Celebrated Poet Brought To UK By University

1 September 2011

Eugen Gomringer

Celebrated Swiss poet Eugen Gomringer will visit the University of Derby.

The events will be a great opportunity for people to see and hear the work of this important and influential 'father of concrete poetry

Rodger Brown, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in the School of Art and Design.

An internationally renowned poet will talk about his work spanning more than half-a-century in a rare UK tour including the University of Derby, and organised by one of its academics.

Celebrated Swiss poet Eugen Gomringer, 86, is seen as the father of 'concrete poetry', where the arrangement of a poem's words on the printed page is considered to be as important as the poem itself. His poem Silencio has a blank space or 'silence' in the middle and another, Wind, shows the letters W-I-N-D scattered as if by a wind.

Mr Gomringer will visit Derby and other UK cities this month (September), to read his poems and talk about his life's work. The rare UK tour has been organised by Rodger Brown, a Programme Leader in the University's School of Art and Design, and the Research Group for Artists Publications (RGAP), formerly based at the University but now at the Yorkshire Artspace in Sheffield.

The tour dates are:

  • Monday September 12 - 7pm at the Saison Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London, in conversation with poet Harry Gilonis. Admission free, but booking essential via email: specialedition@poetrylibrary.org.uk

  • Tuesday September 13 - 12noon to 1.30pm, reception and opening of exhibition Eugen Gomringer and the Francesco Conz Collection at Leicester's De Montfort University. Admission free

  • Tuesday September 13- 6.30pm to 8pm, opening of exhibition Concept as Concrete Form: Visual Poetry, Texts and Typography at the University of Derby. Mr Gomringer will be welcomed by Professor Huw Davies - Dean of the University's Faculty of Arts, Design and Technology - at its Markeaton Street site in Derby. Admission free but to book a place contact Rodger Brown on email: r.g.brown@derby.ac.uk
  • Wednesday September 14- 10.30am, talk by Mr Gomringer on The Inter-relation Between Concrete Art and Poetry. Admission Free. University of Derby's Markeaton Street site, Derby. Contact Rodger Brown on email: r.g.brown@derby.ac.uk

  • Thursday September 15 - 11.45am to 5pm, A Day Out at Shandy Hall with Eugen Gomringer featuring readings and a presentation by Mr Gomringer, at Shandy Hall, Coxwold, York. Admission £15, including lunch and guided tour of the hall museum and exhibition. Contact Rodger Brown on email: r.g.brown@derby.ac.uk

  • Friday September16 - 5pm to 6.30pm. The Scottish Poetry Library at 5 Crichton's Close, Canongate, Edinburgh. Mr Gomringer will read his poems and be in conversation with poet Thomas A Clark. To book contact Julie Johnstone on 0131 557 2876.

Mr Gomringer said: "The purpose of reduced language is not the reduction of language itself but the achievement of great flexibility and freedom of communication, with its inherent rules and regulations.

"The resulting poems should be, if possible, as easily understood as signs in airports or traffic signs."

Rodger Brown, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in the School of Art and Design at the University of Derby, added: "This is a unique opportunity to see one of the most influential cultural figures of the 20th century, whose work continues to exert influence over a whole host of artists and poets up to the present day.

"Eugen Gomringer was at the forefront of developing a free form linguistic style that liberated text from traditional linear syntax and placed it firmly in the visual realm, freeing it from usual forms of linguistic and literary association.

"The events will be a great opportunity for people to see and hear the work of this important and influential 'father of concrete poetry'. I am delighted to be able to welcome Eugen Gomringer to the UK and to the University of Derby in particular."

For more information on the Eugen Gomringer tour visit the RGAP website at www.rgap.co.uk

For further information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email s.kirby@derby.ac.uk.

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