The Symposium

In October 2017, we will host the first symposium dedicated to Peter Manson’s work.

Please join us at the University of Glasgow for a carnival of epistemophilia, pareidolia and paranoia, deciphering and decoding, as we reckon with the Manson panoply. An evening of poetry by poets, friends and accomplices precedes the symposium, which closes with a reading by Peter Manson.

This symposium will seek to follow some of the threads of his output, teasing out thematic and structural links that unify his work across diverse domains.

The Peter Manson Symposium is organised by Ellen Dillon, Tom Betteridge, Colin Herd and Nicky Melville.

Many thanks to The Andrew Tannahill Fund for the Furtherance of Scottish Literature, The W.P Ker Fund, the Scottish Network of Modernist Studies and the School of English, Dublin City University for their generous support.


Friday, October 27th  7 pm
Pollok Ex-Servicemen’s club, 111 Titwood Rd, Glasgow G41 2DG.

Readings and performances by:

  • Sarah Hayden,
  • Nat Raha,
  • Jo Lindsay Walton,
  • Mendoza,
  • Nicky Melville,
  • John Hall,
  • Jane Goldman,
  • Vicky Langan,
  • Food People
  • and others TBC


Register for Friday Tickets


Saturday, October 28th 9am-6pm,
Rooms 202 and 203, 4 University Avenue, University of Glasgow

9.00                 Refreshments

9.30                 A Plenary talk by Robin Purves

10.30               Refreshments

10.45               Panel 1


  1. Stewart Sanderson, ‘Peter Manson and Contemporary Scottish Poetry’
  2. Greg Thomas, ‘Sourd-Muet: The Poetics of Non-communication in Peter Manson’s “Sourdough Mutation”’
  3. Becky Varley-Winter, ‘Colouring écriture feminine in Peter Manson’s translations of Mallarmé’


12.00               Refreshments

12.15               Panel 2


  1. Samantha Walton, ‘“things go beyond words’ // ‘Slow Motion Cucumber Decay in Fridge’: Ecological Thinking, New Materialism and Adjunct: An Undigest
  2. Josh Robinson, ‘Trying to Be a (Better) Materialist: Matter, Materialism; Media, Mediation; Adjunct, Adjunctification
  3. Rob Kiely, “Literary criticism is book-keeping.”


13.30               Lunch

15.00               Panel 3


  1. Alice Tarbuck, ‘“a generalisation of eyes about the set”: Reframing attention in Peter Manson’s Factitious Airs
  2. Calum Gardner, ‘“falling awake”: Peter Manson’s Catachresis’


16.00               Refreshments

17.00               A reading by Peter Manson

18.00               End.


Register for Saturday Tickets





Dr Robin Purves is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Central Lancashire.  He used to co-edit Object Permanence with Peter Manson and has published more than twenty essays on poetry and popular music, including work on J.H. Prynne, Keston Sutherland, Andrea Brady, Denise Riley, Thomas Wyatt and The Fall.


Dr Calum Gardner is a poet, critic, and editor of Zarf magazine, and works as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds. Their monograph Poetry & Barthes is due out in 2018 from Liverpool University Press, and their recent poetry has appeared in JungftakDatableed, and Adjacent Pineapple.


Rob Kiely teaches Creative Nonfiction at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham. He has recently published an article on Beckett and astrology in Journal of Modern Literature. His work can also be found in The Parish Review, Cambridge Literary Review, and Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui. His chapbooks include How to Read (2017), and Killing the Cop in Your Head (2017).


Josh Robinson teaches poetry and literary and critical theory at Cardiff University, where ze specializes in the manifold interrelationships between poetics and the critique of political economy. Hir book, Adorno’s Poetics of Form, is forthcoming from SUNY Press in 2018.


Dr Stewart Sanderson is a poet and researcher based in Edinburgh. His PhD, completed at the University of Glasgow in 2016, sought to address the role of translation in modern Scots language poetry. Twice shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, in 2015 he received an Eric Gregory Award for his first pamphlet, Fios. He was a 2016 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellow and is currently working on a first full-length collection of poems.


Alice Tarbuck is finishing her PhD on Thomas A. Clark at the University of Dundee. She is also postgraduate fellow at the Centre for Poetic Innovation at the universities of Dundee and Edinburgh.


Dr Greg Thomas is a writer and musician based in Essex. Between 2014 and 2017 he was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He specialises in modern and contemporary poetry, with particular interests in the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay, concrete and visual poetries, and regional avant-garde and modernist movements of the 1960s-70s.


Dr Rebecca Varley–Winter currently teaches for colleges at the University of Cambridge. Prior to this she worked at Keble College, Oxford. Her PhD was completed at Cambridge, supervised by Anne Stillman, titled Reading Fragments and Fragmentation: Stéphane Mallarmé, Mina Loy, Hope Mirrlees. Her academic book, Reading Fragments and Fragmentation in Modernist Literature, is forthcoming from Sussex Academic Press.


Dr Samantha Walton is Lecturer in English Literature: Writing and Environment at Bath Spa University. Her research addresses the relationship between  environment and mental health, and she’s currently an AHRC ECR Leadership Fellow on the project Cultures of Nature and Wellbeing. With Jo Lindsay Walton, she co-edits Sad Press, and also co-runs the performance and reading series Anathema in Bristol.


Peter Manson

Over the last twenty-five years, Scottish poet and translator Peter Manson (1969-) has established himself as one of the foremost exponents of contemporary experimental poetry, as well as a renowned translator of, and advocate for, the work of Stéphane Mallarmé. His books include the collections of poetry For the Good of Liars (2006), Between Cup and Lip (2008) and Poems of Frank Rupture (2014), the prose work Adjunct: an Undigest (2009), his translation of the Poésies of Stéphane Mallarmé, The Poems in Verse (2013), and English in Mallarmé (2014).

We could approach Manson’s work through considering his place in contemporary British innovative poetry, via Goldsmith and Dworkin’s anthology of conceptual poetry, in the context of the company of poets here and across the Atlantic whose work he promoted as co-editor of Object Permanence, through an interest in 21st century permutations of Oulipian constraints, or from the perspective of his formidable engagement with the work of Mallarmé. Readers’ responses to his work are, in many cases, shaped by the context of their first encounter.




Posters and Flyers to download/share/print: