University of Hull
Organization: The Philip Larkin Society
It’s 1974 and Larkin has been forced to leave behind the high windows of his Pearson Park flat and move into his final home at Newland Park. The ongoing miners’ strikes threaten to turn off the lights across the country. Barry Bloomfield’s bibliography of Larkin’s publications nags at him, the dates on the cover suggesting to Larkin that there is ‘a tombstone being lowered over me’. Although Larkin goes on to publish one of his greatest poems ‘Aubade’ three years later, High Windows is his final collection, despite the fact that he is only in his early fifties. However, sales of the collection are exceptional – nearly 20, 000 copies in less than a year – and, as Andrew Motion suggests in his biography of Larkin, this ‘fidgety’ collection ‘turned him into a national monument.’
The Philip Larkin Society Conference 2024 invites contributors to use High Windows as a starting point for exploring and interrogating the work of Philip Larkin and his contemporaries. Contributors are not expected to confine their approaches to High Windows itself; we would be particularly interested in presentations that explore Larkin’s diverse prose work as well as his poetry. The conference will take place close to the Brynmor Jones Library, where Larkin worked from 1955 until his death in 1985. Furthermore, we are delighted to announce that Philip Larkin Society Honorary Vice-Presidents David Quantick and Blake Morrison are our keynote speakers for this year.
Building on the successful programme of our 2022 conference, we will present a range of approaches to Larkin’s work with a varied programme of contributors. We are an inclusive society and would like to encourage submissions from people of all backgrounds and approaches. We are also looking for ways to actively support and promote undergraduate involvement.
The conference will take the format of 3 panels on two days, each consisting of 3x 20-minute papers and symposia/discussion forums. The event will take place on 14th and 15th March 2024.
Proposals (up to 300 words) should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 1st December 2023.