Smith, killed by shrapnel near the end of WWI’s Battle of the Somme, was one of Tolkien’s closest friends from late childhood.
As an alumnus of Corpus Christi College, poet Smith may be best known for his work “A Spring Harvest,” and is a recognized influence in Tolkien’s life and writings. Tolkien and Smith were friends from King Edward’s School days and part of the tight-knit Tea Club and Barrovian Society.
Corpus Christi hosts this two-day series in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Professor’s passing, organized by Doug Anderson, Oronzo Cilli, and Beppe Pezzini. Confirmed speakers include John Garth, Grace Khuri, Mark Atherton, and many more.
Click here for lecture topics and further details, and here for more related reading (from 2016!) over at The Tolkien Society, including a link to “Tolkien’s Great War,” a halfling-sized documentary film published by King Edward’s School, Birmingham.