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POETRY VERSUS SPEECH WITH MICHAEL SCHMIDT

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Carcanet Press Ltd

30 Cross Street

Manchester

M2 7AQ

United Kingdom

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An open conversation exploring how poetry relates to the spoken word.

David Antin used to talk poems, record and transcribe them. The ‘persona’ poem assumes a voice, and poets are often urged to 'find your voice'. Writers like William Carlos Williams seem to come close to intimate or public speech. But if we look closely at poems, we find that what is memorable is not their spokenness but something else, which has to do with sound patterns of a different kind.

You are invited to bring two poems, one in which you like the sound, one in which you feel the sound works against the poem. These can be your own poems or by other writers, not exceeding, say, 14 lines...


Michael Schmidt is the founder and editorial/managing director of Carcanet Press and the general editor of PN Review. He was Professor of Poetry at the University of Glasgow and a writer in residence at St John's College, Cambridge. Currently he is a visiting professor at the University of Bolton. Reviewing The Novel: a biography in the Times Higher Educational Supplement, Robert Eaglestone described Schmidt as 'a fascinating figure in contemporary British and world literature’. He recently published The Novel: a biography, a companion volume to Lives of the Poets (1999) and Lives of the First Poets (2005). In 2009 his Collected Poems appeared, and in 2013 The Stories of My Life. John Ashbery wrote: 'Vibrant, radiant, Michael Schmidt’s poetry is steeped in modernist tradition (Yeats and Eliot) and questingly new. The result is a passionate discourse that is at once earthy and numinous, from which “flows that unusual grace which is rooted in muscle, / Which comes from the marrow and lymph, which is divine . . .”

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Carcanet Press Ltd

30 Cross Street

Manchester

M2 7AQ

United Kingdom

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