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A Concise Companion to Postwar British and Irish Poetry

Nigel Alderman (Editor), C. D. Blanton (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-2924-4
328 pages
April 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
A Concise Companion to Postwar British and Irish Poetry (1405129247) cover image
This volume introduces students to the most important figures, movements and trends in post-war British and Irish poetry.
  • An historical overview and critical introduction to the poetry published in Britain and Ireland over the last half-century
  • Introduces students to figures including Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, and Andrew Motion
  • Takes an integrative approach, emphasizing the complex negotiations between the British and Irish poetic traditions, and pulling together competing tendencies and positions
  • Written by critics from Britain, Ireland, and the United States
  • Includes suggestions for further reading and a chronology, detailing the most important writers, volumes and events
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Notes on Contributors ix

Acknowledgments xii

Chronology xv

Introduction 1
Nigel Alderman and C. D. Blanton

1 Poetic Modernism and the Century’s Wars 11
Vincent Sherry

2 The Movement and the Mainstream 32
Stephen Burt

3 Myth, History, and The New Poetry 51
Nigel Alderman

4 Region and Nation in Britain and Ireland 72
Michael Thurston

5 Form and Identity in Northern Irish Poetry 92
John P. Waters

6 Poetry and Decolonization 111
Jahan Ramazani

7 Transatlantic Currents 134
C. D. Blanton

8 Neo-Modernism and Avant-Garde Orientations 155
Drew Milne

9 Contemporary British Women Poets and the Lyric Subject 176
Linda A. Kinnahan

10 Place, Space, and Landscape 200
Eric Falci

11 Poetry and Religion 221
Romana Huk

12 Institutions of Poetry in Postwar Britain 243
Peter Middleton

References 264

Index 285

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Nigel Alderman is assistant professor of English at Mount Holyoke College. He previously taught at Yale University where he was awarded the Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities and the Sarai Ribicoff Award for the Encouragement of Teaching at Yale College. He has published on both Romantic and Modern poetry and is completing a book on British literature of the sixties.

C. D. Blanton is assistant professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches modern poetry. He has previously taught at Princeton University. He is currently completing a study of late modernist British poetry entitled Aftereffects, and together with Nigel Alderman he has edited Pocket Epics: British Poetry After Modernism.

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  • An historical overview and critical introduction to the poetry published in Britain and Ireland over the last half-century.
  • Introduces students to the period’s most important movements, trends. and poetic figures including Philip Larkin, Ted hughes, Seamus Heaney, and Andrew Motion.
  • Takes an integrative approach, emphasizing the complex negotiations between the British and Irish poetic traditions, and pulling together competing tendencies and positions.
  • Written by critics from Britain, Ireland, and the United States.
  • Organised around the most important historical and formal intersections of the last 50 years.
  • Includes suggestions for further reading and a chronology, detailing the most important writers, volumes and events
See More

“Eminently readable, and thankfully largely free of socio-political posturing and theorising, it provides a measured historical overview and a critical introduction, and one can see that the overall approach aims to be integrative, charting what are described as intricate negotiations between the British and Irish poetic traditions, and marshalling rival tendencies and positions.”  (Suite101.com, 17 February 2014)

“Written by critics from Britain, Ireland and the USA, this new paperback, A Concise Companion to Postwar British and Irish Poetry, edited by Nigel Alderman and C D Blanton (Wiley Blackwell, £29.99 / €36, January 2014), opens up many areas for literary exploration as it introduces students to the most important figures, movements and trends in British and Irish poetry since 1945.”  (Allvoices, 17 February 2014)

Gives some sense of why poetry provides the sharpest of lenses through which to view the historical and social developments of the second half of the twentieth century, and will serve both as a useful source of reference and a provocative starting point for discussion." (English Studies, 1 December 2011)

"Engaging and uncluttered by jargon. The mix of formal and thematic issues with social and cultural contexts doubles the usefulness of this collection as a preparatory tool for students of the period." (CHOICE, December 2009)

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