Fiona Sampson – Poetry in a Changing World

One after another they
reveal themselves
stepping solemnly
into the light

creatures great and small
all of them strangers
all of them naked as the white
moths that skitter 

round them
only half surfacing
from the deep dream place
where they live

and from where they greet you
who arrive out of dark hedges

like sight clearing
or all at once
who stand and wait to address
your bright path

from Fiona Sampson The Border

Is poetry ever useful? Has it become irrelevant as the world has changed? Contemporary poetry seems to be a subject of great anxiety, at least among journalists. This lecture addresses its critics as well as its admirers, and argues that poetry is an important way of exploring and communicating human experience.

Professor Fiona Sampson draws on experiences in health and social care and the prison system, as well on recent political and cultural history and ideas, to makes a practical case for this practice that is – still – not quite like anything else.

And lo – our recording of the evening.


This event is hosted in collaboration with

Fiona Sampson has a life in language. Scholar and active member in societies, teaching professor, lecturer. She also pursues a profound and globally engaged tenure in contemporary writing and investigates the influences of vernacular progress on British and Russian poetry. 

Meet her works on the Poetry Archive

Views on fellow writers: her Guardian column

We are proud to have Fiona as a patron
of Anglo Russian culture club.

Fiona Sampson, New Humanist’s poetry editor, has been published in 37 languages. Her 27 books have received a number of national and international awards. Now Professor of Poetry at the University of Roehampton, she spent more than a decade working in the earliest writing in healthcare projects in Britain, and published several studies in that field. Her latest collection is The Catch, published in February by Penguin Random House.

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