Invited Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Form and Formlessness in English Language Poetry

Emeritus Professor Dennis Haskell, AM

University of Western Australia

“Form” is a small word with large and fundamental meanings, and it has uses in every aspect of life. It is not just in art that “form” refers to structure, the patterning which provides not only recognisability but meaning itself. Any situation or event in which we cannot find the connections that constitute a pattern is meaningless. When we learn something about it we are in-formed. Poetry is the literary genre with the longest history, and it is also the genre with the most elaborate structures – that is, evidences of form. Those forms range from the large, such as the designation of poetic genres such as elegy or ode, to the small, such as the metre in a poetic line. In this talk I will trace the changes in attitude to form through the history of English language poetry, and attempt to relate these attitudes to the broader philosophical beliefs prevailing when the poetry was written. In its early centuries English language poetry adhered to fairly strict line and stanza forms, but over time these have loosened to the point that there is now a strong move towards “prose poetry”. Why is this so? What are the strengths and limitations of both formal and informal poetic styles? I aim to reflect on these questions and draw on my own work – which includes both formal poems and free verse – to also consider whether the value of form depends on a poem’s subject-matter and attitudes.


DENNIS HASKELL is the author of 8 collections of poetry and 14 volumes of literary scholarship. He is the recipient of the Western Australia Premier’s Prize for Poetry, the A A Phillips Prize, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, and Membership of the Order of Australia for “services to literature, … to education and to intercultural understanding”.

Plenary Speakers

Abstract of paper (coming soon)


Zoltán Kövecses is Professor Emeritus in the Department of American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. His research focuses on conceptual metaphor theory, the language of emotions, and the relationship between metaphor and culture. His major publications include Metaphor and Emotion (2000, Cambridge UP), Metaphor in Culture (2005, Cambridge UP), Language, Mind, and Culture (2006, Oxford UP), Metaphor. A Practical Introduction (2002/2010, Oxford UP), Where Metaphors Come From (2015, Oxford UP), and Extended Conceptual Metaphor Theory (2020, Cambridge UP).

Professor Abdul Mu’ati @ Zamri Ahmad

Abstract of paper (coming soon)

Abdul Mu’ati @ Zamri Ahmad is a professor and former dean at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia. His field of expertise is Communications and he has established Heritage Communication as a sub-discipline under the field of communication to uncover and disseminate information on cultural heritage to local and international communities.

Abstract of paper (coming soon)

Shamala Paramasivam is associate professor specialising in discourse analysis, language, culture and communication, ESP and TESOL. She serves as associate editor on Asian ESP and actively reviews papers for other journals. She works keenly in educational and professional settings and has published widely on these topics. Her current projects are in oral communication and technology in higher education.

Kee Thuan Chye

Abstract of paper (coming soon)

Kee Thuan Chye is an actor, playwright and author of bestselling books. His plays and poems have been published in international anthologies and journals. Over the last 40 years, he has acted on stage, television and in Hollywood films. He has also been a judge and regional chairperson of the Commonwealth Writers Prize.

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