Everything is Poetry: Environmental Poetry, Guerrilla Poetry and Poetry Bombing A public lecture by David Morley

Wednesday 27th August 6-7pm
Lecture Theatre G1.04, Caulfield Campus


'We are putting the world on notice: we are here; we are writing; and we want your attention. If you’re not willing to give us your attention, then we will take it from you. We will be heard. Are you listening?’ – from the Guerrilla Poetry Manifesto

How do we create a poetic form that increases the species-diversity of a habitat? How can we prompt a whole city to read poetry? How do we place poetry at the heart of what we do and who we are? In this guest lecture, the first Alliance Professor of Writing David Morley presents examples and challenges that will surprise and delight. From poetry-bombing a clothes store to poetry-bombing a city, from blending poems into the life-cycle of birds to swimming a poem along a river, David’s own creations are imbued with a high idea content about the dynamics of ecology (he is a trained zoologist as well as a poet). His conceptual works are created from the artistic fusion of poetic and sculptural elements with those of the natural landscape. John Clare declared that he ‘found the p\oems in fields and only wrote them down’. Morley, the poetic biographer of Clare in The Gypsy and the Poet (Carcanet, 2013), takes this process a step sideways by creating poems and folding them back into the natural world. 


David Morley was trained as an ecologist and carried out a substantial research project on acid rain before Margaret Thatcher shut down his laboratory. Fortunately David was also writing poetry and won an Eric Gregory Award a few months after losing his job. Morley’s poetry collections include The Gypsy and the Poet (Carcanet, 2013), a PBS Recommendation, and Biographies of Birds and Flowers: Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2014). He published Enchantment (Carcanet 2011), a Sunday Telegraph Book of the Year chosen by Jonathan Bate. The Invisible Kings (Carcanet, 2007) was a PBS Recommendation and TLS Book of the Year chosen by Les Murray. He writes for The Guardian and Poetry Review. He was one of the judges of the 2012 T.S. Eliot Prize and is judging the 2013 Foyle Young Poets of the Year. He has won fourteen writing awards and is Professor of Writing at Warwick University and Alliance Chair of Writing at Monash University.