A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of the New York Poet, 50 years on

When: Sunday, July 24th, 2016; 11.00am – 8.00pm

Where: The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

What: This one-day colloquium will bring together poets, academics and members of the public to celebrate the life, work and artistic connections of Frank O’Hara, the New York poet, art critic, film maker and curator (at MoMA) who died 50 years ago on July 25th, 1966.

The event is being organised by the North American Poetics Network of CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities and Arts South-East England) and will consist of 3 panels which will examine and discuss O’Hara’s legacy with members of the audience.  Keynote speakers include: Geoff Ward (Cambridge University), Daniel Kane (Sussex) and Redell Olsen (Royal Holloway, University of London)

There will be evening performances by contemporary poets whose work has been influenced and inspired by O’Hara: Andrea Brady, Prue Chamberlain, Kayo Chingonyi, Caitlin Docherty, Jeff Hilson, Sophie Robinson. Peter Gizzi and Anne Waldman will also contribute via Skype / Video.

Papers: Abstracts (~200 words) of papers (15 minutes) are now being sought.  We are especially keen for contributions that place and examine O’Hara’s work and legacy in the contexts of his myriad friendships, connections and artistic interests.  O’Hara was so much more than just a New York poet and we want the discussion of his life and work at this event to reflect this. So, although we are looking for informed and informative academic papers for the panel sessions, we would like these contributions to be pitched so as to encourage discussion and engagement with the audience (which will include members of the public as well as academics).  In keeping with O’Hara’s style and poetics, we are hoping for a colloquium that is open and generous, serious and witty, conversational in the best sense.  This will be the best way of celebrating O’Hara’s work and his legacy, 50 years on from the day before he died.

Note: A limited number of bursaries to help graduate students attend and / or contribute are available due to a grant from the British Association for American Studies. These will be distributed on a first come first served basis.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: Friday, May 27th, 2016

Please email abstracts to: oharaconference@gmail.com

(Organising committee: Ben Hickman (Kent); Jordan Savage (Essex); Nick Selby (UEA); Steve Willey (Birkbeck))