Contemporary French poetic practice: an interdisciplinary approach

This project explores contemporary French poetic practice as it interacts with other arts and disciplines. It was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and its activities took place between April 2013 and February 2015.

Writing the Real

During six workshops, participants from Great Britain, The Republic of Ireland, France, Belgium, Italy, and North America discussed connections in the contemporary cultural sphere between poetry and philosophy, politics, translation, new technologies, the visual arts, and music. Many of the participants were university academics, but artistic practitioners were included in each workshop, and they also contributed to a range of public-facing activities: poetry readings and performances, a translation workshop, an exhibition, and the composition of a new musical work for which we hosted the premiere at the University of Birmingham.

Findings from the network included the discovery that poetry rarely interacts with only one other art form or discipline at a time, and it concluded that ‘poetic practice’ needs to be redefined to take into account a range of hybrid forms pioneered collaboratively by those working in different media.

Project team

External resources


Other outputs include the translation workshop, exhibition, poetry readings, and premiere of the commissioned piece of music that accompanied the workshops.

As a result of the network’s activities, an article co-written by Nina Parish and Emma Wagstaff will be published in the journal Word & Image, and a journal special issue, La Poésie à l’œuvre, was edited by Michael G. Kelly and Hugo Azérad ( A second journal special issue edited by Nina Parish and Emma Wagstaff is in progress.

A further outcome of the project coordinators is a bilingual anthology of contemporary French poetry, Writing the Real, ed. by Nina Parish and Emma Wagstaff (London: Enitharmon, 2016).

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