We are a non-profit educational organization promoting the works and study of Lawrence Durrell, a writer most active in the second half of the 20th century. To support an understanding of Durrell’s place in modernist and postmodernist traditions as well as in a canon of world literature, we sponsor meetings worldwide, publish a newsletter and journal, and provide a number of other resources. Learn more about who we are, what we do, and how to get involved on the Society page.

On Miracle Ground XX

On Miracle Ground XX

Join us for the twentieth biannual conference of the International Lawrence Durrell Society, to be held in Chicago, Illinois from July 4-7, 2018.  See more on the conference home page.

White Mice Poetry Contest Winners

White Mice Poetry Contest Winners

We are happy to announce the winners of the 2017 White Mice Poetry Contest. This year’s theme was “harbor,” a fitting preparation for our upcoming ILDS conference in Chicago. The winners will be invited to read at a special event at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago on July 5, 2018, and their poems will be published in a future issue of Deus Loci. To see the winners and read the poems, click here.

Executive Board Nominations, 2018

Executive Board Nominations, 2018

In preparation for the 2018 general business meeting in Chicago, the society’s nominations committee has prepared the following slate of nominees:

President

Isabelle Keller-Privat

Isabelle Keller-Privat is Associate Professor and co-director of the research team “LieuxCommuns / Common Places” for the CAS Research Centre at the University Toulouse Jean Jaurès where she teaches British literature, poetry, and translation.

She was awarded the International Lawrence Durrell Prize for New Scholarship in 2000 and, since then, has been a long-standing member of the ILDS where she is presently member-at-large and in charge of the translation committee that supervises the translation into English of foreign language academic papers. Since 2000 she has contributed to many publications on Lawrence Durrell, V. S. Naipaul, Jon McGregor and David Gascoyne.

She was the co-organiser of OMG XV at the University Paris Nanterre and co-editor of the issue Lawrence Durrell at the Crossroads of Arts and Sciences published by the Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest in 2010. She has published the first essay on Lawrence Durrell’s poetry collections at the University Presses of Paris-Ouest—Between the Lines. L’écriture du déchirement dans la poésie de Lawrence Durrell (2015)—and has just finished translating it into English for the Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
She was interviewed by France Culture on Lawrence Durrell’s poetry in February 2017: https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/la-compagnie-des-auteurs/lawrence-durrell-34-faut-il-comprendre-la-poesie-de-lawrence

She has produced over 30 papers and book chapters in national and international peer-reviewed journals and has co-edited three collections of papers on Durrellian studies, interdisciplinary studies on exile and migration, and Mediterranean criticism. Recently, she has contributed to the volume Critically Mediterranean. Temporalities, Aesthetics and Deployments of a Sea in Crisis published in the collection “Mediterranean Perspectives” by Palgrave. She is presently co-editing two forthcoming books on travel letters in modern and contemporary fiction and on the Mediterranean and its hinterlands.

Vice President

Pamela Francis

Pamela J. Francis has been a member of the International Lawrence Durrell Society since 2001, and served as a member-at large on the executive board from 2006 to 2016, and as vice-president since 2016. Pamela is also the current editor of the International Lawrence Durrell Society Herald, and was a member of the organizing committees for OMG XVI (2010) in New Orleans, OMG XIX (2016) in Crete, and OMG XX in Chicago. In her non-Durrellian hours, she teaches British literature and Modernist studies at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.

Secretary/Treasurer

Paul Lorenz

Paul Lorenz has been a member of the International Lawrence Durrell Society since 1987 and has served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Society since 1994 except for the period between 2004 and 2006 when he served as President of the Society. He has published more than a dozen articles on Durrell in scholarly journals and co-edited a volume of essays, Americans and the Experience of Delphi, with David Roessel. He is currently the chair of the Department of English, Humanities, and Foreign Languages at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

At-Large Members

Peter Baldwin

After graduating in law, I was a business partner in a UK law firm for over 30 years before finally retiring in 2016. In about 1976 I chanced to buy a copy of Tunc, the first of the ‘double-decker’ novel series later dubbed The Revolt of Aphrodite. I immediately found the intellectual and emotional focus of the novel most appealing and proceeded to read my way through the rest of Durrell’s creative oeuvre, developing a fondness for tracking down for my collection of Durrelliana articles about and by Lawrence Durrell.

My approach to Durrell himself asking to publish something written by him was the start of my imprint The Delos Press; Durrell afforded me the chance to publish in fine letter-press editions a fully revised version of his earlier play An Irish Faustus [1987] and, later, the essay which he wrote specially for The Delos Press, Henri Michaux, the Poet of Supreme Solipsism [1990]. Two short critical works by Robin Rook about Durrell followed in the Delos list; Lawrence Durrell’s Double Concerto and At the Foot of the Acropolis, a Study of Lawrence Durrell’s novels.

