Home > Website archive > Public events > Events > 2013 > 03 > Poetry and Politics: how well do they mix?

Poetry and Politics: how well do they mix?

The Wordsworth Trust LSE Literary Festival event

Date: Saturday 2 March 2013 
Time: 1-2.30pm
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Carola Luther, Michael McGregor, Dr Llewelyn Morgan
Chair: Richard Bronk

How well can political ideas and sentiments be expressed and illuminated in poetry? Are oblique references more successful than the overt? Is the formulation of political ideas in poetry intrinsically more difficult than other ideas? Does a poet’s expression of politics necessarily compromise her status as a poet, or are our views of these matters culturally specific, related to assumptions about and ideals of the poet that cannot be applied at all historical times.

In this panel discussion speakers will read short passages of poetry to illustrate their points.

Carola Luther is a former poet in residence at The Wordsworth Trust, now living in Yorkshire. She is the author of Arguing with Malarchy and Walking the Animals (Carcanet Press) and Herd (Wordsworth Trust). Carola will examine the topic from the perspective of contemporary poetry.

Michael McGregor is The Robert Woof Director of The Wordsworth Trust – an organisation that not only curates the world’s most important collection of Wordsworth manuscripts, but also supports contemporary poetry through readings, workshops and a poetry residence. Michael’s remarks will centre on the treatment of political issues such as the French Revolution by Wordsworth and other Romantics.

Llewelyn Morgan is lecturer in classical literature and language and tutorial fellow in classics at Brasenose College, Oxford, and author of Musa Pedestris: Metre and Meaning in Roman Verse, Oxford University Press. Llewelyn will focus on the Latin poets, Virgil and Horace, who wrote under the indirect patronage of the first Roman emperor.

Richard Bronk is a visiting fellow at the European Institute, LSE, and author of The Romantic Economist (Cambridge University Press)

This event forms part of LSE's 5th Space for Thought Literary Festival, taking place from Tuesday 26 February - Saturday 2 March 2013, with the theme 'Branching Out'.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest


A podcast of this event is available to download from Literary Festival 2013: Poetry and Politics: how well do they mix? 

Podcasts and Videos of many Literary Festival events are now online: LSE Literary Festival 2013- Podcasts and Videos. Podcasts and videos of many other LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.


A copy of Michael McGregor and Dr Llewelyn Morgan's PowerPoint presentations can now be downloaded:

Poetry and Politics: how well do they mix? (pdf)


This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email info@cpduk.co.uk).

Twitter and Facebook

You can get immediate notification on the availability of an event podcast by following LSE public lectures and events on Twitter, which will also inform you about the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what's happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page.


If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, as well as on accessibility and special requirements, please refer to LSE Events FAQ.  LSE aims to ensure that people have equal access to these public events, but please contact the events organiser as far as possible in advance if you have any access requirements so that arrangements, where possible, can be made. If the event is ticketed, please ensure you get in touch in advance of the ticket release date. Access Guides to all our venues can be viewed online.