2021 Festival

Sat 24th July 2021

  • 9.45 am : Welcome
  • 10:00am Lecture by Hilary Davies (30-40 mins)
    • Hopkins as Traditionalist and Poetic Innovator
    • A ‘Q&A’ session will follow (10 mins) followed by a ‘Break’ before next event.
  • 11:00am – Lecture by Will Daunt (30-40 mins)
    • Gerard Manley Hopkins : The Lydiate Connection (Lydiate is a village 10 miles north of Liverpool associated with Hopkins’  ‘Felix Randal’ & ‘Spring & Fall’)
    • A ‘Q&A’ session will follow (10 mins) followed by a ‘Break’ before next event.
  • 12 noon – 12.30 pm Poetry Reading by Hilary Davies, Poet.
  • 12.30 – Social Time for any additional Q & A, chat, comments on programme, future programmes, read a Hopkins poem, sing a song, greet an acquaintance across the wonderful wide web or whatever !
  • Art Exhibition: ‘Artists for Peace’ will be held on Sunday July 25th, 2pm – 6 pm on Main St. (Hopkins Monument) & Canal Harbour.
    • (We plan on uploading photos of artwork to this website later)

Hopkins as Traditionalist and Poetic Innovator:Introduction: In this lecture I will be looking at the extraordinary diversity of poetic forms and language upon which Hopkins drew to create what is a unique voice in English literature. Hopkins was a passionate linguist: a classicist by training ( he read Greats at Oxford)  but one who, unlike many of his similarly educated contemporaries, had no prejudices about what constituted ‘acceptable’ speech practice. This allowed him to range across multiple literatures and verse traditions to forge a poetic language that anticipates modernism and which remains today breathtaking in its daring.

Hilary Davies has published four collections of poetry from Enitharmon: the latest, Exile and the Kingdom, was published in November 2016. She is also a translator, essayist and critic: most recently, she has been a co-contributor to Yves Bonnefoy’s Collected Prose, (Carcanet, 2020) and is a co-editor of Prophetic Witness. The Re-Imagining of the World, (Routledge, 2020). Hilary has won an Eric Gregory award, been a Hawthornden Fellow, has served as Chairman of the Poetry Society of Great Britain and is a Fellow of the English Association.  From 2012 to 2016 she was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at King’s College, London and in 2018-9 held the same post at the British Library.

Gerard Manley Hopkins: the Lydiate Connections

Book Cover

Ormskirk Imprint. ISBN 9780244165024

Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry had an enormous influence on the evolution of twentieth century poetry in English, and two of his most distinctive poems were written while he was posted to the Jesuit church of St. Francis Xavier, in Liverpool in 1880-1881. ‘Felix Randal’ tells of the life and death of a parishioner that the poet had ministered to. ‘Spring and Fall’ was composed during one of Hopkins’ frequent visits to the village of Lydiate, where he was sent to say Mass at Rose Hill House.
This local guide reflects particularly on what might have inspired that poem: the countryside, the people and Hopkins’ own life. It follows the publication of Will Daunt’s related piece in The Hopkins Quarterly, Winter-Spring 2018 and includes specially-commissioned artwork by Susan Hodgkins. The book concludes with a local guided walk and an Afterword by the renowned Hopkins scholar, Professor Joseph Feeney S.J.

Will Daunt

Will Daunt completed his schooling at the European School in Brussels in the very early days of Ireland and the U.K.’s membership of the E.U. Having studied English Literature at Reading University, he went on to spend his career in English state secondary schools, latterly as a headteacher.

After retiring, Will completed an M.A. in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. These studies led indirectly to the submission to the Hopkins Quarterly of a piece called  ‘Hopkins in Lydiate and the Hinterland to ‘Spring and Fall”, which appeared in the Winter- Spring 2018 issue.

Edge Hill is a few miles from Lydiate and Will went on to write and edit the illustrated book,  Gerard Manley Hopkins: the Lydiate Connections.

Recently he has also edited two posthumous books of selected poems: Pleading at the Bar of Truth, by Eddie Wainwright, and Writing on Rock, by Tim Noble.

Six of Will’s poetry collections have been published, including three by Belfast’s Lapwing, and another which was an Indigo Dreams Collection winner. His work has appeared widely, most recently in Orbis, Envoi, Smoke, The High Window and The Poetry Village. He won first prize in the VER Poets’ 2009 competition and has been shortlisted or commended in competitions run by Poetry Nottingham, Envoi, Virginia Warbey, Sentinel, James Kirkup, Swale Life, The Poetry Kit, Southport Writers and Leaf.

Will has written reviews for Envoi, Pulsar, New Hope International, Tears In the Fence and Links.

Living in Lancashire, in the U.K., Will is currently working on a sequence of 100 poems of 100 syllables each. It’s called England’s Edging.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will be given to the Liverpool-based charity, Hospice Africa.