Lancaster UniversityGraduate School
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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Contemporary Poetry in Public Spaces

Date: 22 May 2013 Time: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Venue: Lancaster University County Main SR 1

Poems are often found in public spaces: they are inscribed on buildings or recited in public transport, and poets occupy public squares or public buildings to contest hegemonic discourses and methods of distribution. Conversely, the experience of public spaces is often to be found in poems: the rhythms of poems pick up those of the cities that surround them, and landscapes or built environments find their ways into metaphoricity by way of imagery. Public space becomes a home to poems that embrace medial hybridity, heteroglossia, and interdiscursivity.

The role of the poet is remade by poetry in public space, especially where poetry moves away from lyrical subjectivity and instead, pluralizes voice, introduces rhetorical and persuasive devices and, in short, emphasizes alterity over identity, and plurality and difference over singularity. This opens up poetry to social movements, who draw on poetic language as an alternative to hegemonic political discourses.

The interdisciplinary workshop Contemporary Poetry in the Public Spaces at Lancaster brings together researchers from the UK and Canada for an afternoon of presentations and debates on Contemporary poetry in the public space. Contributions address poetics, poetry and poetic practices from the Americas and Europe, through an interdisciplinary and comparative framework and from a transnational and transcultural perspective.

Keynote Lecture: Professor Daniel Chamberlain, Queens University: Radical Meeting Places, Poetry and the Public Domain

This event is supported by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation and by the Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research, European Languages and Cultures


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