Elmer Andrews, ed., Contemporary Irish Poetry: A Collection of Critical Essays (London: Macmillan 1996), 344pp.

CONTENTS: Acknowledgements, vii; Notes on the Contributors, viii; Elmer Andrews, Introduction [1]; Eilean Ní Chuilleanáin, ‘Borderlands of Irish Poetry’, [25]; Richard Kearney, ‘Myth and Modernity in Irish Poetry’ [41]; Edna Longley, ‘The Aesthetic and the Territorial’ [63]; Peter McDonald, ‘History and Poetry: Derek Mahon and Tom Paulin’ [86]; Patricia Craig, ‘History and its Retrieval in Contemporary Northern Irish Poetry: Paulin, Montague and Others’ [107]; Seamus Heaney, ‘Place and Displacement: Reflections on Some Recent Poetry from Northern Ireland’ [124]; John Wilson Foster, ‘The Landscape of Three Irelands: Hewitt, Murphy and Montague’ [145]; Gerald Dawe, ‘The Suburban Night: On Eavan Boland, Paul Durcan and Thomas McCarthy’ [168]; Maurice Harmon, ‘”Move, if you move, like water”: The Poetry of Thomas Kinsella, 1972-88 [194]; Michael Allen, ‘Rhythm and Development in Michael Longley’s Earlier Poetry’ [214]; Elmer Andrews, ‘The Poetry of Derek Mahon: “places where a thought might grow” [235]; A. S. Knowland, ‘The Thoughtful Songs of James Simmons’ [264]; Michael Allen, ‘The Poetry of Medbh McGuckian’ [286]; Barbara Buchanan, ‘Paul Muldoon: “Who’s to know what’s knowable?” [310]; Select Bibliography of Contemporary Irish Poetry [328]; Index [335].

Notes on Contributors:
Michael Allen
was educated at Leeds University. A Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University, Belfast, he is the author of Poe and the British Magazine Tradition (1969), a British Association for American Studies pamphlet on Emily Dickinson (1985) and essays on American and Irish writers in various books and periodicals.

Elmer Andrews was educated at Dalriada School, Ballymoney, and at Queen’s University, Belfast, where he gained his MA and Ph.D. degrees. He has taught in Greece and at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco. Currently, he is a Lecturer in English at the University of Ulster at Coleraine. His publications include The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: All the Realms of Whisper (1988), Seamus Heaney: A Collection of Critical Essays (editor, forthcoming), and essays on American and Irish writers in various books and journals.

Barbara Buchanan was educated at Queen’s University, Belfast, the New University of Ulster and London School of Economics. She is Head of the English department in a sixth-form college in London.

Patricia Craig was born in Belfast and educated there and in London. She is a freelance author and critic, a biographer of Elizabeth Bowen, and a frequent contributor to many periodicals, including The Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books.

Gerald Dawe was educated at Orangefield Boys’ School, Belfast, the New University of Ulster and University College, Galway. Currently lecturing in English at Trinity College, Dublin, he has published two books of poems, Sheltering Places (1978) and The Lundys Letter (1985), edited The Younger Irish Poets (1982) and coedited with Edna Longley Across a Roaring Hill: The Protestant Imagination in Modern Ireland (1985). He has received a Major State Award (1974-7) and an Arts Council bursary for poetry (1980) and was awarded the Macaulay Fellowship in Literature in 1984. He is general editor of the literary review Krino.

John Wilson Foster was educated at Queen’s University, Belfast, and the University of Oregon. He is Associate Professor of English at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. His publications include Forces and Themes in Ulster Fiction, Fictions on the Irish Literary Revival (1987), and numerous contributions to books and journals on Irish literature and culture.

Maurice Harmon was educated at University College, Dublin, and at Harvard University. He is Associate Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College, Dublin. His publications include Sean O’Faolain: A Critical Introduction (1966, rev. edn 1984), The Poetry of 7homas Kinsella (1974), Select Sthliography for tne Study of Anglo-Irish Literature and its Background: An Irish Studies Handbook (1977), Irish Poets After Yeats (editor, 1978), Image and Illusion: Anglo-Irish Literature and its Contexts (editor, 1979), A Short History of Anglo-Irish Literature (co-editor with Roger McHugh, 1982) and The Irish Writer and the City (editor, 1984). He edits the Irish University Review: A Journal of Irish Studies.

Seamus Heaney was educated at Queen’s University, Belfast. He was Boylston Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard University (1984-9), and is currently Professor of Poetry at Oxford. His collections of poetry include Death of a Naturalist (1966), Door into the Dark (1969), Wintering Out (1972), North (1975), Field Work (1979), Selected Poems 1965-1975 (1980), Station Island (1984) and The Haw Lantern (1988). He has published two volumes of collected prose: Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968-1978 (1980) and The Government of the Tongue: The T. S. Eliot Memorial Lectures and Other Critical Writings (1988).

Richard Kearney was educated at University College, Dublin, at McGill University, Montreal, and at the University of Paris. A Lecturer in Philosophy at University College, Dublin, he is the author of Dialogues with Contemporary Continental Thinkers (1984), La Poetique du possible (1984), Modern Movements in European Philosophy (1986), Narratives of Contemporary Irish Culture (1987), The Wake of Imagination (1988) and Transitions: Narratives in Modern Irish Culture (1988); and editor of The Crane Bag Book of Irish Studies (2 vols, 1981 and 1987) and The Irish Mind: Exploring Intellectual Traditions (1984). He was co-editor of The Crane Bag and is currently co-editor of the Irish Review. He has participated in television and radio programmes on Irish, British, French, German and American networks, with contributions on Irish culture, the media and modern European thought.

A. S. Knowland was educated at Frensham Heights School and Exeter College, Oxford, where he read classics and then English. He was Lecturer in English at University College, Toronto, and Professor and Head of Department at Magee University College, Londonderry. In 1960 he became Director of Studies at St Clare’s Hall, Oxford, a post which he held until his retirement in 1984. He has been a visiting professor at the universities of Connecticut and Munich, and has taught at the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo. He has edited a collection of Caroline plays, is author of W. B. Yeats: Dramatist of Vision, and co-author, with A. Norman Jeffares, of A Commentary on the Collected Plays of W. B. Yeats (1975).

Edna Longley is Professor of English at Queen’s University, Belfast. She has edited Edward Thomas’s Poems and Last Poems (1973), and his critical prose in A Language not to be Betrayed: Selected Prose of Edward Thomas (1981). She has also edited the works of James Simmons and Paul Durcan, and co-edited, with Gerald Dawe, Across a Roaring Hill: The Protestant Imagination in Modern Ireland (1985). Her extensive writings on contemporary Irish and English poetry include Poetry in the Wars (1986) and Louis MacNeice: A Study (1988).

Peter McDonald was an undergraduate at University College, Oxford, and received his doctorate from Oxford in 1987. He was a Research Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, from 1986 to 1988, and is currently Fellow and Lecturer in English at Pembroke College, Cambridge. His first full volume of poetry, Biting the Wax, was published in 1989, and he is the author of Louis MacNeice: The Poet in his Contexts.

Eilean Ni Chuilleanain was educated at University College, Cork, and at Oxford. A Lecturer in English at Trinity College, Dublin, she has published five volumes of poetry - Acts and Monuments (1972), Odysseus Meets the Ghosts of the Women (1973), Site of Ambush (1975), The Rose Geranium (1981) and The Magdalene Sermons (1991) - and a selection of her work entitled The Second Voyage (1978). She has edited Irish Women: Image and Achievement (1985) and is editor of Cyphers, a literary magazine.

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