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Poetry & Philosophy Conference

Poets Reading Philosophy, Philosophers Reading Poetry

26-28 October 2007

This international conference will bring together poets and philosophers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K., to explore questions of method, aim, and substance relevant to both philosophical and poetic practice. We hope the conference will provide a constructive counterweight to a tradition that has often cast philosophy and poetry too simply as representing competing norms--of reasoned argument, generality, and objectivity on the one hand, and of expression, particularity, passion, and subjectivity on the other. To this end we have invited poets who count the philosophical tradition as an inspiration and whose work offers many routes into engagement with philosophers. The philosophical substance of poets’ work will be discussed, as well as such overarching concerns as relations between imagery and abstraction, the role of emotion and personal expression in philosophical inquiry, the role of imagination in reasoning, and conceptions of poetic and philosophical achievement. The conference programme will include poetry readings as well.

Invited speakers:

Robert Bringhurst (CA)

Richard Eldridge (Swarthmore College, Philosophy)

Jorie Graham (Harvard University, English)

Robert Gray (AU)

Kevin Hart (University of Virginia, Religious Studies)

Geoffrey Hill (Boston University emeritus, Literature and Religion)

Simon Jarvis (Cambridge University, English)

John Koethe (University of Milwaukee, Philosophy)

Peter Lamarque (University of York, Philosophy)

Susan Stewart (Princeton University, English)

Jan Zwicky (University of Victoria, Philosophy)


Readings at Warwick Arts Centre


To register please click here.


Conference organisers:
Eileen John (Philosophy, and
Michael Hulse (English and Comparative Literary Studies,

We thank the British Society of Aesthetics, the Australia Council for the Arts, and the Warwick Humanities Research Centre for support for this event.

  hrc bsa