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22 November 2023 - 22 November 2023
1:00PM - 2:00PM
All welcome to our next online research seminar.
Stranger than Death
In April 1931, modernist poet Hart Crane arrived in Mexico City. Between mood swings, dire financial difficulties, and a rotating series of personal estrangements, Hart was struggling to make the parts of a fragmentary world cohere. This move to Mexico was one in a long list of attempts to find security. In just over a year he would be dead.In July 1932, Grace Crane picks up the morning paper. Scanning the headlines, she is halted on page five. Her son's eyes stare back at her, tinted pink by the thin paper: 'POET LOST AT SEA FROM SHIP'.
Hart Crane's death has accrued a morbid mythology, often overshadowing discussions of his work. In Stronger than Death Francesca Bratton focuses instead on Hart's vivid life and his turbulent final year among the vibrant artistic and political communities of Mexico City. Interwoven with Hart's story is that of his mother, exploring Grace's lifelong frustrated creativity and, after his death, her attempts to reach him through seance. Finally, the book explores Hart's legacy as a queer man and as a poet, informed by Francesca's responses to his work during her own periods of mental illness.
Part-memoir, part-biography, Stronger than Death is a profound and lyrical meditation on grief, mental health, enduring love and the power of poetry.
Zoom details: https://durhamuniversity.zoom.us/j/91651029965?pwd=Qys1OGxkMGNsN0NhTVZNSW1UY3M1Zz09
Meeting ID: 916 5102 9965
Please contact Dr Laura McKormick Kilbride (email@example.com) or Dr Fraser Riddell (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Kildare Arts Writer in Residence at the Department of English, Maynooth University
Dr Francesca Bratton is a writer based in Maynooth. Her debut, Stronger than Death: Hart Crane's Last Year in Mexico has been described as 'brilliant and unsettling' (The Irish Times). She is the recipient of two Arts Council of Ireland awards: the Next Generation Award in Literature (2022-23) and an Agility Award (2023-24), for work on her next book. Her academic monograph, Visionary Company: Hart Crane and Modernist Periodicals was published by EUP in 2022.