Poetry can unite and estrange us. In this event, poets and translators Vahni Anthony Capildeo, Christian Hawkey and Daniel Tiffany, will read a selection of their poetry and offer their reflections on the proximity and alienation of other people’s voices or even one’s own; on the sense of never quite being at home in language; and on the potential of poetry to open up not only habitable and shareable spaces but also haunted and unbridgeable distances.


Vahni (Anthony Ezekiel) Capildeo FRSL is Writer in Residence and Professor at the University of York, an Honorary Student of Christ Church, Oxford, and Charles Causley Trust Poet in Residence (2022). A Trinidadian Scottish writer of poetry and non-fiction, Capildeo’s interests include traditional masquerade, silence, plurilingualism, and the poetics of place. The most recent of their eight books and nine pamphlets are Like a Tree, Walking (2021), which was a Poetry Book Society choice, and Gentle Housework of the Sacrifice(forthcoming). Capildeo is a contributing editor at PN Reviewand a contributing adviser for Blackbox Manifold. Current research (also facilitated by Pembroke College, Cambridge, 2021) centres on silence.


Christian Hawkey has written several full-length poetry collections: The Book of Funnels, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Citizen Of (Wave Books), and most recently: Sift (2021). He’s published numerous chapbooks, as well as the widely reviewed and celebrated cross-genre book Ventrakl (2010). A collaborative bi-lingual erasure made with the German poet Uljana Wolf, Sonne from Ort (2013). A selection of Ilse Aichinger’s short prose, Bad Words, translated with Uljana Wolf, appeared in 2019 (Seagull Books). His own work has been translated into over a dozen languages. He is currently at work on a co-translation (with Marouane Zakhir) of two books by the Moroccan philosopher Abdessalam Benabdelali.


Daniel Tiffany is the author of six collections of poetry, published variously by Wesleyan, Omnidawn, Noemi, and Action Books. In addition, five volumes of his literary criticism, including Toy Medium (2000) and Infidel Poetics (2009), have appeared over the last two decades, from presses such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Chicago. His translations from French, Greek, and Italian have appeared in various journals, and he is a recipient of the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, as well as the author of the entry on ‘Lyric Poetry’ in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory.

In English

Vahni Anthony Capildeo
Christian Hawkey
Daniel Tiffany

moderated by Irene Fantappiè

Organized by

Organized by Irene Fantappiè, Francesco Giusti and Laura Scuriatti

In cooperation with ICI Berlin and Bard College Berlin, and the EXC Temporal Communities

With the support of the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership

How to Attend
  • At the venue (registration required): Please register using the form below.
  • Public livestream on this page with the possibility to ask questions via chat. No prior registration required.
  • To attend the workshop “Rethinking Lyric Communities” at 14:00, please register here.

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