Monday, November 06, 2017

Edge Poetics: My Keynote and Other events

Edge Poetics

A Symposium on Innovative and Speculative Creative Writing Practices in Higher Education

Me, with 'blogpost 5' on show

4th November 2017

10.00-17.30, with a public reading at 18.00

Venue: University of Bedfordshire, Luton Campus

With keynotes from Professor Robert Sheppard (Edge Hill University) and Nicholas Royle (Manchester Metropolitan University), and contributions from Dr Helen Marshall (Anglia Ruskin University). In the evening we all read, along with Tim Jarvis. I launched Twitters for a Lark with delegate Simon Perril.

Just back from Edge Poetics: A great day: good company: lots of energy; plenty of ideas: everybody moaning about the tension between trying to nurture creativity and the obstructive nature of university research culture + empty but burgeoning administration. But also a recognition of the joys of what we do (well). 
You can read all parts of my drafts of a keynote but I didn't use them all. The material at the end of post four ('The Formal Splinter') below was (wisely I think) substituted by a different text. (Hopefully a final piece will be published in a polished form in a publication, so I'll leave the revisions until then.) It seemed to go down well. 

Keynote Part one here:

Keynote Part two here:

Keynote Part three:  

Keynote Part four:

Keynote Part five:

                Till relatively recently, Creative Writing in Higher Education has been dominated by a set of techniques and tropes derived from realism, and also by the expectations of mainstream literary fiction. Increasingly, however, aspects of innovative and speculative poetics are finding their way into the classroom.

                This one-day symposium will ask: what are the benefits for the pedagogy of Creative Writing of writing practices drawn from experimental and fantastic traditions; and what does it mean to be a writer interested in such traditions who also teaches Creative Writing in academe? 

Nicholas Royle's keynote (like mine) was a reflection upon teaching, in his case through a structural miming of BS Johnson's The Unfortunates. I'd wondered who'd bought that copy in the Bold St Oxfam. Now I know. Nick. Marvellous Liverpool detail from this excellent Manchester writer. I'd been away less than 24 hours and I was already nostalgic.  
Nick reading his speech

Thanks to Conference organisers Tim Jarvis, Keith Jebb, and Lesley McKenna (University of Bedfordshire) 

The Necessity of Poetics was a text produced over some years, in different editions from Ship of Fools, but it is serialised, in one version, here:

Keith's students told me I was 'notorious' for it! They have to study it. I felt scowls in my direction!