Owing to the rapid selling-out of the first day, this is a repeat session. Up until the start of the 20th Century America had only produced a very few poets of real note. All that was to change with the appearance of a remarkable generation of writers, determined to make verse into something new, vital, central to the literary scene, and recognisably American.
This explosion of creative energy was sustained over at least two generations, leading to a proliferation of different schools and movements, from Imagists, Objectivists and Fugitives to Beats, Confessionals and exponents of Projective Verse, with many outstanding individual talents emerging and major cities from New York to San Francisco boasting their own thriving and distinctive poetry scenes.
Having long regarded American poetry of this period as one of the glories of western civilisation, Robert Jones of Topping and Company will lead the first of three planned Study Days surveying the field and offering an accessible introduction to writing which ranges from book length epics and challenging formal experiments to humorous rhymes and song lyrics. Enlivened by colourful biographical anecdotes and the odd musical interlude, the day will include discussion and analysis of individual poems within accounts of their context.
This first session covers the major figures of early American modernism – Ezra Pound, H.D., T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Hart Crane, e.e. cummings, Robinson Jeffers, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams.
The Study Day lasts from 11am till 4pm, including an hours break in which a light vegetarian lunch will be served. Tickets cost £35, inclusive of lunch and a £20 book voucher to be spent in the Bookshop on the day. No advance reading is required.