Poetry & Geography

Space & Place in Post-war Poetry

Edited by Neal Alexander and David Cooper

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ISBN: 9781846318641

Publication: May 22, 2013

Series: Poetry &... 5

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Poetry & Geography examines the rich diversity of geographical imaginations informing post-war and contemporary poetry in Britain and Ireland. Drawing impetus from the spatial turn in the humanities and social sciences, the fourteen essays collected here appraise the significance of ideas of space, place, and landscape for ‘mainstream’ and ‘experimental’ poets, post-romantics and neo-modernists alike. Cumulatively, the book’s varied articulations of poetry and geography sketch out a series of intersections between language and location, form and environment, sound and space. Poetry’s unique capacity to invigorate and expand our vocabularies of site and situation, of our manifold relations with the world outside us, is described and explored. Bringing together fresh, interdisciplinary readings of poets as diverse as Roy Fisher and R.S. Thomas, John Burnside and Thomas Kinsella, Jo Shapcott and Peter Riley, Alice Oswald and Ciaran Carson, Poetry & Geography sketches a topographical map of shared poetic terrains. It contributes to a fertile set of dialogues between literary studies and cultural geography in which the valences of space and place are open to processes of contestation and reimagining. This new collection of critical essays provides readers with a vital set of coordinates in a complex and evolving field. Key themes include: place and identity; literary cartographies; walking as trope and spatial practice; the poetics of edges, margins, and peripheries; landscape, language, and form.

David Cooper is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU Cheshire).

Dr Neal Alexander lectures in English at the University of Nottingham. He is the co-editor (with Shane Murphy and Anne Oakman) of 'To the Other Shore: Cross-currents in Irish and Scottish Studies' (Queen's University Belfast, 2004).

Acknowledgements Introduction: Poetry & Geography Neal Alexander and David Cooper Part I Placing Selves: Identity, Location, Community 1 City of Change and Challenge: Liverpool in Paul Farley’s Poetry Charles I. Armstrong 2 Mapping the Geographies of Hurt in Barry MacSweeney and S.J. Litherland Peter Barry 3 Place under Pressure: Reading John Tripp’s Wales Matthew Jarvis 4 ‘Still linked to those others’: Landscape and Language in Post-war Welsh Poetry Katie Gramich 5 Roaring Amen: Charles Causley Speaks of Home Andrew Tate Part II Spatial Practices: Walking, Witnessing, Mapping 6 The Road Divides: Thomas Kinsella’s Urban Poetics Lucy Collins 7 ‘I know this labyrinth so well’: Narrative Mappings in the Poetry of Ciaran Carson Daniel Weston 8 ‘Whitby is a statement’: Littoral Geographies in British Poetry Amy Cutler 9 ‘Where lives converge’: Peter Riley and the Poetics of Place Neal Alexander 10 Envisioning ‘the cubist fells’: Ways of Seeing in the Poetry of Norman Nicholson David Cooper Part III Geopoetics: Landscape, Language, Form 11 ‘Wanderer, incomer, borderer/ liar, mother of everything I see’: Jo Shapcott’s Engagement with Landscape, Art and Poetry Deryn Rees-Jones 12 John Burnside: Poetry as the Space of Withdrawal Scott Brewster 13 ‘Water’s Soliloquy’: Soundscape and Environment in Alice Oswald’s Dart Peter Howarth 14 Roy Fisher’s Spatial Prepositions and Other Little Words Peter Robinson Notes Notes on Contributors Select Bibliography Index

... this collection of essays offers a varied and illuminating account of the diverse explorations of space and place in post-war poetry.
  Review of English Studies, Vol. 65, no 270

This collection, from general and magisterial introduction, to incisive and particularising chapters on well-known and lesser-known recent poets, maps poetry like a new geographer, relating rooted place to extensive space, national politics to global economies, bodily spatiality to ecological interrelatedness. Using a variety of recent theories about place and space, these visions of space and spaces never forget that poetic language itself is a way of taking up and holding positions.
Robert Sheppard  
Edge Hill University

An indispensable addition to the study of contemporary British and Irish poetry and a valuable contribution to the wider field of ecocriticism.
Ross Hair  
University of East Anglia

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

272 Pages

ISBN: 9781846318641

Publication: May 22, 2013

Series: Poetry &... 5

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