English and Scottish Literature

30th Ezra Pound International conference

In brief

Title - Ezra Pound and the Legacy of The Cantos

Venue - 50 George Square

Conference highlights - Panels, plenary talks, sessions, walking tours and open-air poetry readings

About the event

A century ago, Pound put together A Draft of XVI Cantos, the first installment of what he anticipated would be “an endless poem, of no known category… all about everything”. The text of the volume was ready by the end of November 1923 and published by Three Mountains Press in January 1925. Two further editions were subsequently published in 1972 and 1973. If we consider these milestones as the beginning and end of the composition and publication of The Cantos in its entirety, it is fair to ask where the poem stands at the start of its second century.

Thinking of legacy, we might further consider the impact of the poem on poetry and politics today; questions of publication history and new editions; reception and influence; media and digitalisation; poetics; globalism, geopolitics, regionalism. All these areas become relevant to looking into the future of Pound’s epic and how it will continue to be alive for its readers.

The 30th Ezra Pound International Conference (EPIC) included four days of sessions, panels, and plenary talks, as well as other events such as walking tours in the old city and environs, visits to the National Library of Scotland and Galleries of Modern Art, and open-air poetry readings.

The conference organisers for Edinburgh also explored Pound’s connections to Scotland, offering an excellent opportunity to delve into the legacy of his art and work in this part of the world.

Optional excursions to historical monuments, such as Stirling Castle, Rosslyn Chapel, and Melrose Abbey, were also planned during the conference. A one- or two-day excursion to the Scottish Highlands was offered after the conference. 

Read more about the conference on the Society website

About the Ezra Pound Society

The Ezra Pound Society was founded by Prof. Carroll F. Terrell at the University of Maine in 1979. The society won its affiliations to the main American professional organisations such as the Modern Language Association and the American Literature Association in 1993 and has organised panels at the conferences of these organisations ever since.

In 1999 it started awarding a book prize for the best monograph on Ezra Pound published in English, and in 2014 started a prize for best article in Pound studies. The prize was awarded until 2018.

In February 2015, Make It New, the society quarterly, received its own dedicated website. Two new society projects were also launched: The Ezra Pound English Language Bibliography, a collaboration between Archie Henderson and Roxana Preda, and the electronic Ezra Pound's Poetry & Prose, Contributions to Periodicals, a project carried out 2015-1018.

Since 2018, Professor Mark Byron (University of Sydney) has been president of the society.

Visit the Society website

How to attend

This was an in-person event held on the University of Edinburgh campus. It was costed, but open to all.

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30th Ezra Pound International conference

A three-day conference on the legacy, impact, reception and influence of the cantos poem.

50 George Square
University of Edinburgh
EH8 9LH