Life of Breath
About This Show
This series explores the research themes, events and activities of the Life of Breath project. Life of Breath is an research project exploring breathing and breathlessness at the interface of arts, humanities and medical practice. It is a collaboration between the Durham University and University of Bristol, and is funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Most Recent Episode
Breath, Pulse and Measure
In his manifesto ‘Projective Verse’ (1950) the poet Charles Olson proposed a new view of poetic structure based on the breath. Olson’s ideas were taken up, developed and modified by other American poets, including William Carlos Williams and Denise Levertov. These poets and their ideas were the focus of the first event in our Arts of Breath series – Hearing the Form: Breath, Pulse and Measure in 20th Century American Poetry.
This podcast is a conversation with Prof David Fuller who conceived and programmed the Arts of Breath series as well as presenting this first lecture. He considers how these ideas emerged and evolved within the social and political climate of the time along with excerpts of the poets reading their work.
The podcast features excerpts of the following
William Carlos Williams speaking at Harvard in 1951
Charles Olson reading ‘Letter #41 (Broken Off)’
Robert Creeley reading ‘The Kingfishers’ by Charles Olson
William Carlos Williams reading ‘The Yachts’
Denise Levertov reading ‘The Ache of Marriage’
Alice Oswald reading from ‘Memorial, an Excavation of Homer’s Iliad’
If you’d like to explore these poets further a good place to start is Penn Sound, a collection of recordings curat