The Thing About Roy Fisher

BookThe Thing About Roy Fisher

The Thing About Roy Fisher

Critical Studies

Liverpool English Texts and Studies, 37


March 1st, 2000

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The Thing about Roy Fisher is the first critical book to be dedicated to the work of this outstanding poet, who has won many admirers for his explorations of the modem city, his experiments with perception and sensory experience, his jazz-inspired prose, and his political and cultural comedies. The collection brings together a distinguished group of contributors: poets and critics, from several generations, active on both sides of the Atlantic. In a dozen newly commissioned essays they discuss the entire range of Roy Fisher’s work, from its fraught beginnings in the 1950s through such major texts of the 1960s and 1970s as City, The Ship’s Orchestra and ‘Wonders of Obligation’, to A Furnace, his 1980s masterpiece, and beyond. The essays are closely engaged with the fabric of Fisher’s verse, but they also bring into view a fascinating array of connections between contemporary poetry and philosophy, psychology; the visual arts and jazz. The Thing about Roy Fisher ends with a full and up-to-date bibliography; an essential starting point for further study of this versatile and complex writer, whose centrality and importance within modern English and European poetry is now more than ever apparent. Kerrigan and Robinson’s collection provides a helpful introduction to Roy Fisher’s work, and will be necessary reading for anyone with a live interest in modern poetry.

If you haven’t been introduced before, meet Roy Fisher; a major figure of twentieth century literature-inventive, exciting and unpredictable.
Eleanor Cooke, Raw Edge

Roy Fisher’s work is something altogether rare in contemporary British poetry.
David Sexton, The Sunday Times

Author Information

Peter Robinson was born in Salford, Lancashire, in 1953, and grew up mainly in Liverpool. He holds degrees from the universities of York and Cambridge. Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Reading and poetry editor for Two Rivers Press, he is the author of many books, especially of poetry and translation, for some of which he has been awarded the Cheltenham Prize, the John Florio Prize, and two Poetry Book Society Recommendations.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Notes on Contributors7
1: Roy Fisher on Location28
2: ‘Menacing Works in my Isolation’: Early Pieces59
3: The Work of a Left-HandedMan98
4: Osmotic Investigations and Mutant Poems: An Americanist Poetic118
5: ‘Making Forms with Remarks’:The Prose140
6: Cutting-Edge Poetics: Roy Fisher’s ‘Language Book’161
7: A Burning Monochrome: Fisher’s Block185
8: ‘The Secret Laugh of theWorld’205
9: ‘Exhibiting Unpreparedness’: Self,World, and Poetry221
10: ‘Coming into their Own’: Roy Fisher and John Cowper Powys243
11: A Furnace and the Life of the Dead269
12: Last Things287
Roy Fisher: A Bibliography325
General Index379