Peter Howarth

Peter Howarth teaches at Queen Mary University of London, and is an assistant curate.

On Tour

Peter Howarth, 2 March 2023

Wigtown​ was the last stop on my summer festival research tour. Over the last ten or fifteen years, many music festivals have started to include a poetry and books stage, and local council-led festivals are now doing so too. Helped by its kinship with rap and stand-up, spoken word has flourished at music festivals, and poetry stages now host everything from collective improv to the poet...

Rejoicings in a Dug-Out: Cecil, Ada and G.K.

Peter Howarth, 15 December 2022

Not long ago​, I heard the story of a trainee priest being interviewed by an irascible bishop. After some scanning of the man’s records, the bishop looked up and said abruptly: ‘Most of the problems in my churches stem from people unaware of how vulnerable they are to one of three temptations: money, sex or power. So which is it for you?’

G.K. Chesterton could have claimed...

In January​ 2009, Bhanu Kapil went to the India-Pakistan border and lay down. After pressing her body into the earth, she began to build an outline around the imprint, paying attention to everything she sensed – she intended her notes to form the basis of an epic poem on the ‘transgenerational effects’ of Partition. A year later, she threw the notebook into her snowy garden...

If​ you’ve ever played the Game of Life, you’ll know it’s hard to feel like you’re losing. Players choose a college or career path, get paid a salary, and set off through life spinning little wheels to acquire experiences, pets, pay, spouses, pay, houses, and more pay. There are no affairs, wrong decisions, illnesses or serious losses, only relative degrees of...

In the Hothouse: Swinburne

Peter Howarth, 8 November 2018

Swinburne​ was proud of sticking to his guns. In the dedication to his collected Poems (six volumes, 1904), he declared himself a writer who ‘has nothing to regret and nothing to recant’, who ‘finds nothing that he could wish to cancel, to alter, or to unsay, in any page he has ever laid before his reader’. Since these pages included the 1866 Poems and Ballads, whose...

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