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Devolutionary Readings

English-Language Poetry and Contemporary Wales


Matthew Jarvis

The September 1997 vote approving devolution, albeit by a tiny margin, was a watershed moment in recent Welsh history. This volume of essays considers the English-language poetic life of Wales since that point. Addressing a range of poets who are associated with Wales by either birth or residence and have been significantly active in the post-1997 period, it seeks to understand the various ways in which Wales’s Anglophone poetic life has been intertwined both with devolutionary matters specifically and the life of contemporary Wales more generally, as well as providing detailed scrutiny of work by key figures. The purpose of the book is thus to offer insights into how English-language poetry and contemporary Wales intersect, exploring the contours of a diverse and vibrant poetic life that is being produced at a time of important cultural and political developments within Wales as a whole.

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Notes on Contributors


NEAL ALEXANDER is Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature at Aberystwyth University. He is author of Ciaran Carson: Space, Place, Writing (Liverpool University Press, 2010); co-editor of Poetry & Geography: Space and Place in Post-war Poetry (Liverpool University Press, 2013) and Regional Modernisms (Edinburgh University Press, 2013); and an editor of the peer-reviewed journals Literary Geographies and the International Journal of Welsh Writing in English.

PETER BARRY is Emeritus Professor of English at Aberystwyth University. He is author of Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory (Manchester University Press, three English and six translated editions since 1995), Contemporary British Poetry and the City (Manchester University Press, 2000), English in Practice (editions in 2003, published by Arnold, and 2012, published by Bloomsbury), Poetry Wars: British Poetry of the 1970s and the Battle of Earls Court (Salt, 2006), Literature in Contexts (Manchester University Press, 2007), Reading Poetry (Manchester University Press, 2012), and Extending Ecocriticism, co-edited with William Welstead (Manchester University Press, 2017). He was Principal Investigator for the Leverhulme Trust-funded research project ‘Devolved Voices: Welsh Poetry in English since 1997’ which ran at Aberystwyth University from 2012 to 2015.

ZOË BRIGLEY THOMPSON is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the Ohio State University. She has two poetry collections, The Secret (2007) and Conquest (2012), both of which were UK Poetry Book Society recommendations. She also edited the academic volume Feminism, Literature, and Rape Narratives (2010). She won an Eric Gregory Award, the Derek Walcott Prize, a...

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