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Catherine Charlwood

The 2019 INSPIRE/ASLE-UKI Lecture: Such a Pair – The Twin Lives of Humans and Trees

Hay Festival 2019, 

Tracing the twin lives and connected deaths of humans and trees in English verse, especially in the poetry of Thomas Hardy and Charlotte Mew, Catherine explores the paralleling of plant and person, the way that tree-felling is represented in poetry, and moments when the distinction between the human body and the tree’s form starts to fade. Poetry records the passing of specific tree lives, borrowing aspects of the elegy – a form that traditionally records a human death – to lend importance to such losses. Catherine Charlwood is an emerging scholar in the environmental humanities at Oxford University. After speaking she will discuss the concepts further with Jane Davidson, Director of the award-winning Institute for Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE) programme, and Brycchan Carey, Professor of English at Northumbria University and Chair of ASLE-UKI.

Catherine Charlwood