January 8, 2022

Creative writing teachers in an international poetry project – FE News

Two senior lecturers at Leeds Trinity University (@LeedsTrinity) had their poems published in an anthology marking the 700e anniversary of the death of the Italian poet, writer and philosopher Dante Alighieri.

Professor Oz Hardwick and Dr Amina Alyal, Lecturers in English at Leeds Trinity, were selected from a group of 70 poets from around the world to contribute to the The divine Dante anthology, which is based on the famous Divine comedy trilogy – completed in 1320, a year before the poet’s death.

Professor Hardwick and Dr Alyal were invited to submit three poems – one for each of the three books of the Divine comedy; ‘Inferno’ (Hell), ‘Purgatorio’ (Purgatory) and ‘Paradiso’ (Paradise / Heaven).

One submission from each poet was selected for the book, which was published by Recent Work Press. “Statius Purgatorio 21 / XXI” by Professor Hardwick and “On the Verge” by Dr Alyal – both based on the second book of the Divine comedy, ‘Purgatorio’ – have been included.

The anthology was followed by an online publication that contains all the poems written, as well as a series of embedded videos from some of the contributors reading their work, including Professor Hardwick.

Professor Hardwick, MA Creative Writing Program Manager, said:

“Amina and I are interested in Divine comedy both poets and academics. I have published extensively on medieval art and literature and the milieu that gave birth to Dante’s work, while Amina is interested in the Italian influence on Renaissance poetry and theater.

“The comedy itself is extremely complex in its allusions to earlier literature, culture, politics and religion, but ultimately traces a journey from darkness to light. This makes it an ideal starting point for exploring our own complex – and somewhat dark – era, with one eye always on the glimmer of light that awaits us. “

English lecturer Dr Alyal said:

“I have a particular interest in Dante Divine comedy thus to be invited to contribute to an anthology in his memory, among so many other fantastic poets, was an immense honor.

The Divine comedy is a long Italian narrative poem that deals with the state of the soul after death and describes Dante’s journeys through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven.

Professor Hardwick and Dr Alyal also wrote a collaborative response to Dante’s “Purgatorio” titled The immobile and ephemeral fire which is expected later this year by Hedgehog Poetry Press.

To read the contributions of Professor Hardwick and Dr Alyal to the The divine Dante anthology, visit the site.

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