"The Tapestry," by Berta Golahny
Berta Golahny, The Human Abstract, or The Tapestry, etching, blue monoprint, 28 x 18 in., ca. 1970. Photo: Yehuda Golahny. All works are by Berta Golahny, and are reproduced courtesy of the Golahny/Kopley family.

Begun in 2016 as the “Modernist Poetry Network,” Poetry Matters was formally founded in 2017 by Professors Miranda Hickman and Michael Nicholson to create spaces, within McGill’s Department of English and beyond, for conversation on poetry. We imagine ourselves as a university-based workshop composed of students, faculty members, and poets, seeking opportunities to connect with others around debates in poetic practice, questions animating the study of poetry within the university, and the cultural role of poetry in the wider world.

Each year, Poetry Matters seeks to form a different program, organized around a project or inquiry, offering opportunities for sharing work in and on poetry: past seasons have featured lectures on poetry by faculty, poetry readings, informal poetry workshops, and graduate student work in progress. Since 2018, we have led years with themes — “global Englishes,” “poetry and well-being,” “poetry and reemergence,” and for 2021-2022 we are thinking about "acts of ethical attention" in a time of alienation that lingers with the pandemic.

We welcome suggestions for future sessions, from McGill and communities beyond. Please contact us through our webform.

Images of poetry-inspired artwork by Berta Golahny appear courtesy of the Golahny/Kopley family.

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