Wednesday 26 August 2009

map of 7-volume work on modern British poetry

Map of the Affluence work

Note. This is an overall description of 'Affluence, Welfare and Fine Words', a history of British poetry (in English) 1960-97. For a list of publication data, see other postings (keyword 'affluence') on this blog.
It began in 1992 and stopped, more or less, in 2009. I had to draw a halt line in 1997 in order to complete the project. I omitted poets who were already well-known in 1960 because I wanted to move things on and not look back to much. This caused problems of definition, for example Kathleen Raine was eventually included in the project.

1. The Failure of Conservatism

Every new poet who arrives believes that the landscape has changed with their arrival, yet a weighty sector of opinion believes that nothing ever changes and that there is no need to adopt any innovations arriving since 1955. I try to get behind this foreground noise, working back to what vanished, and to establish what the sequence of stylistic change was. Such a simple notion, to look at the texts and their dates and establish what changed over a forty-year period. This knowledge might be seen as merely forensic, the expertise in evaluating verbal objects which someone who works with them daily as part of a trade acquires unconsciously. Yet the possibility of dating texts, or of dating the formative moment of the poet who wrote them, is significant because it clashes with the conservative idea of English poetry, that nothing has changed in fifty years - and so that there were no innovations to celebrate and nothing is out of date. If stylistic dating attaches a verbal work to a horizon which is not simply a date but the context of people and rules by which the gestures and symbols can be interpreted, then the unpopularity of modern poetry might be explicable in terms of poets failing to find a horizon and, in particular, wishing to deny that the culture had shifted and that writing in the style of a previous generation was not good common sense.
In the texts, I identify 34 traits which by changing track the movement of conventions during the period. As a composite of indicators, they allow us to determine who is innovative during the period and who isn’t. The title of the book refers to the failure of attempts to create new poetry in the style of the past: even though the nation is profoundly conservative in culture, even though so many people are busy teaching pre-20th C poetry all day, manifold attempts at a restoration or re-enactment of past styles have proved unsuccessful, and at best a compromise between historicist pastiche and modern means has proved workable. Perhaps the solution is to re-invent this conservatism on a more thoroughgoing basis, or perhaps it is to accept that we are contemporary with the modern.

This story focuses mainly on the elite of innovators, who have the smallest element of passive repetition of the art of the past and who have the technical ability to channel speculation and wish into the concrete verbal form of poems. These are also the poets who were refused a place in history by conservative critics.

Poetry appreciation is more than just one person liking blond hair and one liking black hair. The conjunction of hundreds, even thousands, of associations works because of imitation: you acquire the symbols/values in sympathy, because you work out what the other person is saying, and later you slide into that position. This is a linguistic skill, and it is part of being good at language. It means that poems do not rely on random effects or on arbitrary preferences. Without shared norms poetry would slide into an ocean of the arbitrary and the obscure, something much vaster than the island of meaning. The value of a single time is that it supplies a set of public norms. The whole set allows the reader to share the experience of the poem - the unity of reader and writer. The poem has to use the language the reader knows, has to align itself with a series of shared experiences which because of their serial nature imply succession and variation in time. A poem which is based on a flawed sense of historical time will miss the reader and lead to an experience full of broken expectations. The sense of time is quite fundamental. Yet, time may not be the right word. In an age of mass cultural participation, there may be several different clusters of sensibility which co-exist in the same year and which yet have inner coherence - a harmony between reader and writer.
If time changes only in the eyes of an elite of initiates then it may be a secret time and forced to co-exist with other scales of time - other poetries, other speech networks sustaining meaning and symbols. Perhaps a symbol works on one side of a room, the usual metropolitan bar, and fails to work on the other side. Perhaps the conscious innovators live in a world of reflexive awareness which cuts them off from another world of limited knowledge, which changes more slowly, more hesitantly, and following a different time plan.
I think FCon gave poets a test which they could fail, and poets staggered through it wondering if they would fail or not. This was in line with what I expected of a work of cultural criticism. I used to find that kind of thing very stimulating when I was young. If you don’t have an artistic ideal you are never going to rise very high. However, people obviously found this kind of self-searching stressful. In later books I gave up the violent confrontation between modern-style poetry and conservative poetry, and gave up drawing conclusions about why bad or mediocre poetry was that way.

