‘Serious Play’ promises an evening of enlivening and inspiring poetry, written and performed by King’s students, chaired by Ruth Padel and Declan Ryan. King’s College London has always been deeply connected to poetry. John Keats, who died in 1821, studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital, now part of King’s. One of Britain’s most distinguished 20th-century poets, Maureen Duffy, is a King’s alumna, and many academic tutors here, from Julian Brown, Professor of Palaeography 1960- 1985, to Clare Brant, current Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture, have also been,or still are, practising poets. The current Principal, scientist Ed Byrne, has published three volumes of poetry himself. Under his leadership, King’s is promoting and cherishing poetry through many channels including a new international online magazine Wild Court and a poetry reading series ‘Poetry And…’ which spotlights poetry’s power to connect across all boundaries.
Undergraduates studying English at King’s focus on poetry from the start with a unique and seriously playful First Year module, ‘Reading Poetry’, in which different members of the English Department offer their own insights into poetry. Focusses of this module include: ‘Poetry is Song’, ‘Poetry is Free’, ‘Poetry is Global’, ‘Poetry is Everywhere’, ‘Poetry is Voice’, ‘Poetry is Shaped’, ‘Poetry is Making Strange’.
In that spirit, this event presents poetry as ‘Serious Play’. ‘Poetry’ is one of three creative writing courses run by the English Department. Taught by Ruth Padel and Declan Ryan, this challenging course is hugely popular. Come along to this event and lend your support to students who will be reading poems they’ve written as a part of this course.
RUTH PADEL is Reader in Poetry at King’s, and Chair of the 2016 TS Eliot Prize Judges. In November 2016 Chatto & Windus will publish her tenth poetry collection, Tidings A Christmas Journey.
DECLAN RYAN is Visiting Lecturer at King’s and Poetry Editor at Ambit Poetry Magazine. Faber published his debut pamphlet of poems last year and he is founder-editor of Wild Court,www.wildcourt.co.uk, an international journal of poetry and poetry discussion.