Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Poetry, Poetics and Professors

Last night was the Inaugural Lecture of Professor Robert Sheppard at Edge Hill University. The lecture was entitled Poetics as Conjecture and Provocation and was divided into four sections: i) Writing as Inaugural ii) Measuring Experience iii) Doing Poetics and iv) Poems

The lecture was wonderful,and Robert was in top form, looking rather dashing in his suit and tie. Scrubs up well, as they say, although the jacket and tie were discarded just before the poetry reading! It was inspiring, complex, enlightening, challenging, and funny - all the things a good lecture should be. Delivered with impeccable timing and humility, even the baby in attendance, 6 month old Paul, made appreciative comments in all the right places!

The final section was a reading of four poems, and whilst I feel that Sheppard has mellowed somewhat in his approach, this is for me, a most favourable development. Admittedly, a lot of avant-garde, postmodern poetry goes clean over my head, so I was delighted to find last night's offering accessible and witty, with a sharpness and skill in language I can only dream of acquiring. I have plenty of ideas and thoughts to chew over now, at any rate.

The lecture was well attended. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with lots of people I haven't seen for ages, and felt quite priviledged to be surrounded by so many academics, writers, poets, journalists etc. I also met some new people, most memorably Eddie from Dublin, so Eddie, if you ever read this - lovely meeting you! A select group made it to the pub afterwards where we declined the pub quiz only to find the questions were about Ireland, and that Eddie knew all the answers. Bugger!

Today I had a meeting with my PhD supervisor and we had a look at my funding proposal, which of course needed yet more nicks and tucks, and some important additions - so the poetics lecture really did come in useful (Thank you, Robert). But I have now finished it, and despite the one sentence I hate, I'm putting it to bed, or rather sending it off on its merry way through referees and various departmental institutions. All of which means I can get on with writing my novel, and concentrating on my PhD.

I'm off now, to get in touch with my domestic side i.e. cook dinner, so have fun y'all!

p.s. You can read Robert Sheppard's Blogzine here.


liz fenwick said...

Sounds like a great lecture. I miss the buzz you get from being around people who stimulate your brain in different ways......good luck on the proposal.

hesitant scribe said...

Hi Liz,

Yes - stimulate the brain is right, although inducing a cerebral haemorrhage may also be right! It was food for thought with massive chewy bits, little splintery bits that get stuck in your teeth, and flavours that rip your taste buds out one by one!

As for the proposal - it is in now and I can do no more! Argh!