The Alvarez Generation
Thom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter
William Wootten is a literary journalist, writing for the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and the Guardian. He is Lecturer in English Literature (Poetry & Creative Writing) at the University of Bristol.
Preface Part I 1. Beginnings: Oxford and Cambridge Poetry in the early 1950s 2. ‘A Violent Time’: Anti-Movement Poetry in the mid to late 1950s 3. In Opposite Directions: A. Alvarez and Thom Gunn 4. Against Gentility 5. On Being Serious 6. Anthology Making 7. First Reactions: 'The Review' Debate and the Initial Response to 'The New Poetry' Part II 8. Sylvia Plath Part III 9. Going to Extremes 10. ‘A Study of Suicide’ Part IV 11. ‘Against Extremism’ 12. Costing Seriousness 13. ‘I Don’t Like Dramatising Myself’: anti-confessionalism in the later poetry of Thom Gunn 14. 'Birthday Letters' 15. Geoffrey Hill’s New Poetry 16. Children of 'The New Poetry' Index
The Alvarez Generation is an illuminating, provocative and important book... Though briefer, it is as significant as Blake Morrison’s 'The Movement'.
A well-researched, gracefully-written and important book about a formative period in British and Irish poetry. Wootten has established himself as a fine critic.
Publication: May 5, 2015