New Poetries VIII Eds. Michael Schmidt, John McAuliffe (Carcanet)

Tears in the Fence

Anthologising is, assuredly, a contentious art, not just a little like canon forming, despite numerous protestations. The mere act of including someone and leaving others out, with its corollary to granting book publication, seems nonetheless indispensable. We need to try to get a better flavour of the times, to put worthy contributions within the same pages of a collaborative volume, just to digest and try to sample what has been going on. In contrast to the BloodaxeStaying Aliveseries, which began in 2002, Carcanet’sNew Poetrieshas just reached its eighth volume, having commenced in 1994, with by the standards of the series more contributors, some 24, than usual this time out. A slight bias is doubtless inevitable in that we find here Carcanet authors as well as Manchester associations. Nonetheless the range of poetries is highly diverse.

Aside from the high calibre of the various poets, presentation wise…

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