The Inspiration of the Poet (1630) Nicolas Poussin

II 'Poetry and Prayer: Continuities and Discontinuities'

The Power of the Word International Conference 2
29–30 June 2012
Institute of English Studies, University of London, UK.

Potw Logo Blue 100Following up on the success of the first Power of the Word conference, a second took place a year later at Senate House, University of London, UK, in conjunction with the School of Advanced Studies, University of London. The network of people brought together by the fist conference was enriched on this occasion by a substantial number of participants from different European countries. This time the overall theme was poetry and prayer. Keynote speakers addressed a range of topics, including:

  • prayer as poetic speech
  • gestures of prayer in Christianity
  • poetry as immanence
  • Indian traditions of religion, grace and imagination
  • The work of Denise Levertov and Dante

Short paper panels drew together presentations around:

  • Theoretical perspectives on prayer and poetry
  • Correlations between poetry and prayer
  • Women’s voices, in particular Alda Merini and Dorothy Sölle)
  • Poetry and prayer in Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Sufism
  • Presence, absence and liturgy, featuring studies of R. S. Thomas, Tadeusz Różewicz, Denis O’ Driscoll, David Jones, W. H. Auden and the prayers of Modernist poets

 As before, the keynote addresses and selected short papers from this second conference, reworked for publication, were published as  Poetry and Prayer: The Power of the Word II edited by Francesca Bugliani Knox and John Took (Routledge 2016), in the "Power of the Word Series".

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