About the Hoping to Turn Again: T.S. Eliot’s Middle Years course
Faith, hope and Love
In the period from 1925 to 1935, Eliot was baptised and confirmed, wrote Journey of the Magi, Ash Wednesday and the first of his Four Quartets, and conducted a passionate love affair, largely by letter, with his old friend Emily Hale.
How did these ingredients form his poems, and shape his faith journey? Participants will have an opportunity to encounter Eliot in new ways, to write their own responses to his story or his work, and to think about their own faith journeys
This day course will introduce the poems of Eliot’s middle period from The Hollow Men to Burnt Norton. We shall listen together for the emotional and spiritual charge of the poems, and relate them to new insights into Eliot’s biography, especially from the recently published letters to Emily Hale. This exploration will open up themes of longing, regret, penitence, and faith. Participants will have an opportunity to encounter Eliot in new ways, to write their own responses to his story or his work, and to think about their own faith journeys.
No previous knowledge of the poet is required.
About the Tutor
Christopher Southgate is a much-published poet, whose work includes a verse biography of T.S. Eliot, and six other collections, most recently Rain Falling by the River (Canterbury Press).
He has been commended in the National Poetry Competition, and has given readings in venues from New York University to the Edinburgh Fringe. He read at East Coker and Little Gidding in the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of Eliot’s death. A former chaplain in university and mental health contexts, Chris is an experienced leader of workshops and retreats. His theological works include The Groaning of Creation and Theology in a Suffering World: Glory and Longing, based on the 2014 Sarum Lectures. He is currently Professor of Christian Theodicy at the University of Exeter, and editor of the Journal of the TS Eliot Society (UK).