Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Spring Psychoanalytic Poetry Festival

Saturday 12 March 2016, 9:30 am5:00 pm

Napoleon in a former life by Eliza Kentridge

Word & Image

Napoleon in a former life by Eliza Kentridge
Crop of ‘Napoleon in a former life’ by Eliza Kentridge

In talks, readings and conversations, speakers from the worlds of poetry, film and psychoanalysis explore the power of images in memory, imagination and poetry. How is an image re-rendered in a poem, and how might perception be influenced by the poet’s internal world?

Sessions include:

Gerry Byrne on the transformational power of words and images in poetry and psychotherapy.
Valerie Sinason on the language of trauma and dissociation.
Mark Solms on ‘The Mind of the Artist’.
Eliza Kentridge, poet and artist, reading from and introducing Signs for an Exhibition, and in conversation with Mark Solms.
PoetryFilms selected by Zata Banks and introduced by the filmmakers themselves.
Maurice Riordan with a ‘poem on the couch’, conducting an in-depth analysis of a single poem, ‘Santarém’ by Elizabeth Bishop. ‘Santarém’ is one of Bishop’s exact, vivid, and most suggestively visual poems. Yet, she begins ‘Of course I may be remembering it all wrong’. What is a reader, or indeed a therapist, to make of such an insouciant disclaimer? Could such slipperiness be hiding anything? A scrupulous interrogation of the poem may unmask some surprising secrets.
Pascale Petit on ‘Pained Hearts and Painted Sorrows’; how imagery and images filter pain; exploring the creative dialogue she has developed with the work of Frida Kahlo.


£62 full / £46 concs (with £5 off for members of Freud Museum and/or The Poetry Society)

Booking now open. Visit the Freud Museum’s Eventbrite to buy your tickets.


Gerry Byrne is a consultant nurse and child and adolescent psychotherapist, working in the NHS and privately in Oxford. He is clinical lead for the Family Assessment and Safeguarding Service (Oxon, Wilts and BaNES) and the Infant Parent Perinatal Service (Oxon). With two colleagues he runs the annual Children in Troubled Worlds conference which promotes the contributions psychoanalytic thinking and the arts can make to work with troubled children and with Janet Bolam, theatre director and writer, he runs Between the Lines – Writers and Psychotherapists in Conversation. www.bolamandbyrne.co.uk

Valerie Sinason is a poet, author, child and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. She is Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies in London and Honorary Consultant Psychotherapist to the Cape Town Child Guidance Unit.

Mark Solms is Director of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town. He is a member of the British, American and South African Psychoanalytical Associations, and has won many awards, including the Sigourney Prize. He has published over 300 articles and six books. He is editor and translator of the forthcoming Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (24 vols) and the Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud (4 vols).

Eliza Kentridge was born in Johannesburg in 1962. She moved to England in the late 1980s and has lived in Essex for the past 25 years. She is an artist who works in many media, though she is primarily known for her stitched drawings and applique flags. Her literary leanings, evident since childhood, now result in her first book of poetry: Signs For An Exhibition

Maurice Riordan’s poetry collections include The Water Stealer (Faber, 2013) and The Holy Land (Faber, 2007). He has recently edited The Finest Music: Early Irish Lyrics (Faber, 2014). He is Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University and the editor of The Poetry Review.

Pascale Petit is a poet living in Cornwall. Her sixth collection Fauverie was shortlisted for the 2014 T S Eliot Prize, poems from it won the 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize. Her fifth collection What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo was shortlisted for both the T S Eliot Prize and Wales Book of the Year, and was a Book of the Year in the Observer. Pascale has had four collections shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize and chosen as Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement, Independent and Observer. She is the recipient of a Cholmondeley Award. Bloodaxe will publish her seventh collection Mama Amazonica in 2017.

PoetryFilm is the highly influential research art project founded by British artist Zata Banks in 2002, celebrating poetry films and other experimental text/image/sound material. Since 2002, PoetryFilm has presented over 70 events at venues including Tate Britain, ICA, FACT Liverpool, Cannes Film Festival, CCCB Barcelona, O Miami, The Royal College of Art, and Curzon Cinemas. Zata Banks has also judged poetry film prizes for the Southbank Centre in London, Zebra Festival in Berlin, and Carbon Culture Review in America. PoetryFilm is supported by Arts Council England, and is an accredited member of Film Hub London, part of the BFI Audience Network. The PoetryFilm Archive, which at present contains about a thousand artworks, welcomes submissions all year round.



Presented in associate with the Freud Museum.

Freud Museum Logo