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Philip Larkin: Personality, Poetry, Prose.
13-14 June 2019, Hull History Centre, Hull, UK.

The past few years have been particularly exciting for the Larkin scholar. With Hull – the poet’s workplace and home of thirty years – selected as UK City of Culture 2017, this undoubtedly engendered a renewed interest in not only the work of Philip Larkin, but the life of the poet as well. We expect that this will only be amplified by the successive title being handed to Coventry, Larkin’s birthplace and childhood home.

Larkin’s writing and his life have recently been the subject of two exhibitions: New Eyes, Each Year (University of Hull, 2017) and Larkin and Hughes: Poets and Rivals (University of Huddersfield, 2019), both generating greater awareness of the writer’s works and life. Further developments include the recent publication of Philip Larkin: Letters Home (ed. James Booth, 2018) which has now brought Larkin’s letters to his father, mother and sister into the public realm. The diversity found in the new edition of letters in comparison to the previous collections (Philip Larkin: Selected Letters 1940-1985 and Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica, ed. Anthony Thwaite, 1993 and 2011, respectively) undoubtedly opens up Larkin studies to a variety of new perspectives.

We are, therefore, calling for papers on any contributions on Larkin’s writing – the literary, life and letters. Papers may include (but are not limited to):

  • Perspectives on Larkin’s relationship with his parents
  • Critical studies on Larkin’s writing
  • Larkin the letter writer
  • Larkin the poet
  • Larkin and place
  • Larkin’s intertextualities
  • Relationship with other writers
  • Larkin the photographer
  • Larkin and jazz

The conference will include a keynote by James Booth, writer of Philip Larkin: Writer (1992), Philip Larkin: The Poet’s Plight (2005) and Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love (2014), and editor of Philip Larkin: Letters Home (2018).

Please forward proposals (approx 250 words) for a 20 minute paper alongside a brief biography to by 26th April 2019. Decisions and registration will be circulated at the beginning of May.