Revivalism: R.F. Langley

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This event is part of our Subject/Object: The Birds festival. Buy a festival ticket for whole series here.

‘Energetic and kaleidoscopic, every line [is] chased with verbal detail, and every poem decorated, like a Gothic frieze, with glimpses of a carefully noted natural world, where nuts and raisins don’t walk, but a gliding owl may step “off on his long legs into air”. – Jeremy Noel-Tod, writing in the LRB in 2001

R.F. Langley, who died in 2011, was an artist, teacher and ornithologist once called ‘the least prolific poet of the last thirty years’, after his Collected Poems contained just 17. But these exquisitely precise epiphanies, crystallising ‘bright particulars’ of nature, have had an outsize influence on a generation of poets and nature writers.

Jeremy Noel-Tod, Langley’s posthumous editor, will be joined by poet, critic and Harvard professor Stephanie Burt, and Langley’s son Eric, himself a lecturer and a poet, for a discussion of Langley’s distinctive career and legacy.

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