Edward Thomas is a poet of retrospect. His poetry memorialises states of mind, people, and places. It also attempts to voice what is absolutely lost and what was never significant: ‘so many things I have forgot/ That once were much to me, or that were not’, he writes. Thomas also considers obscure futures for others and for himself. His poetry anticipates indifference as much as longevity when it asks what they will ‘do when I am gone?’: ‘they will do without me as the rain/ Can do without the flowers and the grass’.
What should we do with Thomas, whose reputation and writing is more present than ever? In 2017, we will mark the centenary of his death with a major conference at Cardiff University, where an important collection of Thomas’s manuscript materials and letters are held at Special Collections and Archives. With the preparation of a major edition of his prose and with his acknowledged centrality to new forms of nature writing, study of Thomas is now rarely confined to any single aspect of his practice. We want to celebrate Thomas and approaches to his work in the fullest possible diversity. [Read the Call for Papers]
Confirmed speakers include: Professor Edna Longley and Professor Lucy Newlyn
You may also be interested in other Edward Thomas Centenary events being held at Special Collections and Archives in April 2017.
We gratefully acknowledge support from The Learned Society of Wales.