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Poetry in Ruins: Memory and History in the Work of Tony Harrison

Triumphant Achilles, Achilleion in Corfu. Photo by Hallie Marshall.

Time and place and the relationship between the two have always been prominent themes in the work of British poet Tony Harrison (b. 1937). This paper will explore the shift that occurs in his work, beginning with his poem ‘v.’ which represents a transitional moment in his career when a personal space and object (his family tomb in the Leeds’ Holbeck Cemetery) comes to serve as a site of meditation for the state of the nation. In this seminar Hallie Marshall traces Harrison’s use of ruins from the 1980s onward in his creation of transhistorical narratives in which memory and history function on multiple levels, with a particular focus on the shift from the ruins of ancient Greece to those of post-industrial Europe.

When: Thursday, October 10, 2019 | 4 – 5 pm
MOA Room 213
Speakers: Hallie Marshall, Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies, Theatre and Film, UBC

Presented in partnership with the UBC Interdisciplinary Histories Research Cluster