Home Recent Anthologies
subsequent to those discussed in "How Did British Innovative Poetry Come About?"


Just to say I found anthologies very useful as places to explore and attempt to inhabit when I began seriously writing poetry. (Donald M Allen, The New American Poetry [Grove Press, 1960], Robert Creeley & Donald Allen, The New Writing in the USA [Penguin Books, 1967] and Ron Padgett & David Shapiro, An Anthology of New York Poets [Vintage, 1970) if you're interested.) Find an anthology that really interests and excites you, and try dwelling inside its various rooms.

If you want to investigate anthologies containing innovative British poetry further, you will find an archived page useful: List of Anthologies, Literary Histories & Critical Texts (1948—2011).

I'll end with the definition used in The Edge of Necessary (Introduction, p 15) to define the area the editors were interested in: "modernist-influenced poetry written in English — that is, of the kind variously labelled alternative, neo-modernist, experimental, avant-garde or innovative (no singe term is adequate, and this anthology [read "website" — tho I also think innovation is a vital artistic element] simply uses the one its editors feel is the least disputable). By 'innovative' we mean the kind of poetry which registers the lessons of Modernism and contemporary formal and linguistic experiment, along with the more radical twentieth and twenty-first century discoveries in psychology, philosophy and the physical sciences. Such poetry is distinct from the even more misleadingly-named 'mainstream' poetry, which tends to work within a narrowly conceived rationalist empirical tradition, built within a vision of the world as comprised of objects on the one hand and a more or less unitary speaking and observing self on the other, each firmly grounded and in its place." Goodby and Davies then go on to deal with how this poetry encounters varying definitions of "Welshness". What those of us who are British but not Welsh, Irish, Scottish (or Cornish!) need is to encounter that place we are in, and how we can make sense of the poisoned chalice of Englishness. Dash it to the floor, maybe. Welcome, everyone to the Peoples' Republic of Albion.


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