poets discussed: Charles Tomlinson, Philip Larkin, Edwin Morgan, Christopher Middleton, Peter Redgrove, Rosemary Tonks, Geoffrey Hill, George MacBeth, J.H. Prynne, Ken Smith, Isobel Thrilling, John Ash, David Harsent, Penelope Shuttle, Jeffrey Wainwright, John Seed, Jeremy Reed, Alison Brackenbury, Kelvin Corcoran, W.N. Herbert, Ian Duhig, John Goodby, Walter Perrie, Christopher Salvesen, TS Law, David Craig, Emyr Humphreys, Kenneth White, John James, B. Catling, Ulli Freer
(published by Salt Publications in 2003)

There is now a second edition which is about 50% new material. The rewrite was in 2016 (and the original was finished in about 1995). It loses Tomlinson, Larkin, and Hill because the chapter in the 1950s has been scrapped. But, see "The Long 1950s", below. It adds George Mackay Brown.

2. Legends of the Warring Clans: The poetry scene in the 90s

No thesis, this is just a collection of reviews of books coming out in the 90s.
It only covers the 'underground' area (broadly speaking) as that is where I was dwelling at the time. It was issued on the Internet in about 2002. (see  ). The issue of changes in the Mainstream or official poetry during that period is picked up in 'The Long 1950s'.
The introduction says among other things "A central sociolinguistic gesture in poetry is diminishing reality; there is wanting a verb whose meaning is 'I diminish your reality', 'I write off what you are about to say'. This is called 'blanking' in social contact: you say 'hello' to someone who then ignores you. Of course selective attention is a weak phrase, all attention is this. One source is inherited class strife; middle class people wrote off those of low income (also of low education, and low status), and working class people wrote off middle class people out of revenge and solidarity with their families. 'Not reading' and 'misreading' are local skills, people walk around with de-perceptual equipment, 80% of the social spectrum suppressed, as if by a high-tech glass. Non-listening sulks, tantrums, and walk-outs are absolutely standard in the poetry world, as common as amplified attention; dissimilation as violent as assimilation; people are still sulking about things that happened twenty years ago, or fifty. What we call personality could be an array of repressions, a unique signature of blocks dissecting an originally intact and common signal."
"I was touched by RL Mégroz's complaint, in his excellent 1934 book on modern British poetry, that poetry publication had by now reached such a spate that no-one could keep up with it. (It is upsetting how few elements of the contemporary scene really can't be found described in Mégroz.) Faced with some 2,000 poetry publications in a single year, my treatment is rigorously selective—in other words, indulgently exclusive. I have obeyed my own enthusiasms throughout, and where I get bored, I stop. Accusations about representing the official version will only evoke a sardonic sneer from me, since I wrote almost the whole book while on Income Support. The small circulation of almost all of those books points to a multitude of very precisely defined, elusive, markets."
"This anxiety gives rise to an inadequate grasp of theorising, and so of generating hypotheses which are the necessary forerunners, through experimentation, of new styles. British people feel that taking important decisions for themselves is a kind of treachery against central authority. A longing to share in impersonal authority blinds people to the generative powers of language— the 'sorcery, perfidy, and artifice' slumbering within it: the absence of style is taken as veracity. Almost everything we know is the result of conjecture; a precious few poets have taken the risks to become original."

chapter list
Reportage on launch of Conductors of Chaos (22nd June 1996)
Reading at Plymouth May 1997
Field Trip to Glasgow July 97
Out of Everywhere, edited by Maggie O'Sullivan
The poetic right-wing: Oxford; Mainstream postmodernism (Muldoon, Fenton, and Motion); Christian poets: (Hill; Thrilling)
Born in the 60s, part 1: Soft Metal; part 2, avant-garde neoclassicism (DS Marriott, Simon Smith); part 3, reviews (David Rushmer, sand writings; Nicholas Johnson, David Greenslade, Tim Atkins, Tim Allen, Andy Brown, Helen Macdonald)
Real space and virtual space; the volume that sound fills (discusses Norman Jope)
The critique of language and everyday life: Peter Finch, antibodies; Tony Lopez, Stress Management; Kelvin Corcoran, Lyric Lyric; Purple and Green; Two Women Dancing, by Elisabeth Bartlett
The pursuit of eunomia: David Barnett, All the Year Round; RF Langley, Twelve Poems; Four Poems, Michael Haslam; The Mummery Preserver, Vittoria Vaughan
The Talking Dead (Peter Riley, Distant Points; Steve Sneyd, In Holds of Earthen Coil; Kerry Sowerby, The Resuscitators; Elisabeth Bletsoe, Portraits of the Artist's Sister)
House of the Shaman, Maggie O'Sullivan; essay on shamanism
The Book of Demons, Barry MacSweeney
Rhymes with Hayworth: Tom Raworth
Allen Fisher and the School of London (Fisher; Robert Sheppard)
The tyranny of distance: essay on poetry and the Internet
(on the internet at  )

