24. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Place: A day conference – Session 3

Between 1809 and 1832 the woman who would become one of the nineteenth century’s most famous poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, grew up and established her career near Ledbury. In this day conference, part of the Ledbury Poetry Festival, a number of experts on Barrett Browning examine the wider idea of place in the poet’s life and work. Individual talks explore the significances of Ledbury, London and Italy, and Torquay and Jamaica for Barrett Browning and also consider her own significance for subsequent poets and writers. Talks are accompanied by readings of a range of works produced both by Barrett Browning herself and those writers she inspired.

Session 3.  14.00-15.15: Laura Fish (Northumbria University): Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the Mirror: Reflections from Torquay to Jamaica. The talk will focus on my reimagining of EBB in Torquay and of her family and their plantations in Jamaica. I will reflect upon how her dramatic monologue, The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point, provided inspiration for my novel, Strange Music, and how writing fiction can create mirrors made of words.

Laura Fish is a writer of Caribbean parentage and Lecturer in Creative Writing, Northumbria University. She has over 10 years’ experience in broadcast television and has held posts as a tutor in Creative Writing at various universities including St. Andrews; University of Western Cape, South Africa; University of East Anglia, where she completed a PhD.