This two-day conference, organized by the Institute of English Studies (http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk) and Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre (http://www.brookes.ac.uk/poetry-centre/), addresses the three initiatives: New Generation Poets (1994), Next Generation Poets (2004), and Next Generation Poets 2014. It aims to examine important concerns of contemporary poetry arising from these projects, such as the relationship between poetry and the public, the promotion of poetry through initiatives such as these, and what the selection of the particular poets on these lists can tell us about the state and direction of British poetry at various stages over the past twenty years.
Thus, whilst the organizers encourage engagement with the individual poets and collections selected for each promotion (a full list of the 1994, 2004, and 2014 poets selected is available on the Poetry Book Society’s website: http://nextgenerationpoets.com), they are also keen to invite reflection upon the relationship between the works of these poets and the initiatives themselves, and will be very interested to receive paper proposals which consider how the work of the 1994 and 2004 poets has developed as a result of the promotion.
In addition to the focus upon these three groups of writers and the selection criteria for selection in the respective promotions, organizers will also be interested in papers which address the issues surrounding the publication of a first collection, as well as the relationship between poets and publishers, and encourage the participation of practising poets and working publishers from both independent and larger presses. In this way, we also encourage papers not just from those working in Literary Studies, but also from those within Publishing Studies and Creative Writing.
Other areas which might be explored in papers include:
- regional and national discourses created around the New, Next, and Next 2014 Generations
- the extent to which these poets are grounded in and shape a tradition of Britain and British poetry
- the long-term effects of these lists
- the actual or imagined ‘mentoring’ of a poet from a later ‘Generation’ by an earlier one
- the poets of these generations not included in these lists, particularly those of the ‘avant-garde’
- the influence of other contemporary poets upon those included in the promotions
- the relationship between the three initiatives and Creative Writing within universities
- the place of performance poets within these lists
- the work done by the selected poets in other media
- the particular engagement of these poets with political and/or ecological concerns
- issues of gender and sexuality which arise as a result of the lists
- issues of race and ethnicity which arise through the three initiatives
- the relationship between poetry magazines and the representation of poetry
- the possibilities and politics of reviewing poetry
- the production of new media in the promotion and reception of the lists
- the effect of promotional lists, marketing, and literary prizes upon the reading public.