The StAnza 2019 Lecture: John Burnside
Our lecturer for 2019 is John Burnside, winner of both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize. He takes as his starting point for his lecture the above quotation by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Ferlinghetti was once asked by a reporter: 'How does it feel being on mainstream media? It's not often poets get on mainstream media.' He responded: 'The mainstream media is still the high culture of intellectuals: writers, readers, editors, librarians, professors, artists, art critics, poets, novelists, and people who think. They are the mainstream culture, even though you may be the dominant culture.'
Burnside argues that this reply, for many of us, sums up the urgent and necessary struggle that we should all be waging against what some consider a totalitarian culture.
Supported by the School of English at the University of St Andrews