Transient and Resident

A Thom Gunn Symposium
D-1 - Hearst Field Annex
Friday, December 02
10:00 am — 7:00 pm
picture of Transient and Resident

“My life insists on continuities”, writes Thom Gunn in The Occasions of Poetry (1982), “between America and England, between free verse and metre, between vision and everyday consciousness.”

Gunn is, by his own admission, an “Anglo-American poet”, yet he is strangely neglected on both sides of the Atlantic, seemingly too American for the English and too English for the Americans. Bringing together poets and scholars from across Europe and the US, this one-day symposium will address the critical neglect of one of the twentieth century’s most important poets.

Thom Gunn: 
A Symposium
Department of English
Room D-1, Hearst Field Annex
2 December 2016


Welcome and Introductory Remarks


Stefania Michelucci (University of Genoa, Italy)
A Poetics of Exile: Spaces from Above in two Poems by Thom Gunn
Chair: Ian Duncan (UC Berkeley)


Remembering Thom Gunn: the Man, the Poet, the Critic, the Teacher
Mike Kitay, Travis Ortiz, and Peter Dale Scott
with messages, in absentia, from Simone Di Piero, Wendy Lesser and Clive Wilmer

Chair: Bob Hass  (UC Berkeley)
Clive Wilmer’s paper will be read by Cheng-Chai Chiang (UC Berkeley)


Coffee Break


Andrew McMillan (Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom)
More than a fan? Considering the depth of the connection between Gunn and his readers
Chair: Michael Nott (University College Cork, Ireland)


Eleanor Mary Boudreau (Florida State University)
Death Insists on Continuities: Thom Gunn’s Elegies from The Man with Night Sweats

Emily Sutton (UC Berkeley)
“it draws so oddly on the sexual”: AIDS, Gay Aesthetics, and Unspeakability in The Man with Night Sweats andBoss Cupid
Chair: Eric Falci (UC Berkeley)


Lunch offered by the English Department


Guided visit to The Thom Gunn Archive, Bancroft Library
Introductory presentations by James Eason, David Faulds, and Dean Smith

Michael Nott (University College Cork, Ireland)
“Furniture or promises”: some notes on “South”
Chair: Sarah Rice (UC Berkeley)


Coffee Break – Room D-37, Hearst Field Annex


Evening Event: Poetry Reading by Randall Mann and Andrew McMillan
Chair: August Kleinzahler.

The event is organised by Professor Stefania Michelucci (, and Dr Michael Nott( It is sponsored by the English Department, UC Berkeley, and supported by the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley; the US-UK Fulbright Commission; the University of Genoa, Italy; the Irish Research Council; and University College Cork, Ireland.