University of Cambridge Contemporary Research Group

Month: February 2014

TRINITY LITERARY SOCIETY POETRY READINGS – Michael Longley & Don Paterson (5 March), Robin Robertson (12 March)

We are excited to announce that Trinity Literary Society will be hosting
two poetry readings this term by Michael Longley and Don Paterson (5th
March) and Robin Robertson (12th March), both at 6.15 in the OCR.

MICHAEL LONGLEY and DON PATERSON, Weds 5th March, 6.15 Trinity OCR

Described by Seamus Heaney as "a keeper of the artistic estate, a
custodian of griefs and wonders", Michael Longley's work has handled
subjects as diverse as Homeric literature, the landscape of
Carrigskeewaun, jazz and the politics of Northern Ireland over a span of
nearly fifty years. Praised for his formal power, and 'meticulous,
unpretentious technique', his most recent collection, A Hundred Doors,
won the Poetry Now Award in September 2012, and has been described as
displaying 'proof in the continuity of poetic language with the world'.

His other collections include The Echo Gate (1979), Gorse Fires (1991)
which won the Whitbread Poetry Prize, and The Weather in Japan (2000),
awarded both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Hawthornden Prize. He received
the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2001 and was made a CBE in the 2010
Birthday Honours.

Named one of the Poetry Society's 'New Generation Poets' in 1994, Don
Paterson's work has been praised for combining "postmodern playfulness
with a sense of yearning for the transcendental". Paterson has said he
finds truth not in beauty but in style, and his writing - from the towns
and empty football pitches of his early work to the more inward-facing
elegies of recent collections - mixes the colloquial with the erudite to
create a sharp and distinctive voice.

Since his 1993 Forward Prize-winning debut Nil Nil, he has published
several collections including God's Gift to Women (1997), which won the
T. S. Eliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and his Landing
Light (2003), which won both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread
Poetry Award. He was made OBE in 2008 and was awarded the Queen's Gold
Medal for Poetry in 2010. He currently teaches at the school of English
at the University of St Andrews and is poetry editor for Picador.


ROBIN ROBERTSON, Weds 12th March, 6.15, Trinity Old Combination Room

Robin Robertson's work has been described as pitching 'the power and
wonder of nature against the frailty and failure of the human'.
Although human presence is frequently surreal and dislocated, it remains
at the heart of his work. Robertson is a poet who finds song in silence,
hope in a retreat into the 'homelessness' of the wild, all in a
meticulously exact language, described as "simultaneously spare and

He is the first poet to have won all three categories in the Forward
Prize: Best First Collection for his 1997 debut A Painted Field, Best
Collection for Swithering in 2006, and Best Single Poem for 'At Roane
Head' from 2010's The Wrecking Light. His most recent collection is Hill
of Doors, described by the Guardian as 'a collection of flinty beauty'.
He lives in London and is fiction and poetry editor for Jonathan Cape.


Parnell Lecture 25th Feb: Clair Wills on contemporary Irish poetry


Tuesday 25th February
5.15 p.m.
Cripps Theatre, Cripps Court, Magdalene College


‘Late Style Irish Style: Contemporary Irish Poetry and the Problem of

Clair Wills is Professor of Irish Literature at Queen Mary University of London and this year's Parnell Fellow, Magdalene College. Recent
publications include Dublin 1916: The Siege of the GPO (2009) and That
Neutral Island: A History of Ireland during the Second World War (2007).

Cripps Court is on the left fifty yards or so up Chesterton
Lane/Chesterton Road from the traffic lights at the foot of Castle Hill.

4th March: SEAMUS HEANEY celebration advance booking

There will be a day of lectures, poetry readings and discussion to
commemorate and assess the achievement of SEAMUS HEANEY, on Tuesday, 4
March in the Sir Humphrey Cripps Theatre, Cripps Court, Magdalene

Among participants are the leading Irish historian Roy Foster, the poets Michael Longley, Gillian Clarke, Bernard O'Donoghue, Don Paterson and Leontia Flynn, and the critics Edna Longley and Declan Kiberd.

For a full programme see

This e-mail comes early because, although the sessions are open to all
and free of charge, advance booking - which can be done electronically - is requested, by 21 February.  See

Any questions to John Kerrigan on jk10023

19th Feb: J. H. PRYNNE and IAN BRINTON: “Cambridge poets and their papers”

Wednesday 19 February 2014, at 5.30 p.m., in the University Library’s
Milstein Seminar Rooms

The poet and literary critic J. H. Prynne, together with teacher and
author Ian Brinton, will speak to the Friends of Cambridge University
Library on the Cambridge Poets’ Papers project, which aims to archive
the papers of prominent Cambridge poets in the University Library.

Non-members are welcome; the admission charge is £3.50, or free to
junior members of the University.

This event will coincide with a display of materials relating to John
Riley's poem 'Czargrad' in the Library's Entrance Hall: for more
information see the link from <> from
17 February.


17th Feb: Drama and Performance: Michael Byrne on ‘Entropy’

Next week's Drama and Performance Seminar takes place in the Judith E
Wilson Studio, English Faculty on Monday 17th Feb at 5pm. The week’s
theme is ‘Entropy’ and Michael Byrne will be kick-starting our
conversation with a presentation titled: Revisiting Helpmann's Lost

The history of classical ballet could be contextualised as a history of
'lost works', enforcing a belief that dance is unlike the other arts
through its inability to leave a record in the form of a tangible object
such as a painting, a script or a musical score. This was evidenced by
the disappearance of Robert Helpmann’s allegorical dance-dramas 'Miracle
in the Gorbals' (1944) and 'Adam Zero' (1946), where the closing
revivals at the Royal Opera House in London rendered the productions’
choreographical imprints traceless. Through an initiative conceived and
championed by David Drew (a long-serving member of the Royal Ballet for
over fifty years) these 1940s productions are being ‘reawakened’ using
the memories of surviving cast members aged between seventy-five and
ninety. This presentation therefore aims to display filmed extracts from
the rehearsal/workshops completed thus far, and encourage further
discussion on how the mature dancer’s transmission of historical and
embodied knowledge provides an opportunity to problematise the
relationships between dance and drama during (re)performance.

Michael Byrne is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge,
investigating the role of the senior performer and creativity in dance,
with a particular focus on the regenerative processes involved in
British narrative ballet. Having completed his undergraduate degree in
South Africa, Michael furthered his work in performance studies at the
Royal Academy of Music, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and King's College
London. He continues to perform as an actor with the Royal Ballet.


© 2024 Contemporaries

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