth and early twentieth century poetry. In 2015 the CPP co-organised a symposium at Teikyo and exhibition at Ushaw College to celebrate his legacy and to inspire new research.

Who was Lafcadio Hearn?

Lafcadio Hearn, known in Japan as Koizumi Yakumo, was born in 1850 on the Greek island of Levkás. He grew up in Dublin and was educated at Ushaw College, Durham, where his name appears in college records as Patrick Hearn. Hearn travelled the world as a writer and journalist, but is best known for his articles and creative writing inspired by Japan. His essays and others were collected and published as Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894). From 1896 to 1903, Hearn was Professor of English Literature at the Imperial University of Tokyo. Four books written at this time reflect his deep interest in the literature and culture of Japan: Exotics and Retrospective (1898), In Ghostly Japan (1899), Shadowings (1900), and A Japanese Miscellany (1901). Kwaidan (1904), published the year he died, includes Hearn’s stories of the supernatural.

Poster for Lafcadio Hearn Exhibition and Symposium, 2015

Poster for Lafcadio Hearn Exhibition and Symposium, 2015