Poet John Greening Delivers the 2018 Charles G. Smith Lecture

Nov. 9, 2018
John Greening posterJohn Greening, acclaimed poet, critic, editor and teacher, will present "Edmund Blunden, War Poet" for Baylor University's 2018 Charles G. Smith lecture.

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by Gabrielle White, student newswriter

WACO, Texas (Nov. 9, 2018) – John Greening, acclaimed poet, critic, editor and teacher, will present “Edmund Blunden, War Poet” for Baylor University’s 2018 Charles G. Smith lecture.

The lecture will take place at 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in the Cox Lecture Hall at Armstrong Browning Library, and the poetry reading will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the Treasure Room at Armstrong Browning Library, 710 Speight Ave.

Greening is a published poet who has spent most of his adult life teaching in Scotland, the United States and Cambridgeshire. He worked for the musicologist Hans Keller at the BBC before becoming a teacher. In 2014, he became Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Newnham College at the University of Cambridge. He now runs a Royal Literary Fund study group.

In 2008, he received the Cholmondeley Award for his contribution to poetry, and he has also won the Bridport Prize and the TLS Centenary Prize. Greening is the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry and seven works of literary criticism; he has also written, produced and published several libretti and plays.

Greening’s lecture and poetry reading is in honor of the Centenary of the World War I Armistice.

“Edmund Blunden was a major 20th-century English poet,” said Kevin Gardner, Ph.D., professor and department chair of the department of English. “His memoir, Undertones of War, was published in 1928 but is still relevant today. It recounts the gut-wrenching experiences of WWI combat, with particular emphasis on the devastating battles of Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele. It provides a first-person account of trench warfare, as well as a poet’s perspective on war.”

The Charles G. Smith Lecture is an annual lecture named in honor of former English professor Charles G. Smith, Ph.D. It is the major endowed lecture in Baylor’s English department each year.

“I had the pleasure of meeting John Greening in person two years ago in Cambridge,” Gardner said. “I was therefore delighted to be able to invite him to speak at Baylor while he was in the U.S. He is an accomplished speaker, and his lecture is sure to be compelling and fascinating.”

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the English department website.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and seven academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit www.baylor.edu/artsandsciences.

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