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Poetry Wars
British Poetry of the 1970s and the Battle of Earls Court
by Peter Barry Andrew Motion Robert Hampson

RRP €99.30

Poetry Wars
British Poetry of the 1970s and the Battle of Earls Court
by Author Name Peter Barry, Andrew Motion, Robert Hampson

Book details for title
List Price:99.30
Format: Hardback, 229 x 152 x 19mm, 276pp
Publication date: 01 Jun 2006
Publisher: Salt Publishing
ISBN-13: 9781844712489


Poetry Wars is an account of the six-year battle at the National Poetry Society during the 1970s when this highly conservative institution and its journal Poetry Review were taken over by radical poets. The story is told from primary sources, including the Arts Council's Records at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Eric Mottram Archive at King's College London, and the Barry MacSweeney Collection at Newcastle University, and from contemporary newspaper accounts. The story has never been made public before in documentary detail, though brief reference is often made to it in accounts of contemporary poetry, and anecdotes and hearsay about these events have been in circulation for over twenty years. The repercussions continue to reverberate, and struggles of the same nature continue in the Poetry Society and other cultural institutions today. The question of how an avant-garde 'negotiates' with the 'centre' it seeks to displace remains crucial, and this issue is of increasing importance to the study of literature and the arts in the twentieth and twenty first centuries.The book is in three sections: the first, 'Chronology' (chapters 1-5), tells the story of the events; the second, 'Themes' (chapters 6-9), considers the events from various thematic viewpoints, and includes a detailed chapter on the writing, teaching, and editing practice of Eric Mottram, and another on the characteristics of the 'British Poetry Revival' of the 1970s. The third section, 'Documents', reproduces a series of contemporary documents from the relevant archives, along with new summary data about the personalities involved.


Foreword: Andrew Motion Preface: Robert Hampson Acknowledgements List of illustrations Introduction CHRONOLOGY 1. The back story and moving in: 1951-1972 2. Editing under pressure: 1972-1975 3. The empire bites back: 1976 4. The Witt investigation: 1976 5. Endgame and aftermath: 1977-2005 THEMES 6. The 'British Poetry Revival': some characteristics 7. Eric Mottram as critic, teacher, and editor 8. The Poetry Society transformed 9. Taking a long view DOCUMENTS Eric Mottram's 'Editor's Note' (1975) Manifesto for a Reformed Poetry Society (1975) The Manifesto of the Poetry Society (1977) Eric Mottram, 'Editing Poetry Review' (1979-80) Mottram's appointment and extensions at Poetry Review Data on issues of Poetry Review edited by Mottram Outline Chronology of 'The Battle of Earls Court' The Structure of the Poetry Society Membership of the General Council of the Poetry Society Relevant UK Poetry Organisations in the 1970s Alphabetical Who's Who Sources General bibliography Index

Additional Information

  • Illustrations: black & white illustrations