Oct 26, 2017

Commemoration Evening for David Kennedy

Dear All,

We are inviting you to a commemoration evening for our colleague and friend, David Kennedy, who died in March. This will be on Thursday 30th November at the University of Hull, in Wilberforce Lecture Theatre 29, from 6.30 to 8.30. Doors will open at 6, and there will be refreshments.

David was a poet, writer, editor, academic, researcher and a gifted teacher. He was always interested in ideas and the arts, passionate, enthusiastic, blunt, and had a wide hinterland outside the sometimes narrow confines of academia. His deep interest in art was exemplified in his last poetry collection The Apple and the Mountain (Shearsman, 2015), concentrating on Cezanne. Kelvin Corcoran has said of this work ‘it is simply about seeing… To look at the paintings and read these poems simultaneously is a deep and rare pleasure.’

He was also a great ‘behind the scenes person’, with a sharp eye for detail, putting much effort into the practical work needed for creative work to come to fruition. He ensured that people made their deadlines, that information for students was written clearly, that teaching materials were kept up to date and accessible, and that colleagues were empowered and supported to deliver the best service possible.

David also gave help and advice (sometimes unwelcome, and very forthright, and often unacknowledged) to struggling writers and poets. He was loyal, and didn’t forget people. He had a strong moral core, which translated into practical organisational help.

Because David had worked in industry for many years before becoming an academic, he appreciated the freedom and variety of his work, and relished the chance to present complex ideas to students, to whom he was passionately committed. Many students have mourned the loss of David, and a wide cross-section of people has been touched by his death. We want to reflect that richness in this tribute to him.

We recognise that this will inevitably be a sad occasion, but we hope it will also be joyous. David’s incisive and analytical mind applied itself to working on commemoration in his later years. His involvement in the Crossing Over network recognised the importance of ‘End of Life’ planning, and the need for talking about death. He attended Crossing Over conferences, was involved in Death Cafes, and worked closely with archaeologists on delivering creative writing workshops in a hospice. David set great store by our need to remember, and we know that there are many people who wish to have some way of remembering him.

You are most welcome to attend but you do need to register – you can book online here.
As part of the commemoration, we are inviting 10 people to speak for 5 minutes each about David and/or his work. If you wish to participate, could you please contact both ray.french@hull.ac.uk/k.mckay@hull.ac.uk by October 27th. We will get back to you soon after that to confirm speakers, and a running order.

We hope you can attend this event. Please RSVP, and do pass on the details to anyone who may be interested.

Yours sincerely,

Kath Mckay/ Ray French.

Co-editors End Notes

End Notes is a collection of 10 interlinked stories about loss, mourning and commemoration.
This eBook is free, as it's funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, which is committed to free and open access for its projects. End Notes is part of a wider Crossing Over project. David was the original Principal Investigator for the wider project, and obtained the AHRC grant.

Free download available from:



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