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John Berryman

Centenary Essays


Edited By Philip Coleman and Peter Campion

Drawing on the proceedings of two conferences organized to celebrate the centenary of John Berryman’s birth in 2014, John Berryman: Centenary Essays provides new perspectives on a major US American poet’s work by critics from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. In addition to new readings of important aspects of Berryman’s development – including his creative and scholarly encounters with Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth and W. B. Yeats – the book gives fresh accounts of his engagements with contemporaries such as Delmore Schwartz and Randall Jarrell. It also includes essays that explore Berryman’s poetic responses to Mozart and his influence on the contemporary Irish poet Paul Muldoon. Making extensive use of unpublished archival sources, personal reflections by friends and former students of the poet are accompanied by meditations on Berryman’s importance for writers today by award-winning poets Paula Meehan and Henri Cole. Encompassing a wide range of scholarly perspectives and introducing several emerging voices in the field of Berryman studies, this volume affirms a major poet’s significance and points to new directions for critical study and creative engagement with his work.

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This book has its basis in two events, one in Dublin and another in Minneapolis, organized in 2014 to celebrate the centenary of the birth of John Berryman. The editors wish to thank everyone who read poems, gave papers, chaired sessions, and participated in discussions at these conferences, and especially the following people and organisations for their exceptional back-up and support:

Dublin: Joseph M. Bradley; Fiona Byrne; Susan Cahill; Ron Callan; Jonathan Creasy; Matthew Day; Martin Doyle; Kit Fryatt; Gillian Groszewski; Alan Hayes; Eleanor Jones-McAuley; Zosia Kuczyńska; Emma Loughney; Philip McGowan; Peter Maber; Niamh NicGhabhann; Joanne O’Leary; Kathrine Phillipa; Diane Sadler; the students and staff of the English Department of the Mater Dei Institute (Dublin City University); the students and staff of the School of English, Trinity College Dublin; the Fulbright Commission of Ireland; the Irish Association for American Studies; KC Peaches (Nassau Street); Poetry Ireland; The Irish Times; Reads Print and Design; RTÉ Radio One (The History Show); Newstalk FM.

Minneapolis: Barb Bezat; Michael Dennis Browne; Tom Clayton; John Coleman; Raiana Grieme; Edward Griffin; Patricia Hampl; Kathryn Hujda; Lois Kelly; Richard J. Kelly; Alan K. Lathrop; Cecily Marcus; Tim Nolan; Ellen Messer-Davidow; Katherine McGill; Wendy Pradt Lougee; Elizabeth O’Brien; Kathryn Rensch; Daniel Swift; Jennifer Torkelson; Shannon Wolkerstorfer; the students and staff of the Department of English at the University of Minnesota; the students and staff of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota; the University of Minnesota Libraries; the staff...

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