Modern Poetry

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The Centre for Modern Poetry has a long history of hosting regular poetry gigs, international conferences and participating in local festivals. We contribute to a weekly arts programme, Free Range, including regular poetry slots, and hold regular events in other forums, including Canterbury’s longstanding Sounds New music festival, and the Kent-Royal Holloway poetics seminar series. Recent visiting speakers and performers have included: Peter Gizzi, Marilyn Hacker, Michael Heller, John Kinsella, Tony Lopez, Redell Olsen, Richard Price, Matthew Welton, Sean Bonney, Stephen Collis, Keston Sutherland, Denise Riley, Carol Watts.

In 2010 we hosted Charles Olson 2010, an international conference to mark Olson’s centenary. In 2011 we helped found In 2012 the Centre contributed to the 3rd Biennial Conference of the European Avant-Garde and Modernism Conference which was hosted at the University of Kent – we were delighted to welcome 300 speakers from over 30 countries. In 2013 we organised a rich and successful symposium on the San Francisco Poets, and in 2014 the Centre hosted, at the ICA, a retrospective of the late Amiri Baraka’s work, with contributions from Paul Kilroy, Linton Kwesi Johnson and others. In 2016 we will be co-hosting a conference on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Frank O’Hara’s death.

The Modern Poetry Reading Group, meanwhile, meets once a month to discuss a single poet or publication. In previous years we have considered Charles Olson, Susan Howe, Roy Fisher and Ed Dorn.

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