3. Centre and Periphery in Modern British Poetry

Whereas FCon dealt with stylistic changes in time, CP deals with a similar distribution over space. We identify a clear polarity between the cultural centre, with its higher access to publishing, fashions, and publicity, and the periphery, which tends to come second in any race. This less favoured position encourages the rejection of assets which they have insecure access to, and the development of assets which complement those of the centre by being polarised against them. We try to locate continuous traditions which would capture local values, and find that although discontinuity is the condition of these secondary traditions there are also rich cultural records in the North of England, in Wales, and in the formerly Gaelic part of Scotland, which repay attention and help to frame individual poets from those areas. We discuss the centre as well, recounting the critiques of the 'cultural Iron Triangle' of Oxford, Cambridge, and London articulated by intellectuals of the periphery, but relating these to the mainstream and its comfortingly low artistic standards, while pointing out that there is a more reflexive and intellectual tradition in the 'iron triangle' and that this has produced talent in great abundance. The work of Denise Riley is described as an example of major poetry written by a philosopher and undistracted by the communalist line.

Part 1 the spatial distribution of cultural assets
Crisis and subversion
Small-scale politics and decentralisation
Theory of cultural space
Assets of the Centre: Courtly Poetry
The Georgian Revolt

Part 2 Poetry of the north-western periphery
The North
Assets of the Centre: Deceit and doubt
Cumulative and declining Celticity
Conclusion: the sound of confusion

poets discussed: Denise Riley, Lynette Roberts, Idris Davies, Glyn Jones, Roland Mathias, Joseph Macleod, Iain Crichton Smith, Sorley MacLean, George Campbell Hay, Wilfred Gibson, Derick Thomson, Colin Simms, Michael Haslam, John James
plus incidental mention of James Kirkup and J Redwood Anderson
(published by Liverpool University Press in 2006)
There is now a second edition from Shearsman Books. This adds new material on Welsh and Gaelic poetry.

4. Origins of the Underground

This sets out from a historical puzzle: was there an occult link between the 1940s New Romantics, who were closed down by the Movement, and the 'underground' which emerged in the 1960s very much in opposition to the Movement? It proceeds to pull at a number of loose threads and recover moments from the history of the marginalised. It also offers reports from the front line of psychoceramics - the scientific study of crackpots.
The subtitle is: British poetry between apocryphon and incident light, 1932-77. It is apocryphon because it is like ancient holy texts which were hidden and then brought into the light of day (kruptos, apokruptos); incident light is what falls on the revealed texts, naturally, but also refers to the documentary movement and its attempt to recover the visible without staging and studio lighting, a project so important to the poetry of the time.
In the introduction, 1-9, we gloomily describe the problem and quote a lot of poems to show that the occluded is worth de-occluding. On pages 9-23, we look at the exclusion of the 1940s New Romantics, around 1950, as a possible analogy to the exit from the mainstream in the 1960s. On pp.51-55, we go on to look at self-critical, reflexive poets of the 1940s. On pages 56-78 we look at the school which produced A Various Art, and consider possible influences from the 1930s (Objectivism) and 1940s (Charles Madge). We return to further discussion of neo-Objectivism, now with a more informed view of the cult of objectivity. We look on pp.24-30 at the ideal of precision in 20 C poetry as influenced by photography. Following the theme of photography, and capture of new channels of data, we look on pp.40-50 at the history of the information filling poetry, a dialectic pattern whereby an excess of inflowing data led to changes in the structure of the poem. On pp.82-97 we go backwards to look at British State propaganda between the wars, as a set of myths, ruthlessly repeated, which constituted what poets retreated from. We are depressed to see how far it created the school of British documentary, with its appearance of being truthful and left-wing. Puzzled at what other ideas get into poetry than official ones, we discuss the history of ideas in poetry - a very cautious courtship followed by an unrecognizable transformation. On pp.123-63 we consider the New Romantic school of the 1940s - a contraction of the radius of interest to the body, a rejection of documentary knowledge, world news, group propaganda, and precision, in favour of intuition and personal myth. Unfortunately, we have already seen that the A Various Art school was based on reflexivity and interrogation of visible light – an inheritance of themes just cannot be. The New Romantics were anarchist and pacifist. On pp. 170-85, we look at the haunted New Romantic figure of David Gascoyne, ending up in the 1980s with the occultist magazine Temenos, edited by another 40s poet, Kathleen Raine. So perhaps the offspring of the 1940s are not the school of Prynne but the New Age. Intrigued, we move on to look, pp.187-97, at Iain Sinclair, who is in A Various Art but writes mainly about deluded New Age figures; and, pp.198-206, at the New Age and Counter Culture, social-political movements which may be the poles of attraction which drew poets away from the mainstream and the High Street, and which want to found a new knowledge in special states of awareness. Anarchism? pacifism? distrust of machines? is this a return of the New Romantic 1940s? At pp.207-18 we take a trip back to the 1920s to reveal the origins of the Counter Culture in certain intellectual currents, largely derived from Symbolism, which influenced the New Romantics and only later gave rise to the New Age. On pp.219-224 we look at the Scottish end of New Romanticism and at avant-garde folk music. On pp.225-43 we move back to the 1970s to examine the struggle between Left and Right in the Labour Party as the source of embitterment which poisoned relations between mainstream and underground factions in poetry, the mutual contempt of pragmatists and idealists. On pp. 244-55, we look at the idea of autogestion, a society with totally decentralised power, as an inspiration for poetry which hyperassociates at every step – the loose joints. We dredge up a link between the 40s radicalism of Asger Jorn and the high-riding Situationism of May 68 (he founded it). We belatedly recover a genuine link between the 40s and a sector of modern experimental poetry. And are disappointed to find it's over.

