Former Laureate at Uni WW1 commemoration

Sir Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate, will be at the University of Leeds next Wednesday.

His visit is part of the University’s commemoration of the First World War. There will be events taking place throughout the day, including a rededication ceremony, poetry readings, music performances and an exhibition opening.

The exhibition highlights connections between the University and World War One soldiers, based on initial research by academics at the University of Leeds, and explores how the lives of the soldiers were affected as well as the impact of the war on their academic lives.

The occasion will come to a climax at the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, where Sir Andrew will be joined by Pianist Ian Buckle.

Under the war-poet Wilfred Owen’s title “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, music and poetry will merge into one as the action of war is contemplated. The concert will consist of poetry readings from the works of Sir Andrew, Wilfred Owen, and Geoffrey Hill, who was a Professor of English Literature at the University of Leeds.

Additionally, Ian Buckle will add to the ambience with several performances, including a recital of Anton Webern’s Variations. Welbern survived the horror of the Second World War only to be tragically killed in an accident just days after the war had come to its conclusion.

Explaining the reasons behind the concert, Sir Andrew said, ‘We have devised this evening to commemorate those caught up in the tragedies of all wars – but in particular the First World War.’

The University is also promoting an online, free, three week course entitled World War One: Changing Faces of Heroism, in cooperation with the BBC.

Emily Turner 

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