Ivor Gurney

Ivor Gurney

Ivor Gurney: Soldier, Poet, Composer

The colourful life of war-poet and composer Ivor Gurney will be brought to life in the Andrew Stratton Convocation Lecture.

This event will demonstrate the variety of Gurney's genius and the richness of an archive which is only now becoming appreciated for the wealth of unpublished poetry and music which it holds.

Professor Tim Kendall, Head of English at the University of Exeter will deliver this interactive lecture, interspersed with readings of Gurney’s poetry and live musical performances. 

The South-West landscape and particularly that of his native Gloucestershire inspired much of Gurney’s work. It became a means of expressing his homesickness whilst fighting in the front lines of France during the First World War, studying in London, or during his incarceration in the City of London Mental Hospital.

Despite the publication of a biography in 1978 and the subsequent issue of several of his poetry collections and his Collected Poems, much of his work is still unknown, including some hundreds of poems yet to be brought to print.

Professor Kendall is also the Director of the Centre for South West Writing, which is currently leading a major research project which aims to increase the knowledge of Gurney’s work. This is funded jointly by the Great Western Research, the University of Exeter and Gloucestershire County Council.

A major outcome of this research will be the publication of a critical edition of Gurney's complete poetry as part of Oxford University Press's prestigious Oxford English Texts series, co-edited by Professor Kendall, and Philip Lancaster.

The Andrew Stratton Convocation lecture is part of the Alumni and Convocation Reunion weekend 2011.  To find out what other events are taking place over the weekend, please visit the reunion web pages.

Date: 30 June 2011

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