If Prose is a River, Poetry’s a Fountain - with Mark Oakley

If Prose is a River, Poetry’s a Fountain - with Mark Oakley

PCN Britain’s spring conference aims to be a day in the fountain as we look at spiritual expression through poetry. All are welcome.

Start Date:
Saturday 9th May 2015
Start Time:
Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, London, WC2H 8EP
Tony Rutherford
01892 541009
Mark Oakley, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral
Tickets are £17 for non-members and £13 for members

The word “Fountain” is associated with many images - a water spout, a leak, a bursting champagne bottle and even ‘fire and brimstone”. So maybe poetry gives us a similar eruption, waste, fizz or even fear? Mark Oakley will argue that poetry is the preferred language of religion. “Any Christian faith in the future that is not poetic at its very heart will be a poor and shallow affair”. Mark is an engaging communicator. You can get a flavour of him on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnLp3Dr8YkE. The video gives some interesting insights into his spiritual journey and his views about the need to be poetic.

In the afternoon, we will be invited to gather in small groups to discuss specific poems selected by Mark. The meeting will end with a final plenary session. The doors open at 10.30 for an 11am start, ending about 4.15pm.

Come and join us to see how poetry can encourage and inspire us on our radical journey into a deeper faith.

Mark Oakley is Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and well known for his first book “The Collage of God”. He has also been a popular speaker at Greenbelt. His talk on the spiritual influence of R.S Thomas was particularly well received. (Incidentally Greenbelt in 2015 will have a line from R S Thomas as its theme “The Bright Field”.) Mark is a keen supporter of PCN and and skilled presenter, group leader, writer and preacher. He has been Archdeacon of Germany with Northern Europe, and Vicar of the actors’ church, St Paul’s Covent Garden.

All are welcome. For members of PCN there will be a short AGM during the lunch break.

(The title of the conference is a quote from the Northern Irish poet, Michael Longley. ‘Sir, if prose is a river, then poetry’s a fountain’, was Michael Longley’s only contribution to an undergraduate seminar on the Poetics as he recalls in a verse tribute to his old university in The Ghost Orchid (1995).)

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