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English PGR Seminar Series: Sara Crangle – Thursday 7 December 2017
December 7 @ 5:15 pm - 7:15 pmFree
You are warmly invited to the English Postgraduate Research Seminar with Professor Sara Crangle. The event takes place Thursday 7th December at 5.15 pm in the Lock Keeper’s Cottage, Mile End campus. All are welcome.
The Agonies of Ambivalence: Anna Mendelssohn, la poétesse maudite
This talk will address the poetry and life writing of the British writer, artist, and activist Anna Mendelssohn (1948-2009), who also published under the name Grace Lake. Mendelssohn’s writing is closely aligned with a modernist, experimental, and continental poetic tradition. Overshadowing (and risking over-determining) the reading of her vanguard poetry is Mendelssohn’s affiliation with Britain’s Angry Brigade. As one of eight defendants in the longest British criminal trial of the twentieth century, Mendelssohn was charged with conspiracy and incarcerated in Royal Holloway Prison through the 1970s. Upon her release, Mendelssohn attended the University of Cambridge and became an accomplished poet; her work was anthologised by Iain Sinclair, Denise Riley, and Rod Mengham, among others.
Given this history, Mendelssohn might be considered a pre-eminent vanguard figure, both politically and aesthetically. But while Mendelssohn’s affiliations and artistry align her quite readily with an avant-garde history that includes poet-activists such as Rimbaud, her status as a female vanguard practitioner, as well as her own resistance to identity and leftist politics, complicates the already complex relationship between this accursed or vanguard poet and legacy.
Sara Crangle is Professor of Modernism & the Avant-Garde at the University of Sussex, where she co-directs the Centre for Modernist Studies. In addition to completing a monograph on Mina Loy and satire, she is currently editing the poetry and prose of Anna Mendelssohn, whose archive she brought to Sussex Special Collections in 2010
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