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The English Poetic Tradition

  • Centre for Stories 100 Aberdeen Street Northbridge, WA, 6003 Australia (map)
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In the most famous literary essay of the twentieth century T S Eliot wrote of “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, arguing that no poet’s workhas its meaning alone. This discussion group, led by Emeritus Professor Dennis Haskell will examine the tradition of poetry from Great Britain from a contemporary poet’s point of view as well as that of a literary scholar. It is aimed at a greater understanding of the poetry of the past and the way the history of English poetic practice informs contemporary writing. The work of the major poets of the past (up to the mid-twentieth century) will be discussed in relation to the social, intellectual and aesthetic currents of the time, some of which are vastly different to today’s situation and some of which bear a striking resemblance. However, they all form part of the background for contemporary poets writing in English (whether they know it or not) and offer techniques which might be adaptable for the present.

The programme comprises twelve sessions of 90 minutes each, meeting fortnightly; it is anticipated that each session will begin with a talk on the poets and the period by Dennis Haskell, followed by group discussion. Although the meetings will be relatively informal, the learning is cumulative so participants are required to enrol for the whole programme. Participants will be asked to read a selection of the major authors from each period before each meeting. There will be a maximum of 20 participants and preference will be given to members of WAPI. The total cost is $120; all proceeds go to WAPI and Centre for Stories.

Time: Wednesdays 6.00-8.00pm, fortnightly beginning 1 November; there will be a break over Christmas, for a period to be decided by the group.

Click here to download the program.

The English Poetic Tradition
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Earlier Event: October 31
Short Story Book Club: The Boat
Later Event: November 6
The Monthly