Thursday, 28 October 2010


Charles Olson 2010 is being held in Keynes College on the Canterbury Campus of the University of Kent. A campus map will be supplied in your delegate pack and is available to download from: Keynes College is marked as N6.

Directions and maps can be found at

By Train
There are two train stations in Canterbury: Canterbury East and Canterbury West. The high speed train service takes 60 minutes from St Pancras to Canterbury West. There are also direct trains from London Victoria to Canterbury East which take approximately 1hr 35m.

From Eurostar terminals
Trains run from Ashford International to Canterbury West every 20 minutes, the journey takes approximately 20 minutes. Hourly trains run from Ebbsfleet International to Canterbury West taking approximately 40-50 minutes.

By Coach
National Express offers a regular coach service (number 007) from many London stations.

By Car
The University is just off the A2, about 10 minutes from the end of the M2.

Local Taxis
There are taxi ranks at both train stations and the bus station. Local taxi companies include:
Cab Co (Tel: 01227 455455), City Cars (Tel: 01227 454445), Wilkinson Taxis (Tel: 01227 450450)
If you plan to arrive by taxi, please ask the driver to take you to Keynes College (for Registration).

Local Buses
The UniBus, and other local buses, run to and from the University and the city centre every 15 minutes, stopping outside Keynes College. Timetables are available from all college receptions or online at

A parking permit will be included in your delegate pack. Please ensure the permit is displayed in your windscreen at all times.

Social Events
If you have registered and paid to attend the Conference Dinner, this will take place at Deeson’s Restaurant in Canterbury from 20:00. A set amount of wine will be included with the meal, but other drinks can be purchased on the night. Taxis are being organised to take delegates from the University to the restaurant.

Refreshments & Lunches
Refreshments and lunches are provided for delegates as per the programme.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Conference Programme


6.00 – 6.30 Wine Reception (Keynes Senior Common Room)

6.30 – 7.30 Poetry Reading (KSCR)
Laurie Duggan
Simon Smith
Carol Watts


8.30 – 9.30 Registration (Keynes Teaching Annex Foyer)

9.30 – 10.45 Keynote Lecture (Keynes Lecture Theatre 5)

Stephen Fredman (University of Notre Dame)
'Art as Experience: A Deweyan Background to Olson's Esthetics'

(Chair: David Herd)

10.45 – 11.15 Coffee

11.15 – 12.45

Panel 1: Olson and Space (Keynes Seminar Room 17)
Nasser Hussain (University of Leeds), ‘The Geography of it
all: crossing America, crossing Maximus’
Daniel Katz (University of Warwick), ‘From Olson’s breath to
Spicer’s gait: space, phonemes, place’
Paul March-Russell (University of Kent), ‘Open spaces:
the “Olson effect” in American science fiction’
(Chair: Nancy Gaffield)

Panel 2: Dissemination (KLT5)
Allen Fisher (Manchester Metropolitian University), ‘Charles
Olson: to clear the gunk out’
Michael Kindellan (University of Sussex), ‘Olson’s
Harriet Tarlo (Sheffield Hallam University), 'Fieldwork: Olsonian open form poetics in and around the field'
(Chair: Juha Virtanen)

12.45 – 2.00 Lunch

2.00 – 3.15 Keynote Lecture (KLT5)

Elaine Feinstein
‘Open to Olson’

(Chair: Jan Montefiore)

3.15 – 3.45 Tea

3.45 – 5.15

Panel 3: Olson, Myth, History (KLT5)
Mayumo Inoue (University of the Ryukus), ‘Constellation and
intensity: Charles Olson’s historiography of the post-1945
Asia Pacific’
Anthony Mellors (Birmingham City University), ‘Olson’s
Pausanias and Heidegger’s method’
Reitha Pattison (University of Cambridge), ‘Charles
Olson’s ‘A Plan for a Curriculum of the Soul’: Jung, alchemy
and pedagogy’
(Chair: Simon Smith)

Panel 4: Olson and the Event (KSR17)
Michael Grant (University of Kent), ‘Olson and the ethics of
Ben Hickman (University of Kent) ‘Olson and Mao’
Juha Virtanen (Kent), ‘“No one remains, nor is, one”: Olson,
Black Mountain and “Theater Piece #1”’
(Chair: Paul March-Russell)

