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Reading Postwar British and Irish Poetry

Michael Thurston, Nigel Alderman

ISBN: 978-1-118-61986-5 November 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 352 Pages


Combining detailed explorations of both mainstream and experimental poets with a clear historical and literary overview, Reading Postwar British and Irish Poetry offers readers at all levels an ideal guide to the rich body of poetic works published in Britain and Ireland over the last half-century.           

  • Features detailed discussions of individual poems that are widely available in anthologies and selected poems volumes
  • Pays explicit attention to how to read the poems, focusing on language and form and the institutional conditions of literary possibility in which poets worked
  • Includes poets of all types and styles from throughout the post-war period, including canonical and mainstream poets alongside experimental poets, women, and poets of color



Acknowledgments viii

1 Introduction: “Postwar,” “British,” “Irish,” and “Poetry” 1

2 A Brief Historical Survey 19

3 The Literary Landscape 41

4 Histories of Forms 86

5 Poetry of Place 131

6 History and Historiography 161

7 Varieties of the Long Poem 186

8 Subject To, Subject Of 226

9 Anthologies and Groups 276

10 Epilogue: Beyond “British,” “Irish,” and “Poetry” 296

References 312

Index 322