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Peter Larkin: Poetry, Phenomenology, Ecology

April 26, 2018, University of Warwick
Zeeman Building, MS.05, 10.00-18.00
Convened by the Oxford Phenomenology Network and Poetry at Warwick.


This symposium brings together poets, philosophers, ecocritics, and theologians to discuss the poetry of Peter Larkin, whose work responds to the critically and environmentally neglected geography of the English Midlands. Larkin, former Philosophy and Literature Librarian at Warwick, and honorary member of both the English and Comparative Literary Studies and Philosophy departments, has been writing poetry for over thirty years. Now established as one of the most important ecopoets writing in the early twenty-first century, his work brings together theology, philosophy, and literature, and can be read as part of an ecotheological tradition mediated through poets like S. T. Coleridge and William Wordsworth and theologians such as Friedrich von Hügel and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

The symposium comprises two keynotes and two panels of poets and philosophers who will provide context for further, and broader, reflection on poetry, ecology, and philosophy. The day is designed to allow for maximum discussion with delegates, and Larkin's poetry will be circulated in advance. Larkin will also be present and give three readings—in the morning, afternoon, and at the close of the symposium. An exhibition looking at connections between Larkin's work and that of the composer Howard Skempton and artist Simon Lewty has also been scheduled for April 20-May 2.

Confirmed speakers

Dr Anne Elvey, Monash University

Dr Cleo Hanaway-Oakley, University of Oxford

Ian Heames, poet and bookseller at Face Press books

Dr Nick Lawrence, University of Warwick

Professor Emma Mason, University of Warwick

Professor John Milbank, University of Nottingham

Dr Jonathan Skinner, University of Warwick

Dr Harriet Tarlo, Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Eoghan Walls, University of Lancaster


The symposium is free and is kindly sponsored by three groups: Poetry at Warwick, CRPLA, and the Oxford Phenomenology Network. Lunch and refreshments are provided. The event is now sold out.

Further information

For more information please check back into this website, or contact Emma Mason.

Inscriptions: Image | Text | Sound

University of Warwick Library
April 20-May 2, 2018

Curated by Nick Lawrence

Peter Larkin
Howard Skempton
Simon Lewty

An exhibition looking at the connections between their compositions across different media. More information here.

If you missed this event you can listen to a recording (of contributors who gave permission to be recorded) here:

Morning session

Afternoon session