5.15 – 6.00 Peformance (KLT6)

‘Apollonius of Tyana’

Readers: Nancy Gaffield, Ralph Maud, André Spears

6.00 – 6.30 Wine Reception (KSCR)

6.30 – 7.30 Poetry Reading (KSCR)
Elaine Feinstein
Allen Fisher
Gavin Selerie

8.00 for 8.30 Conference Dinner
Deeson’s Restaurant, Canterbury


8.30 – 9.00 Registration (Keynes Teaching Annex Foyer)

9.00 – 10.30

Panel 5: Olson and Women (KLT5)
Robert Hampson (Royal Holloway, University of London),
‘Olson and Frances Boldereff: postmodernism, the projective and form’
Will Montgomery (Royal Holloway, University of
London), ‘“The Pictorial handwriting of his dreams”: Susan
Howe’s Charles Olson’
John Wrighton (University of Brighton), ‘Maximus kinesis:
Charles Olson and modernist women’s poetry’
(Chair: Kat Peddie)

Panel 6: Olson, Europe, Translation (KSR17)
Sarah Posman (Ghent University), ‘“Bergson was wrong. Or
half-right”: Olson and European thinking about the past’
Julien Segura (Université de Strasbourg), ‘Some uses of
Olson in France, 1962-1972’
Michael Zand (Roehampton University), ‘“Projective
Transverse”: The impact of Olsonian poetics on the creative
translations of Omar S. Pound’
(Chair: Michael Grant)

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee

11.00 – 12.15 Keynote Lecture (KLT5)

Peter Middleton (University of Southampton)
'"An Adventure of Energy": Science and Poetry in Projective

(Chair: Simon Smith)

12.15 – 1.30 Lunch

1.30 – 2.30 Keynote Lecture (KLT5)

Ralph Maud (Simon Fraser University)
‘Olson, Man and Poet’

(Chair: David Herd)

2.30 – 4.00

Panel 7: Olson and Contemporaries (KLT6)
Richard Parker (University of Sussex), ‘Louis Zukofsky
and/or Charles Olson’
Jeffrey Twitchell-Waas, ‘Maximus and minimus: Olson and
Christopher MacGowan (College of William and Mary), Charles
Olson and Denise Levertov
(Chair: Ben Hickman)

Panel 8: Olson and Britain (KLT5)
Gavin Selerie, ‘From Weymouth back: Olson’s British
contacts, travels and legacy’
Ian Brinton, ‘Black Mountain in England’
Robert Vas Dias, ‘Charles Olson’s poetics for a new
(Chair: Paul March-Russell)

4.00 – 4.30 Tea

4.30 – 5.45 Keynote Lecture (KLT5)

Iain Sinclair
‘Olson, the ocean, and figures of Outward’

(Chair: Paul March-Russell)


Registration for Charles Olson 2010 is now open. To register, please go to and follow the links from ‘Conferences and Events’.

Questions regarding registration should go to Louisa Grillo at or in the first instance.

Otherwise, please get in touch with me ( if I can help with anything.

David Herd

Friday, 25 June 2010

Call for Papers

2010 marks the centenary of the birth of the American poet Charles Olson. As poet, critic and theorist, Olson extended the possibilities of modern writing. From Call Me Ishmael to The Maximus Poems he probed the relation between language, space and community, providing radical resources for the re-imagining of place and politics. Aiming, in Robert Creeley’s terms, to hear all that Olson still provokes at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century, this conference seeks to re-assess the scope of his legacy. It will provide an opportunity to consider Olson’s value through and across a range of disciplines, with particular attention to be given to his influence on British and European writing. Topics to be addressed could include (but won’t be limited to):

- Olson in Europe
- Olson’s Britain
- Olson and foreign policy
- The Olsonian University
- Olson’s Melville
- Olson and women poets
- Poetry and the polis
- Olson and dance
- Olson and the visual arts
- Olson as theorist
- Spacing, prosody, form
- Olson and geology
- vatic Olson

Proposals for papers (title with 300 word abstract) should be sent to David Herd at by 31 March 2010.

Conference Organizing Committee: Nancy Gaffield, Michael Grant, David Herd, Ben Hickman, Jan Montefiore, Simon Smith, Juha Virtanen.