Elisabeth Gruner is Associate Professor of English, University of Richmond. Dr. Gruner teaches children’s and young adult literature and Victorian literature, as well as Creative Nonfiction Writing. Her current research is on young adult literature and the “crisis in reading”; more broadly, she is interested in the relationships between children’s and young adult literature and education. She is also a former associate dean of Arts & Sciences and Director of the Academic Advising Resources Center, and the former coordinator of the First-Year Seminar Program.
When celebrated neuropsychologist Paul Broks’s wife died of cancer, it sparked a journey of grief and reflection that traced a lifelong attempt to understand how the brain gives rise to the soul. The result of that journey. ‘The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Stars’, is a gorgeous, evocative meditation on fate, death, consciousness, and what it means to be human.
In this correspondence Paul Broks discusses the production of this book with Garry Kennard, its illustrator.
Anna Ridler is an artist and researcher who works with information and data. She was a 2018 EMAP fellow and was listed by Artnet as one of nine “pioneering artists” exploring AI’s creative potential. She is particularly interested in constructing stories and narratives and exploring the intersections of where the quantitative meets the qualitative.
Georgia Ward Dyer studied Philosophy at the University of Cambridge before developing an art practice which focuses on creating conversations about abstract, complex ideas by making them tangible through process-led, multivalent works. Her work often addresses questions of meaning, ontology and epistemology.
On a bright, still December day author, artist and poet, John Moat, meditates on the connection sea, streams and fountain have with the Imagination and the Sacred… and much more.
Lindsay Clarke’s working life has been devoted to his two principal passions, writing and education. In both contexts he has tried to put the power of the creative imagination – in both its inventive and compassionate aspects – into the service of the radical evolution of consciousness, which he believes is seeking to happen in these transitional times. His first novel ‘Sunday Whiteman’ was shortlisted for the David Higham First Novel Award; his second ‘The Chymical Wedding’ was awarded the Whitbread Prize for Fiction in 1989; and his novel ‘The Water Theatre’ was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award. ‘Green Man Dreaming’, a collection of Lindsay’s essays, talks, poems and occasional pieces, was published in 2018,
James Harpur has had six poetry collections published by Carcanet and Anvil Press, including his latest, The White Silhouette (2018), an Irish Times Book of the Year. Angels and Harvesters (2012), was a PBS Recommendation and shortlisted for the 2013 Irish Times Award. In his poem, Opera, he celebrates the imagination – “an impromptu school trip back in the day which was as much as an opera as the actual opera we went to see”.
Dr Denise Baden is an Associate Professor within Southampton Business School at the University of Southampton. She worked in the area of social psychology for 3 years before joining the Southampton Business School in 2005, where she has been engaged in research and teaching in the areas of ethics, entrepreneurship and sustainable business.
“At the heart of James Harpur’s ‘The White Silhouette’ is a meditative poem inspired by ‘The Book of Kells’, a poem that follows threads into themes such as the nature of the divine, the efficacy of sacred art, and the way of silence.”
Francesca Diano discovers in the work of a contemporary poet, James Harpur, a maze of connections that takes her on a journey through Neoplatonism to Krishnamurti and quantum mechanics.
“Deep time represents a certain displacement of the human and the divine from the story of creation. Yet in the Anthropocene, ironically we humans have become that sublime force, the agents of a fearful something that is greater than ourselves.”
David Farrier is a senior lecturer in English literature at the University of Edinburgh, where his research interests include eco-criticism, postcolonial studies, and asylum and refugee contexts. He is currently working on a book about deep time in contemporary poetry
Sarah Howe is a British poet, academic and editor. Her first book, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), won the T.S. Eliot Prize and The Sunday Times / PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. ‘A New Music’ was commissioned for the ‘Deconstructing Patterns’ exhibition/project.