Go Thou to Rome: Paradise, Grave, City, and Wilderness

May 12, 2019 - May 17, 2019

Sunday 12 May 2019 –Friday 17 May 2019

How have poets working in English responded to the promise and threat of Rome? In the more than thousand years since St Helena’s hagiographer Cynewulf described Rome as burg enta, “city of giants,” the English tradition has both kept a wary eye on Rome and made it a goal of poetic pilgrimage. This course takes P.B. Shelley’s call to one mourning the death of John Keats: “Go thou to Rome, —at once the Paradise/ The grave, the city, and the wilderness”) as an organizing principle, one way to approach what can seem an overwhelming experience. Investigating how poets have treated Rome in all of Shelley’s categories, we will visit sites of many poems to examine the ways poetic and religious pilgrimages intertwine and challenge each other. More recent movements, including Beat and Formalist poetry, will also be considered. Robert Browning, Thom Gunn, Heather McHugh, and Moira Egan are some of the other poets we will read.

Elizabeth Hadaway

Elizabeth Hadaway is an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Western New York. Her first book, Fire Baton (University of Arkansas, 2006) won the 2007 Library of Virginia award for poetry. She has work both recent and forthcoming in The Journal of Inklings Studies and her essay “Poet, Priest, and Poor White Trash” appears in Appalachian Reckoning (West Virginia University, 2019), a collection of responses to Hillbilly Elegy. Her poems are published in PoetryAnglican Theological ReviewAethlon: A Journal of Sports Literature, and other venues; her verse play The Prophets at Joppa was produced in the Dioceses of Maryland and West Virginia.

Writing under the name Leigh Palmer, she held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and a Randall Jarrell Fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where she earned an MFA in Creative Writing. Her BA and MA in English are from the University of Virginia, and her MTS and Diploma in Anglican Studies from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. Winner of a Walter Dakin Fellowship and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship at the Sewanee Writers’ Workshop, she translated Jules Laforgue for H.T. Kirby-Smith’s Origins of Free Verse (University of Michigan, 1996).


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