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James Fenton, Acclaimed Poet and Scholar, Lectures on English Poet and Novelist Philip Larkin
2012 Theodore H. Holmes '51 and Bernice Holmes Lecture  

James Fenton, acclaimed poet and scholar, will present a lecture entitled, “What Are We Going to Do about the New Philip Larkin?,” on Wednesday, November 28, at 4:30 p.m. at the Lewis Center for the Arts’ James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street. The event, the 2012 Theodore H. Holmes ’51 and Bernice Holmes Lecture, is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

An English poet and novelist, Larkin was referred to as “the saddest heart in the post-war supermarket” by literary critic Eric Homberger.  Larkin is known for his complex and adept verse poetry, marking a British style of disillusioned lyricism. He published only three mature collections of poetry in his lifetime. Since his death in 1985, there have been three attempts to provide a satisfactory collection of his poetic work, each attempt controversial for a different reason. Fenton will explore the challenges of documenting Larkin’s body of work, posing the question, “What’s the matter?”

James Fenton was born in Lincoln, England, and educated at Magdalen College in Oxford where he won the Newdigate Prize for poetry. He has worked as a political journalist, drama critic, book reviewer, war correspondent, foreign correspondent, and columnist. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was Oxford Professor of Poetry for the period 1994-99.  In 2007, Fenton was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.  Faber and Faber will publish a collection of Fenton's poems later this year.

Fenton is the 2012-13 Theodore H. Holmes ’51 and Bernice Holmes Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing and will teach an advanced poetry course in Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing during the spring 2013 semester. The lecturer appointment and the annual lecture are named for Mr. Holmes, a 1951 biology major and graduate of Princeton who became a poet, and his sister Bernice.

Photo Credit: Gerrit Serné


Event Information


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

4:30 PM

James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street



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