New Modernisms, new audiences
The School of English and Languages has a well-established series of public events to bring the work of innovative and modernist poetry to a wider audience. These events have made a significant contribution to society through the promotion of the British poetry industry, and have had a marked cultural impact on public access to and understanding of contemporary poetry in the county of Surrey and beyond.
The School's commitment to giving contemporary Modernist, experimental and unconforming poets a platform for their work, and promoting the British contemporary poetry industry, is reflected in the activities of the poetry press it houses jointly with Birkbeck College, University of London and Veer Books. Focusing on work which intersects with the School's research interests in subjectivity, gender, and translation, Veer publishes formally innovative poetry by the new wave of late-Modernist and late-Modernist inspired writers that have emerged in recent years, as well as out-of-print material from earlier phases of Modernist poetic experiment. Since Veer has been running, it has made a significant contribution to the cultural economy of the region publishing more than 100 volumes of verse by local and international poets including Bob Cobbing, Maggie O'Sullivan, Allan Fisher, Sean Bonney, Verity Spott and many others.
The School also enjoys links to other small presses specialising in innovative poetry: Contraband, Crater Press and Sad Press, the latter of which is co-run by our current Poet in Residence, Jow Lindsay-Walton.
The School also actively supports and is affiliated with two local festivals: The Surrey New Writers Festival and the Surrey Poetry Festival. Bringing together academics, the local community and schoolchildren, the festivals actively enrich and promote the value of poetry and creative writing, inspiring new audiences and generations of artists beyond the University.