ALA Symposium: American Poetry


American Literature Association

Symposium on American Poetry


Savannah, Georgia

October 23 – 25, 2014


Keynote Speakers:

Alfred Bendixen, Texas A&M University

Stephen Burt, Harvard University

Co-editors of the forthcoming

Cambridge History of American Poetry


ALA symposia provide opportunities for scholars to meet in pleasant settings, present papers, and share ideas and resources.  The October 2014 symposium will focus on American poetry. We welcome proposals for individual papers, complete, panels, and roundtable discussions.

Location:  Hyatt Regency Savannah

Two W Bay Street

Savannah, GA 31401


Hotel Rate: The Hyatt Regency Savannah is offering a special rate of $169 (plus tax) per night for a single or double room.

Conference Director:

Richard Flynn, Georgia Southern University

Conference Fee:  $150

(Includes two lunches and three receptions)

Please email all proposals to Richard Flynn

before July 20, 2014


Conference Details:  The American Literature Association will return to Savannah for a symposium on American poetry, October 23-25, 2014.


Please plan to stay in the conference hotel as this helps us meet our commitment to the hotel and keeps our rates low.  With views of Savannah’s scenic waterfront, the Hyatt Regency is located in the heart of the historic district.


Sessions run Friday and Saturday, October 24-25. There will be an opening reception on Thursday evening as well as receptions Friday and Saturday evening. Lunch will be served Friday and Saturday. Please note that luncheon preferences will be sent to conference participants at a later date.  Our emphasis on the receptions and meals reflects a belief that some of the most productive scholarly conversations happen in congenial social settings.

A special event will be planned for Thursday October 23rd. Details will follow.

Individuals may propose papers or panels by emailing the conference director, Richard Flynn, at no later than July 20, 2014. The proposal should include the title of the presentation or panel, an abstract that provides the conference director with a clear idea of the material that will be covered, a brief vita or description of the presenter’s qualifications, and emails for all participants. The proposal should be both pasted into an email and sent as an attachment (preferably in WORD). All emails will be acknowledged in a timely manner.

The conference director welcomes proposals for roundtables and panels that deal with the development of important genres, literary movements, themes, and issues.

Please note that no audiovisual equipment will be available for the symposium.

Those proposing papers and/or panels will be informed of acceptances in early August.  Participants will be asked to make their hotel reservations immediately and to pre-register on-line. If necessary, registration the registration fee and form can be mailed using the material posted at the end of this announcement.  A program will be placed on the ALA website prior to our meeting, and printed programs will be available at the symposium.


ALA Guidelines: The most common ALA format is a time slot of one hour and twenty minutes with three papers and a chair. This permits time for discussion and three papers of approximately 20 minutes (or nine typed double-spaced pages). Organizers of panels are free to use other formats provided they respect the time limits. Furthermore, the ALA encourages panel organizers to experiment with innovative formats including discussion groups and panels featuring more speakers and briefer papers. Chairs will make sure that the panels start and end on time and that no speaker goes beyond the allotted time limit.  We prefer that chairs not present papers on the panels that they are moderating, and no one may present more than one paper at an ALA symposium.

The conference fee covers the costs of the conference including two meals and two receptions. We encourage all of those who are on the program to pre-register. The conference fee is $150 for all participants.  We regret that we are unable to offer a lower rate for graduate students and independent scholars for this symposium.

ALA Membership: Membership in the ALA is not required in order to propose or present a paper.  In fact, technically the members of the American Literature Association are the various author societies.  Individuals may keep informed about the activities of the ALA by checking our website (, which is the primary source for information about ALA activities.  Individuals can also be placed on a mailing list by sending their contact information to: Alfred Bendixen, Executive Director of the ALA, at Those on the mailing list will receive copies of the annual call for papers and the conference announcement/registration packet.

The easiest way to find out about the symposium and all ALA activities is by consulting our website:

Please note that the American Literature Association maintains the lowest conference fees of any major scholarly organization because it operates without a paid staff. If you have any questions that are not answered by this announcement, please contact the conference director at or Alfred Bendixen, Executive Director of the ALA, at

Thank you for your interest and your support of the American Literature Association

The conference fee covers the costs of the conference including two lunches and two receptions. Your pre-registration reduces our costs and enables us to plan effectively.




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