Wednesday, January 05, 2011

MANCHESTER: Poetry In Motion?

Wednesday, 19th January, 2011, 6.45pm (light buffet from 6.30pm)
Blackwell University Bookshop,
The Precinct,
Oxford Road,

With poetry enjoying a resurgence in the public arena, the Manchester Salon is hosting a debate on the relevance of poetry to our everyday lives.

Poetry has not been short on headlines recently, from the controversy over the election of the Oxford Professor of Poetry to poet Michael Rosen’s withering attacks on the education system.

On the big screen poets have surfaced in Bright Star (Keats) and even pop artists are getting in on the act, with Mike Scott of Waterboys fame setting music to verse by WB Yeats.

But while many praise the therapeutic qualities of poetry in helping us cope with the stresses of the hectic, 24-7 modern world, some recoil when poems such as Duffy’s ‘Education for Leisure’ have an apparently more disturbing message.

Where can we draw a line between opening up difficult and complex works of literature to an unfamiliar audience, and simply being patronising? Is seeking relevance a response to the challenge to ‘make it new’ for another generation, or does it risk losing some of the original value and meaning? In a climate where so much of academia and education is encouraged to demonstrate its ‘impact’, can or should poetry justify itself? What is poetry for and how should it be taught?

The discussion will be led by Angelica Michelis, senior lecturer in the department of English at Manchester Metropolitan University and by Dr Anthony Rowland, professor of literary studies at the University of Salford where he teaches creative writing and literature.

For further details on the event and Manchester Salon’s activities, contact Simon Belt at

No comments: