Man Booker judge David Harsent to speak on the ‘raw truth of poetry’

Multi-award winning poet and librettist David Harsent, who has been named as a judge for this year's Man Booker Prize, will speak about 'the raw truth of poetry' when he gives this year's Hopkins Lecture at the University of Roehampton.

Posted: 29 February 2016

image for news story Man Booker judge David Harsent to speak on the ‘raw truth of poetry’
Gerard Manley Hopkins.

The lecture is held annually at Parkstead House in the University’s Whitelands College, in memory of Gerard Manley Hopkins, who trained at Parkstead when it was owned by the Society of Jesus and known as Manresa House. Previous speakers have included Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Andrew Motion, the former poet laureate and actress Fiona Shaw.

During the lecture, David Harsent, who is professor of Creative Writing at the University and who won the 2014 TS Eliot Prize for his book Fire Songs, will talk about the ‘greater truths in poetry’.

He said: "It's sometimes said that poets lie in order to tell a different, perhaps greater, truth. This lecture hopes to demonstrate that truth lies in poetry in ways more fugitive more powerful, more subtle and more crucial than that."

David Harsent has published 11 collections of poetry. The most recent being Fire Songs and prior to that, Night, in 2011 which won the Griffin International Prize, and Legion in 2005 which claimed the Forward Prize. He is Chair of the Roehampton Poetry Centre and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

The lecture is due to take place at 5.30pm on Thursday 21 April and is open to anyone with an interest in David Harsent’s work or who would like an insight into his approach to writing and creating poetry. The lecture is free, but booking is required.

A regular event in the University's calendar, as part of its work to engage with the public and admirers of great literature, the lecture is the centrepiece of a number of events being organised at the same time at Whitelands by The Hopkins Society.

These include an assessment of Hopkins' work and writing, by Fr Noel Barber, Assistant to the Superior of Jesuits in Ireland, and co-editor of volume five of the Oxford University Press Complete Works of Hopkins. In addition, a review of Hopkins’ position in London, by poetry performer Lance Pierson, a member of the society will also take place.

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