Contemporary British Poetry: Essays in Theory and Criticism

Contemporary British Poetry: Essays in Theory and Criticism

Contemporary British Poetry: Essays in Theory and Criticism

Contemporary British Poetry: Essays in Theory and Criticism

Synopsis

"Devoted to close readings of poets and their contexts from various postmodern perspectives, this book offers a wide-ranging look at the work of feminists and "post feminist" poets, working class poets, and poets of diverse cultural backgrounds, as well as provocative re-readings of such well-established and influential figures as Donald Davie, Ted Hughes, Geoffrey Hill, and Craig Raine. Contributors include many respected theorists and critics, such as Antony Easthope, C. L. Innes, John Matthias, Edward Larrissy, Linda Anderson, Eric Homberger, Alastair Niven, R. K. Meiners, and Cairns Craig, in addition to new writers working from new theoretical perspectives. Their approaches range from cultural theory to poststructuralism; each essayist addresses a general audience while engaging in debates of interest to postgraduates and specialists in the fields of twentieth-century poetry and cultural studies. The book's strength lies in its diversity at every level." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Editing a book like Contemporary British Poetry: Essays in Theory and Criticism is a risky business, since the tradition behind it is replete with attempts at comprehensive mapping of named terrains.We were aware from the start that any full accounting for Britain's contemporary poetry scene would now be even less possible than it ever was, given how much has been happening in the very variegated field of these "poetries" and how little room we have between the covers of our collection.Competing with our desire to bring readers up to date with changes that have occurred over the last twenty years—changes that have received less attention than they deserve, particularly in literary circles outside the U.K.—was our desire to demonstrate some of the new ways that established figures more familiar to our audience are currently being (re)read; therefore, the book's time frame has also broadened beyond any possibility of inclusiveness, treating poems that range from, say, Donald Davie's or Ian Hamilton Finlay's work of the 1950s and 1960s to the new poems of Benjamin Zephaniah and Carol Ann Duffy.Yet we feel that the book's strengths lie not so much in its having drawn a tidy circle around its topic but rather in its forays into new textual territories, both poetic and critical; in other words, the widely ranging approaches taken by our essayists assume no set audience and contribute to no "evenness" of tone or theoretical/rhetorical register for the book as a whole.We felt that our topic demanded that we take the risk of substituting variety for conformity, due to the different readerships that these . . .

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