By Rosa Mas Giralt
This week, the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced the appointment of Wimbledon’s first official poet, Matt Harvey. The author will delight tennis fans during the tournament by providing versified chronicles of this year’s events. His creations will be published online on Wimbledon’s official website – www.wimbledon.org – and the Poetry Trust website – www.thepoetrytrust.org– and also as podcasts. Additionally, Harvey will entertain the public via Twitter and by reciting his poems to the queues of patient tennis fans. The iconic space of Wimbledon will provide a dynamic backdrop from which the poet will draw his inspiration, a process which has already started with his first lyrical composition “The Grandest of Slams”.
The relationship between ‘inspiration’ and the places where it takes place is at the centre of a forthcoming article in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers by Brace and Johns-Putra (2010, early view). Writing from the collaborative nexus between geography and literary studies, the authors set off to recover the concept of ‘inspiration’ (which they explain, has been subjected to strong criticisms in literary studies, 2010:2) because of the compelling meaning that this concept still holds for those who write for pleasure. By engaging with representational and non-representational theories, the authors investigate the “elements of inspiration” (2010: 13) through discussions with their participant writers in an attempt to represent the ineffable creative process.