Poets discussed: Basil Bunting, Richard Aldington, Francis Berry, Kathleen Raine, Terence Tiller, George Barker, Charles Madge, David Gascoyne, JF Hendry, Dunstan Thompson, Roy Fisher, David Chaloner, Jeff Nuttall, Andrew Crozier, Iain Sinclair, John Hall, Anthony Barnett, Ralph Hawkins, Martin Thom, Walter Perrie
(published by Salt Publications in 2008)

5. The Council of Heresy

The introduction starts with incomprehension and promises to solve it by explaining procedures, by explaining unshared ideas, by discussing malice and polarisation. It says that obscurity is poetic heresy but also that the idea of a Council is to sift and condemn false claims about talented poets - which are also heresies. The book offers a countervailing attempt to abolish the obscurity of the new poetry by describing information complexes underlying it.

A large part of the work is a re-evaluation of the 1950s as an era of commitment, through an exploration of Thwaite, Logue, and Raine. That is building up to “The Long 1950s”: two books on depolarisation. It is also about poems which don’t need explanation, where the attention to objects of a common perceptual world retains the walls of lucidity. Reaching the end of a project always brings up a raft of unused yet essential material. If I’d gone on for another year, I would probably have cut all the diverse material and ended up with a book just about cultural backgrounds. That isn’t what happened, and the “non-central” material is some of the most important in the book. “Council” was supposed to be the end, but I wrote “The Long1950s” after the lights had gone out, because the idea of depolarisation attracted me so much.
We pursue depolarisation through a discussion of Anthony Thwaite. The use of a poet as a token in a fiery debate is impolite, and I apologise. However, a brief and selective consideration of Thwaite’s work uncovers a ‘personal landscape’, roughly of Roman North Africa, which gives rise to a fund of private symbols and which amounts to a projected world which has visible similarities to the worlds also identified for Kathleen Raine (cults from the Syria-Egypt region in the Late Empire), Logue (Bronze Age Troy), and Mottram (cults again). This originality grants Thwaite’s poetry its depth (noting that there are numerous books of his which cover quite other psychological material) even though he has not launched into linguistic experiment to recover the private symbols. I suggest that there were poets who had made debuts in the 1950s, but had found the poetic conditions of the time restrictive and unsatisfactory, and who flourished in the liberal period say 1960-80. That is, as highly gifted mainstream writers.

