THE EZRA POUND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE - EPIC
by Walter Baumann
The first conference was called by Carroll F. Terrell, founder of the National Poetry Foundation and of Paideuma, and held in Orono, in June, 1975; the first conference in Europe was called by Philip Grover and held in Sheffield, England, in April 1976.
In 1991, after twelve further gatherings held annually or biennially in the USA (twice) and England (ten times), the conference moved for the first time to the European mainland, to Brunnenburg. In 1993 it was Rapallo, 1995 Brantome, France. Since then there have been conferences at Brunnenburg (1997), Beijing (1999), Paris (2001), Sun valley (2003), Rapallo (2005), Venice (2007), Rome (2009), London (2011), Dublin (2013).
The conference in 2015 has taken place at Brunnenburg to honor Mary de Rachewiltz’s 90th birthday.
The EPIC for 2017 will take place in Philadelphia.
The conference is a forum for people from all walks of life who have a serious interest in the life and works of Ezra Pound and wish to exchange their knowledge and ideas. A constantly updated mailing list is used to ensure a wide distribution of the calls for papers, which are also published in Paideuma. This is an opportunity for those who wish to give a paper, conduct a seminar or take an active part in any way, to submit a proposal for consideration to the organisers.
It is also an opportunity for those who simply wish to attend to indicate their intention to register.
The conference host is normally also the Chief Organiser. In 1991 the Business Meeting, which is held in the course of every conference, approved the creation of the office of Conference Secretary and elected William Pratt as its first incumbent. At the Rapallo conference in 2005, John Gery was elected Conference Secretary, to succeed William Pratt. The number of committee members is decided at every business meeting in consultation with the new Chief Organiser.
The main task of the Business meeting is to ensure the continuity of the conference. It must reach an agreement on the venue and the general scope of the next conference. Further regular matters are the election of the Conference Secretary and other officers and a review of the conference format.
The main source of finance is the conference fee levied from each participant. Concessions, such as reduced fees for partners or graduate students, are at the discretion of the Chief Organiser in consultation with the committee. The Chief Organiser also has the authority to seek financial assistance from local bodies or sponsors, particularly for additional programme items such as exhibitions and concerts. Any surplus left after the conference has met all its obligations is to be handed on to the next Chief Organiser. The Business meeting or the committee may, however, decide to use the surplus or part of it to help finance the publication of the conference papers or to set up travel grants for future conferences.
The Business meeting can consider, approve or reject rule change proposals, which must be submitted in writing at least 48 hours in advance.
See Walter Baumann's photo galleries of the most recent conferences: