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14 June 2023
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
All ages welcome
Hosting the reading will be heologian, philosopher and poet Kevin Hart. The event will feature readings and discussion, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will show the text during readings so that you can read along.
Registration for this online event will cost £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book. All attendees will receive the discount code and how to purchase the book during and after event.
Michael Edwards returned to the English tongue for his last book of poems, At the Brasserie Lipp (2019), after years as a French-language author. English revived many nerves of memory, and in Another Art of Poetry he explores them further, in ten chapters, each consisting of continuously numbered sections. There are 194 sections, so we can read the book as a continuous sequence, as ten discrete poems, or as single lyrics and epistles interspersed.
There is something Augustan about the approach, humorous, alert, like a series of letters and reflections spoken to us. The formal variety of the sections reminds us how well Edwards knows his Eliot, Williams, Pound, his David Jones; he understands modernism and the other resources that inform the grateful poets who value our European and wider traditions. (‘The godsend of influence.’) Originality has to do with origins. ‘Everything has been said,’ he begins, ‘and we come / just at the right moment.’
His English re-visions once familiar landscapes in Wivenhoe, in Paris and elsewhere; it finds his antecedents, it restores access to belief and transcendence. Doorstones, an additional full collection, bridges the gap between At the Brasserie Lipp and this ars poetica.
After studying at Cambridge, where he is now an Honorary Fellow of Christ’s College, Michael Edwards taught at the then ‘New Universities’ of Warwick and Essex (where he succeeded Robert Lowell), before being elected the first British Professor at the Collège de France, Paris. Early volumes of poetry and critical works appeared in England; he then turned to French, for further volumes and numerous books continuing to explore the form of Christianity: Eden-Fall-Heaven, or Life-Death-Resurrection, as illuminating the nature and finality of literature, language, painting, music. He has given poetry readings and lectures in Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East. The first Briton elected to the Académie française, he was knighted in 2014. He lives in Paris and Burgundy.
Kevin Hart is Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Christian Theology in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. His recent scholarly works include Maurice Blanchot on Poetry and Narrative: Ethics of the Image (Bloomsbury, 2023) and L’Image vulnérable: Sur l’image de Dieu chez S. Augustin (PUF, 2021). His Gifford Lectures will appear with Chicago UP in 2023: Lands of Likeness: For a Poetics of Contemplation. The author of eleven volumes of poetry, Kevin Hart has most recently published Wild Track: New and Selected Poems (Notre Dame UP, 2015) and Barefoot (Notre Dame UP, 2018). A memoir of his childhood in London, Dark-Land: Memoir of a Secret Childhood, is forthcoming with Paul Dry Books, and three new collections of poetry are nearing completion.
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