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Chaucer Celebration

The ASU Department of English's biennial Chaucer Celebration commemorates the life and work of medieval author Geoffrey Chaucer with events such as film festivals, concerts, performances, and academic discussions.

2018: Sixth Biennial ASU Chaucer Celebration

Download flyer: PDF iconchaucerflyer2018.pdf

Twenty-First-Century Chaucer

Illustration of Chaucer in the style of Andy Warhol

Friday, March 23, 2018

All events are free of charge, open to the public, and take place at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Chaucer for the 21st Century: Two Readings

9:00-11:00 a.m.   |    Old Main (MAIN) Carson Ballroom

Illustration of Chaucer on a skateboard

Readings by internationally known poet Patience Agbabi (author of Telling Tales) and YA novelist Kim Zarins (author of Sometimes We Tell the Truth) bringing Chaucer's narratives into twenty-first-century experience.

Patience Agbabi's poetry has been featured on radio and TV worldwide and she has spent over 20 years celebrating the written and spoken word. Active on the literature and arts scene, she was on the Council of Management for Arvon from 2009 to 2016. Her poem, "The Doll's House" was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2014. She studied English language and literature at Oxford University, and is a former Poet Laureate of Canterbury. The author of four books, her latest, Telling Tales (Canongate, 2014), is a vivid retelling of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales for the 21st century and was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Prize for New Work in Poetry 2014 and Wales Book of the Year 2015.

Kim Zarins has a PhD in English from Cornell University and teaches medieval literature and children's literature at Sacramento State University. Her debut novel, Sometimes We Tell the Truth, retells Chaucer's Canterbury Tales with modern teens, and she wrote it with a gigantic smile on her face (there are funny bits). She also published two picture books for very young children. When she isn't reading or writing or teaching, she is feeding peanuts to a very hungry scrub jay named Joe.

A book sale and author signing will follow the event.

The Canterbury Tales: Printed Editions, Then and Now

3:00-4:30 p.m.   |   Hayden Library room C55

A page from the 3rd edition of Chaucer's works by Thynne / Photo by Richard Newhauser

ASU Library’s Special Collections recently acquired a treasure trove of early printed editions of Geoffrey Chaucer’s texts, including the third edition of his Works by William Thynne (1550). Later holdings include a rare copy of The Kelmscott Chaucer, printed in 1896 by William Morris, and a guide to the creation of this beautiful volume with early sketches by Edward Burne-Jones. Following an overview of the Chaucer holdings, you will have the opportunity to examine them personally.

Flying Chaucer: Five Tales Adapted (Loosely) From The Canterbury Tales

6:30 p.m.   |   Memorial Union (MU) Pima Auditorium (230)

Illustration of Chaucer with an iPhone

Written and directed by Pamela Sterling, a dramatic reading of this updated version of The Canterbury Tales starring ASU students and faculty. Danger! Some scenes rated PG-13.

The Sixth Biennial ASU Chaucer Celebration is sponsored by ASU's Dean of Humanities, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Department of English and its Creative Writing Program; Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing; Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and its School of Film, Dance and Theatre; Institute for Humanities Research; and Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry. For further information, contact the Department of English, tel: 480-965-3168 or Professor Richard Newhauser, Department of English, tel: 480-965-8139, e-mail: Richard.Newhauser@asu.edu

2016: Fifth Biennial ASU Chaucer Celebration

The Art(s) of Being Geoffrey Chaucer: March 18, 2016  |  chaucerflyer2016final.pdf

2014: Fourth Biennial ASU Chaucer Celebration

Chaucerian Comedy and the Senses (of Humor): April 18, 2014  |  chaucercelebration14.pdf

2012: Third Biennial ASU Chaucer Celebration

Chaucer's England—Sights, Sounds, Poetry: March 30, 2012  |  chaucer12revised.pdf

2010: Second Biennial ASU Chaucer Celebration

Chaucer and Religion: April 1-2, 2010  |  chaucerflyer10final.pdf

2009: First ASU Chaucer Celebration

Chaucer's New Easter Clothes Day: April 3, 2009  |  chaucer_program_09.pdf