New Generation to Next Generation 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry

13-14 March 2015, Institute of English Studies, London

This two-day conference, organized by the Institute of English Studies and Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre in collaboration with the Poetry Book Society, looks back at 20 years of New and Next Generation Poets. Its aim is to explore the legacy and impact of the scheme as it looks at the state and direction of British and Irish poetry over the past twenty years.

The conference includes a free public reading by a 'cross-generation' panel of speakers: Ian Duhig, Patience Agbabi, and Hannah Lowe. You can register for this John Coffin Memorial Reading on the Lectures and Readings page.

Registration fees:
Standard fee: £80;
Academic speakers, students/members/friends concessionary fee: £45


Enquiries: Events Officer, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU; tel +44 (0) 207 862 8826; Email:



Friday 13 March 

10.30- 11.00:


11.00 -12.15:

Panel 1: Promoting an inclusive poetics

Chair: Wim Van Mierlo 
Afrodita Nikolova (University of Cambridge), ‘The place of performance poetry in Britain in light of the Next Generation Poets: collaboration or corruption of the poetry canon?’
Peter Raynard (Independent scholar) ‘The poetry of working class lives’
Jane Dowson (De Montfort University), ‘Carol Ann Duffy and the democratization of contemporary poetry’

12.15 -13.00: Lunch (please arrange your own lunch)

13.00 -14.15:

Panel 2: Voices of protest: women’s poetry across the generations

Chair: Jane Dowson
Sarah Corbett (Lancaster University), ‘A New Kind of Intimacy: Intimacy, Exposure and Rebellion in the poetry of Susan Wicks, Deryn Rees-Jones and Melissa Lee-Houghton’
Jennifer Wong (Oxford Brookes University), ‘Questioning place and identity: what the next generation women poets tell us’
Anna Hewitt (University of Reading) ‘“The Mad Cow is a Vogue Model”: Jo Shapcott, Gender Politics, and the New Generation Poets List’

14.15 -15.30:

Panel 3: Reviewing contemporary poetry

Chair: Aviva Dautch
Suzi Feay (Independent on Sunday)
Jeremy Noel-Tod (University of East Anglia and reviewer for various publications)

15.30 -15.45:



Panel 4: The roles of the reader/the roles of the poet

Chair: Niall Munro
Martin Kratz (Manchester Metropolitan University), ‘Poem Titles and the Title of Poet: Contemporary Titling Practices in the Poetry of Leontia Flynn and Michael Symmons Roberts’
Matt Bryden (Independent scholar),’Glyn Maxwell – Working Off Radar’
Bridget Vincent (University of Melbourne), ‘The Poet’s List: Alice Oswald as Anthologist’

18.00 -19.00:

John Coffin Memorial Event: a cross-generation reading and discussion by New/Next/Next Generation 2014 Poets (open to the public as well as delegates)

Ian Duhig (New Generation, 1994)
Patience Agbabi (Next Generation, 2004)
Hannah Lowe (Next Generation 2014)

You can register for this Reading on the Lectures and Readings page.

Satuday 14 March 

09.30- 10.45:

Conference keynote address

David Wheatley (University of Aberdeen)

‘“His words are not his words”: Generational Succession in Contemporary British Poetry’

10.45 -11.00:


11.00-12.15 :

Panel 5: The poetry of regions and spaces

Chair: Stephen Regan
Polly Atkin (University of Strathclyde), ‘The Next New Lake Poets?: Reappraising Grasmere as a Centre for Three Generations of Contemporary Poets’
Elena Nistor (IES, London), ‘“Searching for that perfect destination…”: Visions of London in contemporary British women’s poetry’
Eóin Flannery (Oxford Brookes University), ‘New Generation, New Environments in Contemporary Irish Poetry’


Lunch (please arrange your own lunch)


Panel 6: Publishing contemporary poetry

Chair: Kathryn Gray
Peter Target (Enitharmon)
Tom Chivers (Penned in the Margins)
Karen McCarthy Woolf (poet and editor of Ten: The New Wave)

14.15 -14.30:



Panel 7: poetry reading

Nick Drake (Next Generation, 2004)
Helen Mort (Next Generation Poets 2014)

15.30-15.45: Break/book signing

15.45 -17.00:

Panel 8: Literary friendships and groups

Chair: Stephen Regan
Natalie Pollard (Queen Mary, University of London), ‘The Politics of Friendship’
Daniel Weston (University of Hull), ‘Jen Hadfield, language, and ecology’
JT Welsch (York St John University),’What’s so funny about beefs, bad blood, and misunderstanding?: The Fear of Factions in Contemporary UK Poetry’

To celebrate the latest list of twenty Next Generation 2014 poets (, conference delegates are encouraged to attend the Poetry Book Society’s special Next Generation 2014 reading on Sunday 15 March in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre at 6.30pm. Readings by the poets will be introduced by Ian McMillan. To book tickets (£12/£10, concessions 50% off), visit: or telephone 0844 875 0073. You can find more details about the event on the PBS website:

The organizing committee is:

Jane Dowson (De Montfort University)
Kathryn Gray (Aberystwyth University)
Anna Hewitt (University of Reading)
Chris Holifield (Poetry Book Society)
Niall Munro (Oxford Brookes University)
Stephen Regan (Durham University)
Wim Van Mierlo (Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London)



The School of Advanced Study is part of the central University of London. The School takes its responsibility to visitors with special needs very seriously and will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to its facilities in order to accommodate the needs of such visitors. If you have a particular requirement, please feel free to discuss it confidentially with the organiser in advance of the event taking place.

Enquiries: Events Officer, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU; tel +44 (0) 207 862 8826; Email: