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The Harvill Book of 20th Century Poetry in English (Harvill Press Editions) [Paperback]

Michael Schmidt
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £18.99
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Book Description

20 April 2000 Harvill Press Editions

Michael Schmidt's anthology includes the work of more than a hundred poets from every part of the English-speaking world. What links their diverse voices is a common language: each poem, in its own way, adds to the resources of the medium and makes it new.

The poems in this book are allowed to slip free of their moorings in the biography and history of the last century to create new spaces and times. They have been chosen because they are exceptional, profound and unique in what they do to language, regardless of their subject matter or the orientation of the poet. It is a powerful reminder that in the twentieth century poems did what they have never done before, and it provides us with a unique insight into the forces that will shape the poetry of the twenty-first century.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Press (20 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860463517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860463518
  • ASIN: 1860467350
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.8 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Schmidt OBE FRSL is the founder and editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press Limited, the general editor of PN Review. He was until recently Professor of Poetry and convener of the Creative Writing programme in the Department of English, University of Glasgow. He is now Writer in Residence at St John's College, Cambridge.

He recently completed The Novel: A Biography, to be published in May 2014, a companion volume to Lives of the Poets (1999). His most recent anthologies include, The Great Modern Poets, published by Quercus on National Poetry Day 2006; Five American Poets (including Robert Hass, James McMichael, John Matthias, John Peck, and Robert Pinsky), published by Carcanet in 2010, and New Poetries V, including 22 hitherto uncollected anglophone poets from around the world, in 2011. His collection of poems The Resurrection of the Body was published in 2007. His Collected Poems appeared in 2009 and The Stories of My Life in 2013.

Product Description


"A valuable and brave book... reliably thoughtful and properly controversial. Furthermore, its devotion is always to poetry, not to personality" (Andrew Motion)

"Readers who delight in the sheer diversity of 20th century poetry in English are richly catered for" (Spectator)

"Michael Schmidt is eminently well-suited to take the measure of the changes and vicissitudes that brought poetry to its current modern character" (Independent on Sunday)

"Schmidt is no despiser of popular taste for all his declared modernism, his agenda is elastic and inclusive... I can imagine teaching out of this rich, warm, generous collection for years, without getting bored, limited, or enraged with its editor" (Times Educational Supplement)

"It is hard to see who could have done the job better than Schmidt" (Times Literary Supplement)

Book Description

'The poets which Schmidt has chosen to include in this volume are worthy to stand up and speak for the art of a century' - Rachel Campbell-Johnson, The Times

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As expected
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for poetry, not great for studying. 26 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book out of necessity: it was part of the necessary reading for my course at university. Unfortunately, it really doesn't succeed as an academic book. If you want an interesting overview of 20th century poetry, this book will fit you well. The poems are authoritatively and imaginatively chosen. However, there is a complete lack of context. It would have been massively more useful if it had provided dates: births and deaths of the authors, and the dates of different poems.
The Harvill Book presents poems in a vacuum, without context or connections. This may be what you want - it was not what I wanted. (If you buy this book, prepare for plenty of Googling.)
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