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The Spectral Child and the Archive: Liz Berry & Kimberly Campanello

Wednesday 20 September 2023, 13:00 - 14:30
Bedford Room, Brotherton Library, University of Leeds & Online

Professor Kimberly Campanello's MOTHERBABYHOME (2019) and Liz Berry's The Home Child (2023) both constitute long form poetic works which engage closely with the archive in their evocation of the lives of children denied, erased or forgotten by the functioning of various state systems of care, whether the UK's 'Home Child' initiative or the mother and baby homes run by religious orders in the Republic of Ireland. This roundtable discussion and series of readings hosted by Dr Lucy Arnold (University of Worcester), will explore the ways in which the poetic form might offer renewed presence and place to such cohorts of children, and the possibilities which arise in the interactions between poet and archive will be explored. This event is organised in association with the ARHC-funded 'Haunting Issues: Children, Spectrality and Culture Research Network, a group of scholars seeking to understand the significance of the figure of the spectral child across history and culture. You can find more information about the network here.

About the Contributors:

Kimberly Campanello

Kimberly Campanello's most recent projects are MOTHERBABYHOME, a 796-page visual poetry-object and reader’s edition book (zimZalla, 2019), and sorry that you were not moved (2022), an interactive digital poetry publication produced in collaboration with Christodoulos Makris and Fallow Media. She is an inaugural Markievicz Award winner from Ireland's Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Arts Council, and she represented the UK in Munich at Klang Farben Text: Visual Poetry for the 21st Century, a festival organised by the British Council, the National Poetry Library, and Lyrik Kabinett. New poems have appeared in Granta, Poetry Review, Cambridge Literary Review, The White Review, and Poetry Ireland Review. New prose features in Tolka and in Somesuch Stories. She is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds.

Liz Berry

Liz Berry is an award-winning poet and author of the critically acclaimed collections Black Country (Chatto, 2014); The Republic of Motherhood (Chatto, 2018); The Dereliction (Hercules Editions, 2021), a collaboration with artist Tom Hicks; and most recently The Home Child (Chatto, 2023), a novel in verse. Liz’s work, described as “a sooty soaring hymn to her native West Midlands” (Guardian), celebrates the landscape, history and dialect of the region. Liz has received the Somerset Maugham Award, Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and Forward Prizes. Her poem ‘Homing’, a love poem for the language of the Black Country, is part of the GCSE English syllabus. Liz is a patron of Writing West Midlands and lives in Birmingham with her family.

Lucy Arnold

Dr Lucy Arnold is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature (Contemporary) in the Department of English, Media and Culture at the University of Worcester, UK. She is a specialist in contemporary literature with particular research interests in contemporary gothic, narratives of haunting, contemporary women’s writing and psychoanalytic criticism. The majority of her published work to date has concerned the writing of Booker Prize winning novelist Hilary Mantel, with her monograph, Reading Hilary Mantel: Haunted Decades, published with Bloomsbury in 2019. She is the Principal Investigator of ‘the AHRC funded research network ‘Haunting Issues: Children, Spectrality and Culture’.

Book Online here

Book In Person here