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Spring Conference Call for Papers

Spring Conference Call for Papers

Willa Cather ca. 1902
First Edition of "April Twilights"
Monday, December 5, 2011

Willa Cather, Poet: Making Herself Born

The 57th annual Willa Cather Spring Conference and the one-day scholarly symposium preceding it will be held May 31-June 2, 2012 in Red Cloud, Nebraska. The event will be focused on Cather the poet, on poetry, and on today's poets from the Great Plains region. Cather's close readers have long noted her sharp presentation of herself as prairie poet with "Prairie Spring" at the beginning of her "real" first novel, O Pioneers!, yet her actual first book, April Twilights (1903), and its contexts, have received much less critical attention. In much the same way, the scholarly edition of Cather's Poems, now in preparation, will be among the last volumes published in that series by the University of Nebraska Press.

The 2012 Spring Conference will be a lively celebration of poets and poetry on the Great Plains with readings and performances, discussions, and a "Passing Show" panel devoted to Cather as a writer who began as a poet and then established herself as a writer of prose both luminous and poetic. The one-day scholarly symposium preceding the conference (Thursday, May 31) will focus on Cather as an engaged fin de siècle poet-aesthete intent on making her mark in literature. Possible paper topics include:

• Cather and 19th Century Poetry and Poetics
• Periodical Publication, the making of April Twilights
• Cather, Poetry, and Pittsburgh
• Cather and Housman or Other Comparisons
• Cather's Poetry and McClure's Magazine
April Twilights as a Richard G. Badger Volume
• Revising April Twilights into April Twilights and Other Poems (1923)
• Cather and the Poetic Throughout the Fiction

Proposals, inquiries, and expressions of interest should be sent by February 15, 2012 to:

Robert Thacker
Canadian Studies Program
St. Lawrence University
Canton, New York 13617 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it