The start of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is bringing with it a plethora of events, public and academic, with some of which I am going to be involved in the coming year.
Oxford Poetry School
Firstly, in April I am delighted to be speaking at a Spring School devoted to British World War One Poetry, which will take place at Wadham College, Oxford from 3rd to 5th April 2014, organised and hosted by the University of Oxford Faculty of English. Full details of this event can be found at: http://www.english.ox.ac.uk/news-events/upcoming-events/201404/british-world-war-one-poetry-spring-school. The list of speakers is quite extraordinary, so do sign up for this!
Later in April (28th), I am speaking at the Edward German Festival in Whitchurch, giving a pre-concert talk on Music and the Great War – details here: http://www.edwardgermanfestival.org.uk/Edward_German_Festival_2014/Programme.html.
A few days later, on 3 May, I am giving a recital of Gurney songs and poems, with Ben Lamb, titled ‘The Far Country’, for the Ivor Gurney Society at St.Andrew’s Church, Churchdown. Details will be available here shortly: http://www.ivorgurney.org.uk/.
There are two major conferences taking place at the end of August and beginning of September, one on the music of the War, and one on the poetry – at both of which I am presenting papers.
The first, ‘The Music of War, 1914-1918’, runs from 29-31 August 2014 at the British Library. I will be giving a paper titled ‘Establishing the War Composer in a world of War Poets’. The conference website is at http://www.themusicofwar.org, where the conference programme will be announced in due course.
The second, ‘British Poetry of the First World War’, is the major centenary conference devoted to the poetry, organised by the English Association, and taking place at Wadham College, Oxford, 5-7 September 2014. I will be speaking on Ivor Gurney’s war poetry as a whole, including the numerous poems as yet unpublished. The conference programme is now available here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/english-association/ww1poetry/programme.
. . . For now, I am busy completing the editorial work on a Gurney song volume, finishing off a big funding application, finessing my poetry collection, Fulcrum, ready for press and publication in June, and otherwise trying to clear my desk in readiness for my taking up the Finzi Scholarship I was recently awarded in order to write The Passion of War (– see preceding post). This has become a very interesting year!