“Something more fidgety and various,” 50 Years of High Windows.
It’s 1974 and Larkin has been forced to leave behind the high windows of his Pearson Park flat and move into his final home at Newland Park. The ongoing miners’ strikes threaten to turn off the lights across the country. Barry Bloomfield’s Bibliography of Larkin’s publications nags at him, the dates on the cover suggesting to Larkin that there’s ‘a tombstone being lowered over me’. Although Larkin goes on to publish one of his greatest poems- ‘Aubade’- three years later, High Windows is his final collection, even though he is only in his early fifties. However, sales of the collection are ‘exceptional- nearly 20 000 copies in less than a year – and, as Andrew Motion suggests, ‘High Windows turned him into a national monument.’
The Philip Larkin Society Conference 2024 invites contributors to use High Windows as a starting point for exploring and interrogating the work of Philip Larkin and his contemporaries. Contributors are certainly not expected to confine their approaches to High Windows itself; we would be particularly interested in presentations that explore Larkin’s diverse prose work as well as his poetry. The conference will take place close to the Brynmor Jones Library, where Larkin worked from 1955 until his death in 1985. Furthermore, we are delighted to announce that novelist, screenwriter and Philip Larkin Society Honorary Vice-President David Quantick will be our keynote speaker.
Building on the successful programme of our 2022 conference, we will present a range of approaches to Larkin’s work with a varied programme of contributors from across the arts and academic landscape.
To register for the conference click on this link.
Sixth Form study day, Higher Windows
The Conference is preceded on Wednesday, 13th March by a study day for post-16 students at the same venue. It is intended to reach beyond the A level curriculum to look at Larkin’s work in critical and creative ways. Teachers, please put the date in your diary! The cost is £75 per school/college for 10 students and 2 staff members (extra students at £6 per student).
For more details and to book your places, go to this Eventbrite link.
This study day is part of a concerted effort to reconnect with young enthusiasts of Larkin’s work – of which there are many. We hope they will become the members of the tomorrow