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White’s world

One of contemporary Scotland’s most prolific and contentious intellectuals, Kenneth White, will be the guest of honour at an International conference at the University of St Andrews.

This special event will mark the fortieth anniversary of the publication of Wild Coal, his first poetry collection.

The conference will take place over two days (10-11 October 2003), which aptly coincides with National Poetry Weekend, and is being hosted by the Department of French. Overall organisation has seen collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and St Andrews, with The Poetry House, part of the English Department at St Andrews also lending its support.

Dr Gavin Bowd, organizer of the event said:

“This international event allows us to assess the cultural impact of Kenneth White’s work in the presence of the author himself.”

Highly respected and admired, White chose early on in his career to spend much of his creative life mainly in France, where he came to fame long before his ‘discovery’ in Scotland at the end of the eighties.

Though born in Glasgow, White grew up with an intense experience of nature, and from an early age the undisputed aim of his poetry was to recapture and transmit this experience through his words. In his poem ‘Walking the Coast’ (1966) White does exactly this with his reference to St Andrews’ barometer and pier experienced as a moment trapped in a physical world, yet still beyond it.

The French Embassy in London through its cultural mission, the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, has also been instrumental in providing valuable funds that will ensure that the event is not only memorable with the poet ‘in residence’ but that it is also a truly bilingual affair.

Members of the public are invited to attend a special reading by Kenneth White at 7.30pm on Friday 10th October 2003 in Lower Parliament Hall, South Street; free admission.

ENDS Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Emily Saunders on 01334 462244, mobile 07713 149 186, or email ems4@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: White World 260903 View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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