I spent 5th and 6th July at the ‘Perceptions of Horace’ Conference at UCL. This is the first time I have read my poetry to a whole audience of Horatians so quite a test! Once again though, and thankfully, my work was enthusiastically received.
At the conference I met several people who up until then had only been well-known names to me – people whose commentaries and writing I keep encountering, real experts like Niall Rudd for example,who gave us a wonderful insight into ‘Horace in Pope’s Correspondence’. I enjoyed meeting and having a chat with Jane Stevenson who presented a paper about women from earlier times, who had interpretted/translated Horace. It was great to have the opportunity to hear such experts in person and have a conversation with them.
I am particularly grateful to Luke Houghton who organised the conference and having already set a very tight programme, managed to squeeze me in after he’d heard me read at the University of Durham in May.
I felt pleased, given the re-working of my versions of Odes based on ‘Odes Book 1′ into tighter form, to have a positive comment from John Talbot from Brigham Young University in the United States – his paper, ‘A Late Flowering of Horatian Alcaics in English Poetry’ was fascinating. I was particulary pleased by the encouragement and positive response from Stephen Moorby of UCL whom I hope to work with in the future. He was very enthusiastic about trying to get my poems to his Latin students which would be good. And of course, as ever, I was greatly supported by Stephen Harrison who introduced my session and who himself gave a great paper on ‘Horace and the Victorians’
I enjoyed meeting up again with Jennifer Ingleheart and Barbara Graziosi from the University of Durham whom I hope to work with on a future project.
All of this – two whole days with Horace and to top it off a meal at the Italian washed down with wine – Horace would have approved. What a feast!