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From Inspiration to Publication: Poetry in the Brotherton Collection

Discover what it takes to make a poem, from first inspiration to publication and beyond, via items from our Brotherton Collection.

In this long-awaited return of our Tuesday Treasure events, join us to explore the evolution of a poem and experience our collections up close.

The Brotherton Collection includes significant literary manuscripts and texts, spanning centuries, which give insight into the work involved in creating a poem. The items on display will take you behind the scenes from first inspiration, through the tricky work of drafting and the collaborative process of editing, to publication and beyond.

See the evolving stages of a ‘manuscript’ from first scribbles to pre-publication, the effect of editorial intervention in the creation of a poem, and discover the differences and similarities between composition and drafting in manuscripts 300 years apart (1670s – 1970s).

We’ll be asking: How does presentation effect how we read a poem? What should a poem look like on the page? What happens when the rules are broken? When is a poem finished? What if the poet revises their work? And what if the poem was never published - what then?


Image credit: IMC

People stood around looking at a table. On the table are open books.
People stood around looking at a table. On the table are open books.