Sunday, 17 July 2016

Walking with The Waste Land

On Sunday 17th July, members of the Waste Land Research Forum led a walk around Margate as part of Writing Buildings, a University of Kent conference looking at the intersection of literature and architecture. Locating the poem experimentally within the architecture of Margate, passages of the poem were read on a walk which explored participants’ personal connections between the poem, the town and Eliot’s time here.

Here are some thoughts on the event from Research Forum member, and organiser of the walk, Elspeth Penfold. Elspeth established a walking research group at the end of last year, and has been arranging regular walks as part of the project.

“Walking with The Waste Land began last November as a part of  A Journey with ‘The Waste Land’. The group’s aim was to use walking as a research tool to explore the poem.The walks have been attended by different members of the group and whilst always starting off with a sense of direction have evolved as a result of decisions and conversations, made by those walking, as the walks have progressed.

In May we were invited to put together a walk for delegates of the University of Kent conference, Writing Buildings. It was wonderful to see how so many people, who had contributed in one way or another to the walking group over the last ten months, pulled together to make this walk happen. The July 17th walk was far more planned, in terms of it’s content and route than anything we had done previously. However, it felt like the culmination of many months of walks and conversations, as well as ideas that have emerged during other events at meetings of the wider group.

We had a wonderful turn out for the walk and were delighted that Mike Tooby took the time to create a presentation to introduce the walk and to place it within the wider context of the journey of the Project. We had a great deal of fun on an incredibly hot day after so many windy and rainy walks. It has given us a great foundation to now consider the way forward and develop ideas for future walks. We hope that more members will be able to contribute to the group when we start walking again in September.

All the details of our walks are on the Walking group section of this website in the members area.

P.S. you don’t have to walk to join in!” 

Photo Credit: Jenni Deakin