A number of publications have published my articles about Durrell, whom I had the pleasure of getting to know in the course of my Delos Press publishing. For a significant part of its own publishing career, I have been an active contributor to the ILDS Herald newsletter; I have also contributed to the Society’s learned journal, Deus Loci. I initiated the collection of the essays by Durrell which Jamie Gifford, an active Durrell scholar and member of the ILDS, perfected into the collection From the Elephant’s Back [University of Alberta Press, 2015].

The Delos Press imprint has recently been revived to co-publish with Colenso Books The Fruitful Discontent of the Word: a Further Collection of Poems by Lawrence Durrell.

I live in Birmingham, UK.

David Radavich

David Radavich has long served the Durrell Society as poetry editor of Deus Loci and coordinator of the biannual White Mice Poetry Contests. His recent poetry books are America Bound: An Epic for Our Time, Middle-East Mezze, and The Countries We Live In; his plays have been performed across the U.S. and in Europe. An emeritus Professor of English from Eastern Illinois University, his scholarly focus has been on twentieth-century American drama, particularly from the Midwest.

President’s Letter, December 2017

President’s Letter, December 2017

Like many teachers and students, I’m trapped measuring time in units of academic terms. As this semester ends, I can’t help acknowledging that it has passed more quickly than I expected it to do. The summer seems so recent! But considering a semester by its extremes is like considering a library by its bookends, and I overlook much of what’s come in between, forgetting the important parts. From sharing a homemade pinhole projector with students during the eclipse (yes, that was just a few months ago) to taking notes on classroom discussions, staying up late to reach research milestones, and meeting with students to sculpt essays out of ideas, this semester has been full for me, and I appreciate it for all that’s happened in these moments between start and finish.

When it comes to the society’s On Miracle Ground conferences, it feels correct to measure time by these endpoints: the important parts are the moments that happen once every two years, while the in-between times are for waiting or planning. And now we’re running out of the in-between! For months now, Grace Austin and Bill Dring have been planning and working in Chicago to make ready an exciting conference for July. We’ve secured a meeting venue in Chicago’s glittering downtown, at the Water Tower campus of Loyola University of Chicago, just off Michigan Avenue. Nestled amid skyscrapers, with affordable accommodation available on site, a night of poetry scheduled at the nearby Poetry Foundation, and more on the agenda, conference attendees will have a chance to talk about and hear about Durrell in the city he called “a woman in a steel bra.” It’s certain to be an exciting conference, and I truly cannot wait for July.

Come! The call for papers is available on the Durrell Society website (here), and an online form makes it easy to submit your proposal by January 22nd. The conference theme is Exile, Dissidence, and Survival. The conference committee welcomes submissions on this topic or on any aspect of Durrell or his work, and we’ve already begun to receive submissions. As the twentieth On Miracle Ground conference, this is a big one for the society, and we would like your help to extend the invitation as far as possible. If you know of someone whom you think might be interested in joining us in Chicago, please let them know about it. Chicago presents a good opportunity for newcomers to join us, just as it will be a great place to reconnect with old friends.

When you visit the website to submit your proposal, you might notice things looking a little different there (here, actually, since this letter is now published online, too). Long a place where we’ve posted information on upcoming conferences, announced winners of the White Mice poetry contest, and collected other resources including society bylaws and links to special collections, the website has always had the potential to be where members engage with one another. In preparation for the upcoming conference, we wanted to revisit the website’s utility and better organize its offerings. At the same time, we’ll soon be sharing a new series of posts with regular updates written by society members. Loosely offered under a common theme, these posts offer members a chance to get to know each other in the times between conferences. If you’d like to offer your own post, please let me know.

Finally, some society members are planning to attend and present at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900, held from February 22nd to the 24th. We’ve proposed a panel on “Refuge” with participants speaking on a range of topics related to themes common in Durrell’s work: Pamela Francis, the society’s vice president, will be speaking on “The Poetics of Personal Landscape: A Topopoetical Reading of British Poetry in North Africa, 1939-1945”; Sean Weidman, a PhD student at Pennsylvania State University, will be presenting “Ford Madox Ford, English Sociability, and the Ends of Hospitality”; and Jason Parks, an assistant professor at Anderson University, is presenting “The Periodical as Psychological Refuge: Eugene Jolas, Shell Shock, and transition.” These three papers offer a look at three different media Durrell wrote in during his lifetime, and they take up the idea of personal and literary refuge in a way that should allow for broad discussion of modernist and mid-twentieth century literature. I’m looking forward to hearing these papers, and I’m eager to see some Durrellians in attendance. The executive board will be meeting during the conference to have our last in-person meeting before Chicago. Additionally, there will be some kind of reception and dinner outings in Louisville planned throughout the conference weekend. Please let me (or Pamela!) know if you’d like to join in.

As we near the year’s end, I hope 2017 has been good to you, full of good moments in between. We have a lot in store in 2018, and I very much look forward to seeing many of you in Chicago this July.

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