Public lectures and events

Apologies for Poetry

Sat, 29 Feb 2020 1:30 PM

From time to time, poets feel obliged to defend their art in response to perceived antagonists. Whether replying to an overzealous puritan complaining about poetry’s sensuality or to a utilitarian objecting to its uselessness, to a Romantic concerned about over-intellectualization or to a classicist calling for a return to traditional form, apologists all believe poetry to be a vital approach to truth. After a historical overview, we will look in particular at two 20th-century essays that add to the genre: T.S. Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent” and Seamus Heaney’s “The Redress of Poetry.”

This free event is co-sponsored by the Liberal Arts and 55+ Program and the SFU Seniors Lifelong Learners Society.

Date(s): Sat, Feb 29, 1:30-3 p.m.

Location: Room 1900, SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre)

Admission: Seats for Free Forums are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the talk. While we cannot guarantee or reserve seats, there will be 200 available.

Related topic(s): Liberal Arts


  • Timothy Brownlow

    Tim’s PhD is from York University, Toronto. He is also Professor Emeritus at Vancouver Island University.

    Tim’s career was spent as a professor of English language and literature at various universities, concluding with fourteen years at Malaspina University-College (now Vancouver Island University). He retired in 2006, and was made Professor Emeritus in 2015. His teaching style is eclectic, contextual and inter-disciplinary, placing literature in its historical setting, as well as stressing its qualities as a work of art.

    He has published three volumes of poetry. Climbing Croagh Patrick (1998) was praised by W.J. Keith in the Canadian Book Review Annual for its “civilized sincerity” and its “Irish capacity to embrace a personal cultural tradition readily and unselfconsciously.” His scholarship is represented by a book on the Romantic poet, John Clare, published by the Clarendon Press, Oxford (1983), described by Nina Auerbach in Studies in English Literature as “wonderful… its strength is the delicacy with which it fuses personal with political understanding.” Tim’s book of essays, Hiding Places (2008), reveals, according to Eric Miller in The Malahat Review, a “conscience magnanimous, troubled, vulnerable to beauty, pluralistic, and eloquent.” Tim is working on a memoir; the first chapter has appeared in New Hibernia Review, described by the editor, James Rogers, as recounted “with affection and crystalline recall.”

    In retirement, Tim continues to pursue his lifelong interests, such as: deepening his love of music; playing the piano; reading voraciously; writing both prose and poetry; gardening; and running a small business called FEIS, which organizes intimate dinner evenings at congenial venues, carefully prepared around a cultural theme. Tim is also past president of the Vancouver Island chapter for the alumni of Trinity College, Dublin.



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