CFP for the Panel: A Celebration of W.S. Merwin’s Poetry, San Diego, CA Nov 14-17 2019

Cheri Langdell's picture
Call for Papers
May 23, 2019 to June 10, 2019
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Contemporary History, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Literature

Call for Papers for the Panel:

A Celebration of W S Merwin


The panel is part of the 117th Annual Pacific Association of Ancient and Modern Language Conference ‘Send in the Clowns’

 14-17 November 2019, San Diego


Deadline: 10th of June 2019


Panel Organizer: Cheri Colby Langdell (East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles)


Panel Description:   

Twice Poet Laureate of the United States and an award-winning poet of inner human life and the natural world,  W S Merwin, recently deceased, has been a powerful force in American poetry since the mid-20th century. His poetry ranges from the early highly wrought poems in conventional rhyme and forms to the less complex poems of the natural world written in the past 20 years of his residence in Haiku, Hawaii. There he celebrated the earth’s and human beings’ ability to regenerate themselves but voiced concerns about climate change and the loss of many species. His poetry and prose also intriguingly display his love and passion for life and nature. Abstracts on any aspect of his poetry and/or prose are welcome, along with multi-media presentations, comparisons with other poets’ or writers’ work, etc.

This panel aims at consideration and discussion of a range of papers--close textual analyses, comparisons with other poets, and/or more inclusive interdisciplinary approaches to his poetry and prose. The goal is to collect and discuss a variety of creative as well as theoretical and methodological approaches to Merwin’s work, focused on any aspect of his writing.

 Suggested topics may include/but are not limited to these:

~ Themes and transformations in his oeuvre

~ The role of nature imagery and nature in his work

~ The role of Buddhism in his poetry and prose

~ The emotional and dramatic appeal of images, symbols and representations

~ Constructing the past and history in the prose

~ Political activism on behalf of the environment

~ American national identity in the poetry and prose

~ Visualizing the Other or the divine

~ Images of patriotism

~ Visualizing gender


While the papers suggested here approach Merwin’s writing from a traditional perspective, other approaches and criticisms are welcome.


If interested in participating, please read the complete event details on the conference website and apply online. Alternatively, you can send a maximum 300-word abstract together with the details of your affiliation until 10th of June 2019 by e-mail at  


For full details of the conference and online application please see:

(“A Celebration of W.S. Merwin’s Poetry (Panel),” Special Session #17941)

Contact Info: 

Cheri Colby Langdell

Los Angeles, California

Contact Email: