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Anthology of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry Paperback – 24 May 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 976 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (24 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019512894X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195128949
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 5.1 x 14.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 712,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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HARDY WAS BORN AT HIGHER BOCKHAMPTON, NEAR DORCHESTER IN DORSET, AND educated at local schools. Read the first page
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Frazer on 4 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was moved to place this notice in response to the others I spotted here, having already written an extensive essay on the book for Chicago Review (Vol. 47, No. 3, Fall 2001 issue). This book is significant precisely because it cuts across existing preconceptions of what is important in 20th Century British and Irish Poetry - some of my own included. While its coverage of Welsh poetry of this period could be better, this is counterbalanced by a very astute view of Irish poetry, which brings mportant figures to notice (above all in the UK and the USA, where they are almost unknown) such as Devlin, Coffey, Joyce, Walsh and others. The fact that (for instance) Michael Longley is missing from the selection is due to the editor's assessment that Longley is not as interesting a poet as his current reputation in the UK would suggest. This holds good for a number of other well-known names too, such as Paulin and Armitage, but is inevitable if an editor is to make serious and informed choices, rather than simply produce a list of the Top Hundred as defined by the boulevard press or London's Poetry Review.
Several significant practitioners of what might be termed post-modernist, or late-modernist, or even "avant-garde" poetry have been included, but they represent less than half the selection from the post-1950 period, whihc does not seem to me to be unfair. I disagree with some of the inclusions and exclusions too, but I can't think of an anthology that I have agreed with totally in this respect, and it's not about to start now. This is far and away the best, and fairest survey of the period
so far, and it should open a number of eyes.
Read more ›
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By N. Dorward on 4 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
I write as someone who had a major role in this book (my job was to write the annotations), so obviously I'm hardly an impartial reviewer, but nonetheless I want to say that Keith Tuma's Oxford anthology is a landmark book. English-language anthologies in any field have typically been rather exclusive in focus. On the one hand, there's "mainstream" anthologies, which usually carry a bland title that promises an objective synopsis (Ellmann & O'Clair's _The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry_, for instance, or Edna Longley's _The Bloodaxe Book of Twentieth Century Poetry_) which conceals the extremely partial account of the field actually given in the book (Longley's book, absurdly, omits to mention anywhere on its cover or spine that it omits American poetry; Ellmann & O'Clair's book is heavily slanted towards American writers, especially in its second half; each book gives only cursory accounts of nonmainstream poetries). On the other hand, there's "avantgarde" anthologies: Hoover's _Postmodern American Poetry_ book, Silliman's _In the American Tree_, Crozier and Longville's _A Various Art_, Caddel & Quartermain's _OTHER_, Joris & Rothenberg's _Poems for the Millennium_. These books pointedly exclude anything from the "mainstream" side of the spectrum, & are often bolstered with highly polemical introductions that dismiss that mainstream as producing any writing of value at all.
Keith Tuma's new anthology is one of the very few books to pull together both mainstream & avantgarde together, as well as many authors who are hard to categorize in terms of such a binary.
Read more ›
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7 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Oct. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Anyone familiar with 20th c.Irish and British poetry will find this textbook a terribly disappointing production.This is an Oxford University Press edition, with all the financial resources and scholarly credibility that implies, but it's an astonishingly unrepresentative selection. The editor claims to include a "fair" proportion of "mainstream" poets and the avant garde, but it's nothing of the kind. Imagine Welsh poetry without R.S. Thomas. Irish poetry without Michael Longley. Approaching our contemporaries, we have plenty of unknowns who publish sub Language poetry in limited editions, but of that powerful movement of poets now in their thirties and forties (Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell being the most visible proponents) only Shapcott, Alvi, Dabydeen and Duffy rate the editor's notice. This isn't "critical pluralism". It's an attempt to canonize a postmodern clique by juxtaposing their work with the likes of Seamus Heaney.
Moreover, it isn't even a believeable anthology from a postmodern standpoint. Where's J. H. Prynne? Excluding him is like leaving John Ashbery out of an anthology of modern American poetry.
One positive note: the editor provides the full texts of long poems like Jones' "The Anathemata" and Muldoon's "Incantata" along with very helpful footnotes. But on balance, this simply won't do at all. And the pity is we're stuck with it because no publisher will invest in a project like this again for some time.
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3 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
Anyone familiar with 20th c.Irish and British poetry will find this textbook a terribly disappointing production.This is an Oxford University Press edition, with all the financial resources and scholarly credibility that implies, but it's an astonishingly unrepresentative selection. The editor claims to include a "fair" proportion of "mainstream" poets and the avant garde, but it's nothing of the kind. Imagine Welsh poetry without R.S. Thomas. Irish poetry without Michael Longley. Approaching our contemporaries, we have plenty of unknown sub Language poets who publish each other in limited editions, but of that powerful movement of poets now in their thirties and forties (Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell being the most visible proponents) only Jo Shapcott rates the editor's notice. This isn't "critical pluralism". It's an attempt to canonize a postmodern clique by juxtaposing their work with the likes of Seamus Heaney.
Moreover, it isn't even a believeable anthology from a postmodern standpoint. Where's J. H. Prynne? Excluding him is like leaving John Ashbery out of an anthology of contemporary American poetry.
On the positive side, the editor provides the full texts of long poems like Jones' "The Anathemata" and Muldoon's "Incantata" along with helpful footnotes. But on balance, this simply won't do at all. And the pity is we're stuck with it because no publisher will invest in a project like this again for some time.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The most significant anthology of the period yet 4 Jan. 2002
By A. Frazer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was moved to place this notice in response to the others I spotted here, having already written an extensive essay on the book for Chicago Review (Vol. 47, No. 3, Fall 2001 issue). This book is significant precisely because it cuts across existing preconceptions of what is important in 20th Century British and Irish Poetry - some of my own included. While its coverage of Welsh poetry of this period could be better, this is counterbalanced by a very astute view of Irish poetry, which brings mportant figures to notice (above all in the UK and the USA, where they are almost unknown) such as Devlin, Coffey, Joyce, Walsh and others. The fact that (for instance) Michael Longley is missing from the selection is due to the editor's assessment that Longley is not as interesting a poet as his current reputation in the UK would suggest. This holds good for a number of other well-known names too, such as Paulin and Armitage, but is inevitable if an editor is to make serious and informed choices, rather than simply produce a list of the Top Hundred as defined by the boulevard press or London's Poetry Review.
Several significant practitioners of what might be termed post-modernist, or late-modernist, or even "avant-garde" poetry have been included, but they represent less than half the selection from the post-1950 period, which does not seem to me to be unfair. I disagree with some of the inclusions and exclusions too, but I can't think of an anthology that I have agreed with totally in this respect, and it's not about to start now. This is far and away the best, and fairest survey of the period
so far, and it should open a number of eyes. It will offend the preconceptions of those committed to a more conservative view of history, but that is the job of an anthology - to redefine, to challenge, to suggest that appearances are not everything. This is a fine book that deserves to be on most reading lists, and on the shelves of most people interested in the subject. If it creates irate debate, so much the better: at least we'll all be talking about a subject that is all too often ignored.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A landmark anthology 17 Oct. 2001
By N. Dorward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I write as someone who had a major role in this book (my job was to write the annotations), so obviously I'm hardly an impartial reviewer, but nonetheless I want to say that Keith Tuma's Oxford anthology is a landmark book. English-language anthologies in any field have typically been rather exclusive in focus. On the one hand, there's "mainstream" anthologies, which usually carry a bland title that promises an objective synopsis (Ellmann & O'Clair's _The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry_, for instance, or Edna Longley's _The Bloodaxe Book of Twentieth Century Poetry_) which conceals the extremely partial account of the field actually given in the book (Longley's book, absurdly, omits to mention anywhere on its cover or spine that it omits American poetry; Ellmann & O'Clair's book is heavily slanted towards American writers, especially in its second half; each book gives only cursory accounts of nonmainstream poetries). On the other hand, there's "avantgarde" anthologies: Hoover's _Postmodern American Poetry_ book, Silliman's _In the American Tree_, Crozier and Longville's _A Various Art_, Caddel & Quartermain's _OTHER_, Joris & Rothenberg's _Poems for the Millennium_. These books pointedly exclude anything from the "mainstream" side of the spectrum, & are often bolstered with highly polemical introductions that dismiss that mainstream as producing any writing of value at all.
Keith Tuma's new anthology is one of the very few books to pull together both mainstream & avantgarde together, as well as many authors who are hard to categorize in terms of such a binary. As he notes in his introduction, conventional literary histories in the UK, Ireland & the US have often portrayed UK & Irish poetry as a mirror-image to US poetry: hostile to modernist innovations; modest in ambitions; highly traditional in form. One thing his accent on nonmainstream poetries does is to undo such cliches: such writers as Mina Loy, JG Macleod, Thomas MacGreevy, Brian Coffey, WS Graham, Lynette Roberts & David Gascoyne are set beside better-known modernist figures like Eliot, Lawrence, Jones, Bunting & MacDiarmid. There are also many authors who aren't easily classified. What do you call Ivor Gurney? An experimentalist Georgian? Or Charlotte Mew--is she an avantgarde Decadent poet? What about FT Prince, or FR Higgins, or Elizabeth Daryush, or Nicholas Moore?
The book is organized chronologically according to birthdate: such an organization makes for startling juxtapositions of style & reputation. How about Keith Douglas (1920-1944: wrote a handful of great WW2 poems & a prose work, _Alamein to Zem Zem_, & died at Normandy); Bob Cobbing (b.1920: sound-poet, creator of visual poems by e.g. manipulating images on a xerox machine, founder of the redoubtable little press writers forum); Philip Larkin (1922-1985: Eeyoreish head of the Movement, author of some of the most loved contemporary poems in Britain, supporter of Thatcher, & now fallen from grace due to the posthumous publication of his bile-strewn letters). Or two Leeds-born contemporaries: Tony Harrison (b.1937: represented by the long poem _v._, an elegaic poem whose four-letter words were the cause of a public uproar when it was broadcast on television by the BBC) next to John Riley (1937-1978: represented by the long poem _Czargrad_, a religious poem showing both his fascination with the Orthodox Church and with the poetics of Pound, Olson, Blackburn and Williams; the author died at age 41, killed by muggers in Leeds).
Probably the easiest way of demonstrating the book's unique diversity is to list the authors included. They are: Hardy, Hopkins, Kipling, Yeats, Mew, de la Mare, Ford, E. Thomas, Monro, Loy, Hulme, Wickham, Lawrence, Sassoon, Sitwell, Daryush, Muir, Eliot, Butts, Rosenberg, Gurney, MacDiarmid, Warner, MacGreevy, Owen, Rodker, Jones, Graves, Cunard, Clarke, Higgins, Bunting, S. Smith, Macleod, Kavanagh, Coffey, Empson, Beckett, Auden, MacNeice, Parsons, Devlin, Roberts, MacCaig, MacLean, Prince, Madge, D. Thomas, Sisson, Gascoyne, Moore, Graham, Scott, Douglas, Cobbing, Larkin, Davie, Berry, Finlay, Benveniste, Jennings, Middleton, Tomlinson, Kinsella, Turnbull, Montague, Gunn, Feinstein, Hughes, R. Fisher, Silkin, Tonks, Redgrove, Hill, Adcock, Harrison, J. Riley, Raworth, Langley, Reedy, Markham, James, Harwood, Heaney, P. Riley, Mahon, Crozier, Leonard, Raine, Boland, A. Fisher, Pickard, Reading, Forrest-Thomson, Lochhead, Joyce, D. Riley, MacSweeney, Griffiths, Catling, Halsey, Nichols, McGuckian, Lopez, O'Sullivan, Muldoon, Kuppner, Monk, Johnson, Scully, Wilkinson, Shapcott, Alvi, Duffy, cheek, Sheppard, Dabydeen, Healy, Breeze, Zephaniah, Kay, Herbert, Bergvall, Milne, Walsh, Macdonald.
I should also (in all modesty) add that this is one of the few volumes of modern poetry with full annotations. I assembled these with the assistance of scholars, other readers, poets, & in the case of the living, the poets themselves (indeed, some of the notes quote the letters they wrote me). I have continued to augment the notes, & have fixed a few small errors: readers who want to get the errata can write me at ndorward@sprint.ca for a copy.
Great Buy! 17 July 2011
By Ashley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did not know much about British and Irish poetry before getting this book. The Anthology of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry was a required text for a poetry class I had, and I came to appreciate so much more poetry and so many more authors because of this great compilation. Unfortunately I had rented it to save money (this class was in 2009), but ended up buying it finally! It's a great buy that I should have bought in the first place!!!
Five Stars 17 Feb. 2015
By Maria Fahs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great collection of writers and poems.
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