Photo by Juno Gemes
Chair in Poetry at the University of Technology, Sydney, Professor Robert Adamson, will reconsider poets whose works have been "brushed aside in the onward rush of the post-modern and fashion" in a series of six lectures beginning on Thursday 7 June.
The first lecture, Something Absolutely Splendid, will look closely at the life and work of Francis Webb and discuss how it came to influence Professor Adamson’s first book.
"Judith Wright said that Webb wrote in a landscape of light and shadow, where his poems 'tower like whirlwinds of words', often difficult but always convincing," he said.
"The poem is a medium for the life of the spirit and I will explore this concept using Francis Webb's poems as examples." Professor Adamson said that during the series he would re-evaluate several great poets whose poetry had been unjustly under-rated.
"I want to look at how some of our finest poets are poets of 'derivation' as much as 'inspiration' and why these terms have become unfashionable. I will trace the ideas of reality and imagination in their poetry and what Wallace Stevens called 'The Necessary Angel'."
Robert Adamson has published over 20 books of poetry including the triple prize-winning 1990 collection, The Clean Dark. His autobiography, Inside Out, was published in 2004. He was awarded the Christopher Brennan Award for a lifetime's achievement. The Goldfinches of Baghdad was the Age Poetry Book of The Year in 2007.
The Golden Bird won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry in 2009. In 2011 he was awarded the Patrick White Award and the Blake Prize for Poetry. His latest book of poetry, The Kingfisher's Soul, was published by Bloodaxe Books UK.
Funded by the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), the UTS Chair of Poetry is the first of its kind in Australia and is intended to promote the study, recognition and wider appreciation of poetry. The lecture series is presented by CAL and UTS and supported by the UTS Centre for New Writing, Creative Practices and the Creative Practices and Cultural Economy Research Strength.
The lecture is a free public event, but attendees are requested to register online.