Today was the opening day of The British & Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. Such gatherings always fascinate me and it feels good to know that poetry is at the top of everyone’s agenda. Robert Crawford’s opening lecture was superb, witty and pointed and with lovely warm references to the wonderful Michael Donaghy whom I remember with such great affection from an Arvon course many years ago and from meeting him again in Newcastle. He was such a generous person with his time and always so approachable. I had an email from him about a week before he died, and I can’t bear to delete it from my computer even now.
I’m very much looking forward to Michael Longley’s reading tomorrow and to the paper about translation and whether it’s a disadvantage to be able to read the source language. Not being a Latin reader, yet working on Horace, I hope, of course, that the conclusion (if there is one), will be yes!
I rather think that by Sunday afternoon I may well be all poetryied out.