Whether it’s Virginia Woolf crafting a playful biography of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s dog in Flush, Clarice Lispector pondering the metaphysics of chickens in ‘The Egg and the Chicken’, or Marianne Moore with her elegant swans and pigeons, modernism is quite the menagerie of poetic animals. As part of an interdisciplinary conference on Beastly Modernisms, hosted by the University of Glasgow in September 2019, we invite friends, colleagues and writers alike to submit their own creative take on a beastly modernist poetics.
In addition to two days of keynotes and panels, Beastly Modernisms will host a poetry evening at The Poetry Club on Thursday 12th September, 2019. This event will be open to the public, and presents an opportunity for exploring the critical resonance of modernist animal studies within a more informal, performance context. Alongside several commissioned poets, we are looking for writers of all backgrounds, academic or otherwise, to apply to perform at the event.
In line with the conference’s creative-critical knowledge exchange, responses may involve a direct engagement with animal-focused work within modernist aesthetics, a revisioning of modernist animality within the contemporary moment or something completely original, perhaps spawned by a relevant text from the past that catches your eye. We are looking for writing that devours and challenges, chases the margins, acts parasitically with its source material, questions the relationship between human and animal, pushes the scale and scope of ‘modernism’ and stimulates appetite for a beastlier modernist canon.
How to apply:
Please send a maximum of three poems on the theme of ‘Beastly Modernisms’ to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 January 2019, alongside a 50-word author bio. You might also mention any context to your work and how it engages with particular modernist texts, although this is only suggested. Please be aware that reading slots are likely to be 5 minutes per poet, and slots will be very limited so do send us your best work! If you so wish on the night, you can bring your favourite existing animal modernisms poem to recite as part of your reading.