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Gonzaga U. to Host International Conference on Jesuit Poet, Priest Gerard Manley Hopkins July 8-11

Hopkins (1844-1889) is now recognized as one of the most important poets of the 19th century, and one of the most challenging poets in English, but his works were never published in his lifetime. Photo courtesy Gonzaga University Special Collections.

Hopkins (1844-1889) is now recognized as one of the most important poets of the 19th century, and one of the most challenging poets in English, but his works were never published in his lifetime. Photo courtesy Gonzaga University Special Collections.

The Hopkins Conference, a First for Gonzaga University, Is Free and Open to the Public

SPOKANE, Wash. – For the first time, Gonzaga University will host the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. International Conference, July 8-11.  Hopkins (1844-1889) is recognized as one of the most important 19th century Victorian poets and among the most challenging poets in English, even though his daring explorations in prosody and imagery were never published in his lifetime. The conference coincides with the free public exhibition: “Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life Recollected,” on display weekdays from 1-4:30 p.m. at Gonzaga’s Foley Center Library through Sept. 30.

Gonzaga has the largest U.S. collection of Hopkins’ works. Former Gonzaga English Professor Rev. Anthony Bischoff, S.J. (1910-1993) collected Hopkins’ materials for over 50 years, starting in the 1940s as a doctoral student at Yale University (Ph.D., 1952). The 88-item exhibition provides a rare cross-section of life in Victorian England.

The conference includes lectures by three of the Oxford University Press editors of the “Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins”: Catherine Phillips (Cambridge University), Philip Endean, S.J., (Campion Hall, Oxford University), and Jude Nixon (Salem State College, Salem, Mass. ).  Scholars from Japan, Korea, England, Ireland, Israel, Canada, and America will gather at Gonzaga for lectures, panels, readings, and conversations concerning the poems, sermons, letters, and life of this major writer.

The Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. International Conference began in March 1999 at Regis University, Denver , when Hopkins’ scholars from Ireland, Japan, Korea, Russia, England, Israel and the United States gathered with teachers, readers and students to discuss this English Jesuit poet and priest. In addition to the annual conference in March at Regis, the group has gone “on the road,” including to the 2002 conference at The Gregorian University in Rome, one at Oxford University in 2004, and the 2007 Dublin Conference at Milltown Park.

The collaboration between Regis and Gonzaga will continue in the international spirit of the poet whose work continues to draw readers from all nations, all disciplines, all ages, and all walks of life. Conference lecturers and Hopkins’ lovers are excited to view the extensive Bischoff Collection of Hopkins’ manuscripts, letters and drawings.

This free public exhibition “Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life Recollected” features a remarkable range of materials that tell the story of Hopkins’ life: manuscripts; correspondence; legal documents; drawings; photographs; books that Hopkins used as poet and classicist; and materials related to family, friends and contemporaries.

All are invited to attend the conference.  To register for the conference or for more information about the conference or its accompanying exhibition please contact Gonzaga University Special Collections Librarian Stephanie Plowman at (509) 313-3847.

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