Skip to main content

Decentring the Poetic Canon through Religion and Ecology

Event information>

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

In person

Event type


The Zen of Ecopoetics - Cosmological Imaginations in Modernist American Poetry by Enaie Maire Azambuja poster

Join us for this roundtable discussion with Joseph Ford, Allan Kilner-Johnson, and Yewande Okuleye on the launch of Enaiê Mairê Azambuja’s book, The Zen of Ecopoetics: Cosmological Imaginations in Modernist American Poetry. This is the first comprehensive study investigating the cultural affinities and resonances of Zen Buddhism and Taoism in early twentieth-century American poetry and its contribution to current definitions of ecopoetics, focusing on four key poets: William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, and E.E. Cummings.

The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session, on decentring the poetic canon, exploring the role of Eastern philosophies in shaping modernist American poetry, and understanding their significance in the context of ecocriticism.

Allan Johnson is Associate Professor in English Literature and Associate Dean (Doctoral College) at the University of Surrey, where his research focuses on the psychoanalytic implications of absence and elision in twentieth-century literature. He is the author of Alan Hollinghurst and the Vitality of Influence, Masculine Identity in Modernist Literature, and The Sacred Life of Modernist Literature: Immanence, Occultism, and the Making of the Modern World.

Joseph Ford is Senior Lecturer in French Studies and Director of the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory in the Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies at the University of London's School of Advanced Study. His research is focused on the postcolonial literature and culture of the Francosphere, comparative approaches to 'world literature', and decolonial theory and poetics. 

Yewande Okuleye’s creative critical research praxis is informed by her disciplinary background in science, fine art, history of medicine, and health humanities. Yewande uses poetry, spoken word, and literature to reveal and recover overlooked, misrepresented, and forgotten histories. She has written and performed her poetry at conferences, talks, and radio (BBC). She is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a published poet (in Anne-Thology: Poems Re-Presenting Anne Shakespeare, 2023). She has taught Medical Humanities at the University of Oxford, and Cambridge. She recently completed a Poet in Residence on the Health Histories Project.

The event will finish with a drinks reception and book signing.

All are welcome to attend this free event which is being held in person. Please register in advance using Book Now at the top of the page.

In collaboration with Senate House Library