2011 Conference in Long Beach, poet B. H. Fairchild to give keynote and poetry reading

The RJA officers are pleased to announce that the 2011 RJA conference will take place in Long Beach, California during Presidents’ Day weekend, February 18-20.  Co-sponsored by the English department of California State University, Long Beach, conference panels and events will be held in the Pyramid Annex of CSULB.  We are grateful to George Hart and the CSULB English department for their gracious support.

Poet and scholar B. H. Fairchild will give a poetry reading on Friday evening, February 18, and a keynote address on Saturday morning, February 19.  Fairchild is one of the finest poets living in the state of California, as well as one of the preeminent narrative poets working in America.  His recent volumes of poetry include The Art of the Lathe: Poems (1998) and Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest (2003). He is also the author of Such Holy Song: Music as Idea, Form, and Image in the Poetry of William Blake (1980) and teaches at California State University, San Bernardino.

This year’s conference theme will be “The Mid-Length Narratives.” Robinson Jeffers is justly renowned for his lyrics of the natural world, politics and family, for his book-length narrative poems and for his tragic dramas, but Jeffers also wrote at least half a dozen mid-length narrative poems that are masterpieces of the genre.  These poems—such as “Roan Stallion,” “Resurrection,” “Solstice,” “Margrave,” “Mara,” and “Hungerfield”—are among the poet’s best.  These poems, most of which can be read aloud in well under an hour, span his career, from “Roan Stallion” in the early 1920s to “Hungerfield” almost 30 years later and constitute an exciting body of work that deserves to be treated as a whole.

For more information about the Conference, including the Call for Papers, please see our conference page.

Paper proposals for and questions about the 2011 conference may be directed to Erika Koss at ExecutiveDirector@RobinsonJeffersAssociation.org.

If you want to read more about Fairchild, including several of his poems, go to the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Tool here:  www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=2104. To view a 23-minute webcast of a talk by Fairchild from the 2003 National Book Festival, go here: http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=3536.