“Swinburne’s Poems & Ballads: 150th Anniversary Conference” (International)

Abstract Deadline: February 29, 2016

Dates: July 29-30, 2016

Location: St. John’s College, Cambridge

CFP Link

William Michael Rossetti writes in his defence of Swinburne’s Poems and Ballads that ‘If Shelley is “the poet for poets”, Swinburne might not unaptly be termed “the poet for poetic students”‘.

A century and a half later, Swinburne’s poetry continues to prove divisive for readers. While few fail to recognise Swinburne’s technical achievement, technique remains a central area of controversy: students of poetry continue to wrestle with the status of Swinburne as the ‘prosodist magician’.

This conference proposes further consideration of Swinburne’s achievement. By focusing on his most notorious work, the aim is to foster new ways of thinking about the significance of this collection to the development of English poetry during a period of staggering metrical experimentation. It is for this reason that we papers are being solicited which look first and foremost to address questions of technique, which will include all aspects of form, genre and the ‘lyrical’.

The hope is that this conference will bring together established scholars, early career researchers, and graduate students working on or in relation to Swinburne. Attendance by graduate students will be encouraged by means of a reduced fee.

Please send proposals of no more than 500 words to:


Proposals should be received no later than 29th February 2016. Please attach abstracts in a separate .doc or .pdf file, without name or affiliation. You are welcome to include a brief biographical note in the body of your email.


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