The SMU Symposium on Poetic Form

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March 18-19, 2024

The SMU Symposium on Poetic Form will gather scholars and poets on the SMU campus for two full days to discuss poetic form in practice and theory. Panels will consider topics such as Renaissance, eighteenth-century, and nineteenth-century poetics, hip hop, the sonnet, “uncreative writing,” and prosody. The Historical Poetics Reading Group will conduct a discussion of Francis Barton Gummere’s The Beginnings of Poetry. Jericho Brown, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, will give a reading and join Virginia Jackson in a conversation about poetry.

Keynote Poet: Jericho Brown

Keynote Scholar: Jonathan Culler, “Lyric Form in Contemporary Poetry”

Plenary Panel: Stephanie Burt, Jahan Ramazani, and Evie Shockley

Plenary Panel: Virginia Jackson, Maureen McLane, and Anthony Reed

In creative conversation: Jericho Brown and Virginia Jackson

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Symposium Organizer

David Caplan smiles and stands in front of a bookshelf.David Caplan (he/him) is the Daisy Deane Frensley Chair in English Literature and the author of seven books of literary criticism and poetry, including Rhyme’s Challenge: Hip Hop, Poetry, and Contemporary Rhyming, Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form, and American Poetry: A Very Short Introduction (all from Oxford University Press). Twice he has served as a Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature. His other honors include an Individual Excellence Award in Criticism from the Ohio Arts Council and the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry from the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Symposium Coordinator

Rosanne Brooks smiles and looks at the camera

Rosanne Brooks (she/her) is a Ph.D. student at Southern Methodist University. Her primary interest is in how representations of gender attitudes in late Victorian literature reconcile with historical evidence of gender expression in greater print culture. Her work centers on depictions of the British Music Hall as a place where class and gender are both fixed and inchoate. She is the winner of SMU’s 2023 Pueppke Writing Prize for outstanding graduate student essay.

Symposium Social Media Manager

Kit Freeman stands by a brick wall

Kit Freeman (she/her) is a 2nd year Ph.D. student specializing in poetics and Romantic poetry. Her work on the Blakes was recently shortlisted (finalist) for a Fulbright. She intends on writing her dissertation on the poetics of Romantic collaboration under the supervision of Dr. David Caplan.

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