Conference Abstract Titles

Below are the titles of papers proposed and accepted for presentation at this June’s conference. 


Robin PurvesUniversity of Central Lancashire: “The Reverse of Ekphrasis: Frank O’Hara on Madison Avenue”

Patricia Farrell, Edge Hill University: The Expressive Tension between Text and Painting in the work of Pete Clarke

My paper will interrogate the effects for reading of the transposition of text onto an a-linguistic surface, focussing on the recent collaborative series of prints produced by the visual artist Pete Clarke and the poet Robert Sheppard.

Peter Gillies, University of Plymouth: Scrawling Across an Open Field: Cy Twombly’s Inverted Ekphrasis

This paper will discuss the influence of Charles Olson’s poetics on the work of CyTwombly. It will examine how Twombly connects word to image, writing to drawing, and the historical to the contemporary, while inverting the ekphrastic act in the process of composition.

Juha Virtanen, University of Kent: ‘Memories arrested in space’: Eric Mottram’s Pollock Record

Calum Rodger, University of Glasgow: Writing Between Arts: Ekphrasis in Concrete Poetry

If ekphrasis is the imitation of a plastic art in literature, then how does it operate in concrete poetry, a literature that is already plastic? This paper will provide an answer to this question, drawing support from, among others, the structural linguistics of Roman Jakobson and the remarkable ekphratic poems of Ian Hamilton Finlay.

Defne Cizakca, Nikki Cameron, Sherezade Garcia Rangel, University of Glasgow: Writing Hidden Objects: The Hunterian Museum as a Place of Inspiration

Eddie Tay, Chinese University of Hong Kong: In Hong Kong, In Medias Res: On Beginnings, Intentions and Methods of an Ongoing Poetry and Street Photography Project

Stephen Vincent, San Francisco: Visual art that ‘reads’ poetry.

Louis Goddard, University of Cambridge: De Kooning, O’Hara, Prynne: Towards a Poetics of Paint

What might it mean for a painting to have been influenced by a poem, and, further, for a contemporary poet to write about this process of influence? These questions will be examined in relation to a lecture by the British poet J.H. Prynne which puts forward a connection between Frank O’Hara’s ‘Ode to Willem de Kooning’ (1957) and de Kooning’s Rosy-Fingered Dawn at Louse Point (1963).

Jeannette Siebols, Sydney, Australia: ‘Writing the Painting’

Poetry divested of its linguistic role becomes the language of silence. In this presentation of
paintings, poetry is made visible and ventures where the spoken word can never go.

Simon PerrilDe Montfort University, Leicester: Synaptic foliage: Notes towards a poetics of collage as conductive practice (the dialogue between poems and visual collage).

Lesley Harrison, University of Aberdeen: Ecstatics : a language of birds.

‘Ecstatics’ (Brae Editions, Orkney) was a collaboration between poet Lesley Harrison and artist Laura Drever, and won the 2012 National Library of Scotland award for poetry publishing. Lesley discusses common elements in their creative methods, and how the acts of drawing and writing moulded each other to create a new, homogenous artistic work.

Laurence Figgis, University of Glasgow / Glasgow School of Art: ‘Something that was not a bird’: The Uses of Transformation in Contemporary Ekphrasis

Professor Tracy Mackenna, Edwin Janssen, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, University of Dundee: ‘Peddling Prints and Poems: activating the textual, the oral and the visual’.

The Pedlar character repositions and activates anew relationships between performer and audience, art object and society, from within the site of an art practice that occupies multiple public platforms.

Mark Leahy, University of Falmouth: “it is the act and not the object of perception that matters”: Thomas MacGreevy’s poetry in relation to perception in literary and visual arts.

John McAuliffe, University of Manchester: Hearing Things: Sound and Form in Derek Mahon’s Ekphrastic Poems

Sheree Mack, The Open University: The Black Woman in the View Finder: Reflections on the Visual in the Writing of Contemporary Black British Women Poets.

Chris Kerr, Cambridge: Ekphrasis and Ian Hamilton Finlay’s ‘Starlit Waters’

A poetical response to Finlay’s work, flat pack typography and the Iliad, featuring ekphrastic revolutions and the bathos of constellations.

Judy Kendall, University of Salford: Understanding Visual Text: neither a poem nor a painting be

Visual text – the creative collision when dynamically different processes of reading and viewing text and image collide and/or unite.

Alistair Peebles, University of Northumbria: Blossom and Farewell (Working Title)

Andrew Brown, University of Exeter: The Fool and the Physician

Ken Cockburn and ~in the fields: ‘Composite Landscapes’

Since 2008, poet Ken Cockburn and the artists ~ in the fields have collaborated on several projects, including a publication, an exhibition and public art projects. We will consider the different approaches to writing these  projects suggested, in terms of our collaborative methods, as well as the ways in which the content, form and sequencing of the resultant texts developed.

Tilo Reifenstein, Manchester Metropolitan University: Transposition Im/Possible

Translating images into words and words into images is as necessary and possible as it is impossible. Re-imagining the relation between the intersemiotic transposition of (reverse) ekphrasis and translation proper through Derrida’s four reasons for the impossibility of translation.

Laura Edbrook, University of Glasgow: I Am Not 

Agents in disguise and assigned to discreet inquiries, we occasionally recognise each other.

I Am Not, is a multitext essay-film constructed in three parts (Knot 1, Knot 2 and Knot 3). Laura Edbrook will present Knot 1 as a work in progress. The film will address language and its potential visual forms; and visual forms and their potential readable narrative, exploring the conflicts between storytelling and formal experimentation.

Linda Carreiro, University of Calgary, Canada: texte à tissue, text at issue: exploring embodiment in word-based visual art

Roland Barthes, in The Pleasure of the Text, reminds readers that text (texere) means tissue, drawing immediate connections to the thread of words, and to the fabric of the human form. Building upon my own long-term involvement in anatomical study and in word-based art practice, this paper will discuss how my alteration of literary works from flattened pages into intricate, paper sculptures, enables text to be experienced as palpable, sensate material—invoking the bodies of both maker and reader.

Kyra Pollitt, University of Bristol: Visual art as the text for writing into iconotexts? The curious case of sign language poetry.

David Kennedy, University of Hull: Ekphrasis, Translation and Utopia

Drawing on and developing arguments in his recent study The Ekphrastic Encounter in Contemporary British Poetry and Elsewhere (Ashgate, 2012), Kennedy explores how ekphrasis might be understood as a type of translation that, like all translation, is convergent with ideas about utopia. Lawrence Venuti has suggested that translation is a utopian project because ‘it is filled with the anticipation that a community will be created around that text’ and because it ‘projects a utopian community that is not yet realized.’ Kennedy uses these ideas to discuss both Venuti’s own translation of Catalan poet Ernest Farrés’s book of poems about the paintings of Edward Hopper and British poet Kelvin Corcoran’s two sequences on post-war British sculpture, the work of YBAs and painter Roger Hilton. He argues that Farrés/Venuti imagine a community that is absent from Hopper’s paintings while Corcoran looks back to the 1940s and 1950s for cultural ‘roads not taken’.

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