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Our 8th Digital Poet in Residence is…

This March we’re inaugurating not one but two new residencies. Ross Sutherland was the first, and we’re very happy to reveal that Ira Lightman, poet and word-dabbler extraordinary, will be our 8th Digital Poet in Residence.

Ira’s residency is called ’21st Century Canto’. He explains:

“All my adult life I have been fascinated with The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Although I have always been interested in word-games, performance and OULIPO, the Poundian strain has been there, bringing some danger and some insistence on making polemical meaning, a clear image, a clear treatment of things.

I’m currently writing a documentary for BBC Radio 4 on Ezra Pound after the 1929 Crash, exploring how we might better understand the Cantos now we too are in a cash poor, post-Crash era. As part of the documentary, I have been asked by the BBC to try to write a new Canto, and I realise now that I have never tried.

As Digital Poet in Residence, I want to try, with help from The Poetry School and the CAMPUS poetry community. I’ll be setting some warm-up exercises, considering the various techniques of the Cantos, looking at translation, exploring metre and trying to compose a 21st Century Canto of my very own.”

’21st Century Canto’ kicks off on 16 March 2015. Catch all the latest updates, right here, on CAMPUS.



Ira Lightman has been publishing chapbooks for 20 years, and remains very fond of sequences. His 4 books are Trancelated (online, free, at, in a list with major out-of-print publications by the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets), Duetcetera (Shearsman), Mustard Tart as Lemon (Red Squirrel) and I, Love Poetry (KFS). He makes public art with communities and text, around the UK. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3’s The Verb, and is currently making a documentary for Radio 4 about Ezra Pound. In 2013, he became the “plagiarism sleuth”, highlighting and exposing poetry plagiarists in sometimes prominent positions. He is a professional copyeditor, proofreader, and storyteller for primary schools, where he jumps around and gurns a lot. He loves experiment and song.


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Image Credits:

Image: Lawrence Weiner, on the side of the Walker Art Center

Image credit: Eric Wilcox