Poetry at the Post: Great Writing, Dungeons & More

Imperial City
From the outset I hated the city of my ancestors.
I was fearful I’d be put in the dungeon below
the cathedral.

Weissenburg-im-Nordgau in 1725
Weissenburg-im-Nordgau in 1725



The 19th Annual Great Writing International
Creative Writing Conference
Imperial College London
Sat. June 18th – Sun. June 19th 2016

Critical or creative presentations are invited for the 19th Annual Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference.

In 2016, the 19th year of the conference, we will look to the current conditions of your individual creative writing practice, to research and teaching in creative writing, and to the experiences of creative writing teaching, learning and research from a faculty or student perspective. All topics will be welcome.

Proposals will be peer-reviewed.

The conference will also feature the 6th Annual New Writing International Creative Writing Event.

More details on the conference can be found at: http://www.greatwriting.org.uk

1. Single presentations: 20 minutes, 10 minutes questions.

2. 3 person presentations/panels: 90 minutes in total.

Send proposals to: conference@greatwriting.org.uk

(Proposals: 150 word draft description of your presentation – final abstracts are published in the annual conference booklet)

* Closing Date for Submissions: 9 November 2015 *

(*Great Writing calls for papers can appear throughout the year, but when all presenter places are filled we close the call. Early submission is therefore highly encouraged)

Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum

To be held at one of the UK’s great universities and great locations: Imperial College London, South Kensington, a cultural centre for the arts, sciences, music and museums, close to Royal Albert Hall and right next to the wonderful Natural History Museum.
For queries contact Professor Graeme Harper, Conference Director:
or for general enquiries contact:

Poetry at the Post, Day 3: “Ode” by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

Kensai Greem Cemetery, December 2005 Photo courtesy of Justin Cormack Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Kensai Greem Cemetery, December 2005
Photo courtesy of Justin Cormack
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
“Ode” by Arthur O’Shaughnessy (1844-81)

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,

A British poet of Irish descent, O’Shaughnessy earned his living as an herpetologist at the British Museum. His real love, however, was not the frogs and snakes but literature, especially poetry.

For me, this poem is special because it reminds me of the importance of beginning new dreams. Instead of focusing on the past—its successes and failures– and the passage of time and generations, I like to think of the dream that is being conceived. (And, Yes! My dream is coming true! #lateantiquitystudiesBudapest2014)

For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

Sadly, O’Shaughnessy died of a “Chill” at the age of 36. He is buried at Kensai Green Cemetery in London. For the full poem and a bit of fairy dust, visit http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/242554

May 25, 2014
May 25, 2014