This latest episode marks something of a departure for the Poetry Centre podcast. If you’re a regular or just occasional listener to this podcast, you’ll know that it normally features a poet in conversation about two or three of their poems. This episode is the first of a series in which Niall Munro talks with colleagues at Oxford Brookes University and showcases some of the very exciting research that they have been doing into poets and poetry.
In this episode, Niall Munro talks with Dr Dinah Roe, Reader in Nineteenth-Century Literature here at Oxford Brookes. Dinah is an expert on Christina Rossetti, Victorian poetry, and the Pre-Raphaelites. During this past semester Dinah has run discussion groups and contributed an introduction to a Weekly Poem featuring Rossetti’s work that you can still find on our website, and we’re releasing this podcast on Sunday 5 December - Christina Rossetti’s birthday.
In the discussion with Dinah, we focus on three poems by Rossetti: 'The heart knoweth its own bitterness', 'Love understands the mystery', and ‘Goblin Market’ and explore how Dinah came to be interested in Rossetti, the poet’s reputation, and the place of religion in Rossetti’s work. We also consider how Dinah’s view of Rossetti has changed during her time working with her poetry and prose and in the course of writing a book about her family, and how Rossetti’s experience as a carer affected her writing.
Dinah received her BA from Vassar College and a PhD in English Literature from University College London. She is the author of Christina Rossetti's Faithful Imagination: The Devotional Poetry and Prose (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and The Rossettis in Wonderland: A Victorian Family History (Haus, 2011), and the editor of Christina Rossetti: Selected Poems (Penguin Classics, 2008) and The Pre-Raphaelites: From Rossetti to Ruskin (Penguin Classics, 2010). Dinah is currently writing a monograph on the interactions of literary and visual arts in Pre-Raphaelite art, taking into account the influence of nineteenth-century literature on book illustration, painting and the decorative arts from 1848 to the turn of the century. She is also editing a three volume edition of The Complete Poems of Christina Rossetti (Longman Annotated English Poets), due for publication in 2025. You can find out more about Dinah's work on her profile page on the Brookes website, and follow her on Twitter - find the links on our Podcasts page.
Dinah Roe, Niall Munro
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