This was the last volume, so it had to carry essential material which hadn't been built in anywhere else. This is the way with long projects I was trying to reduce all this to a single line, but to be honest it never came down to less than two or three main foci. We could call it a ‘thematic polygon’. The foci are: the concept of ‘balkanisation’ as a necessary sequel to the rise of lifestyle choice in the wider society; a plea for depolarisation; the problem of cultural managers as agents of change without being primarily poets, and of the ethics of power; a primer of the avant garde, which is the site of most incomprehension; extensive description of other ‘unshared hinterlands’ to reduce misunderstanding again; the implications of the ‘balkanized’ state of culture; and Neoplatonism as a background and as a possible source for the avant garde. Most of the book is an exposition of complex cultural backgrounds to poets, as a way of reducing possible obscurity.
I was fascinated by the idea of “depolarisation” and the book was drifting towards a grander design of explaining differences of poetic goals, in order to resolve splits in the ‘poetry world’ as a mass of people. But not all the material fits that curve.

 The structure of the work demanded evaluations of poets, in this case:  Kathleen Raine Christopher Logue Asa Benveniste Anthony Thwaite Eric Mottram Tom Raworth   Barry MacSweeney Robert Hampson, Maggie O'Sullivan,  Adrian Clarke Tony Lopez   Kelvin Corcoran, DS Marriott Helen Macdonald
The poets don’t fit into the argument specially well, but they are more important than the argument. Persistently, we dredge texts up out of the mere ocean of forms and lay them on the shore where their true anatomy is stripped in the dry air and the crystalline light.
The theme is “heresy”, but I never get into exposing poets who write obscurely. This might have made the book stronger, but by this stage I didn’t want to write controversially. From a certain point of view, obscurity is a central feature of the scene, and poets give away lucidity far too easily. The book is about obscurity. There was a time when lucidity bored people.

Was not GRS Mead right, already in 1913, to compare the modern situation with the landscape of cults of the Late Empire? If you look at the cults (East Mediterranean, Late Empire, so about 2nd C AD) you find things extremely like sound poetry and visual poetry. We have to ask why that is, and the answer takes us down the road less travelled. The fragmentation permits endless creativity, while denying all creation the advantage of a public. With difficulty we insist that the avant garde is not an offshoot of occultism. If an ideology is the product of a society, can an artist develop a new ideology without destroying the basis of the art and creating something self-referential and airless? But our society is culturally balkanized, it has refracted into hundreds of styles. 
‘Emptiness, the infinite, and the spiral; or, Henry Corbin, Kathleen Raine, and Eric Mottram’ discusses the work of a certain French student of Islamic heresies and why his work is drawn on both by Raine and Mottram, apparently completely incompatible figures. The underground is not the only kind of deeply heretical poetry. We give information helpful to understanding what Raine and Mottram, as poets, were really saying. The focus on leadership and the creators of ideology gets us away from individual poets and texts, perhaps towards ‘the structure of the field’. With equal horror and awe we ask how the 20th C regime of poetry in which everything links to everything else by invisible resonance, and genre rules or explicit propositions are abandoned, connects to the Neo-Platonist vision of the universe as governed by the transmission of invisible patterns, that just needs lenses. Would not an avant garde thrive, in the absence of a market to nourish it, in the protective embrace of cults?
At the end of the book are ‘pages from a Balkan gazetteer’, a minimal kind of orthodoxy where we try to site a hundred or so individual poets within an overall cultural field, and where we define basic terms. The classification is meant to be acceptable to all, the minimum of shared knowledge from which a public debate could set out. 

(published by Shearsman Books in 2009)

6. The Long 1950s

The main push here is to revisit the generalisations about the mainstream made in FCon and to recover good poets from within the conventional realm. The subtitle could be "a history of the mainstream". (In fact, the book only gives moments from that history, moments of clarity we hope.) A specific style-historical claim is made that 'the long 1950s' came to an end in the 1980s and a new standard for the mainstream was set which resolved most of the problems of the previous version and which was ludic, hedonistic, and open to fantasy. There was a sub-theme about the value of moralist poets. Picking up a remark by Sean O'Brien, I was interested in the artistically positive aspects of the poets who had developed in the 1950s and who applied firm moral standards to the events they described. Thus, Logue and Hill were publishing the most significant books in about 1996 to 2006, a fact which could hardly be ignored.
This one was likely to cause outrage among the population of the Underground. But they like being outraged.
This one was essentially outside the design of ‘Affluence’. After finishing ‘Heresy’ I was still interested in the mainstream and I was searching systematically for good m-stream poets. This led me into a re-consideration of the nature of stylistic change in my period, and to add another book.
There were four foci: the recreation of 50s culture, the investigation of poets who could write about moral judgements, the end of the ‘long 1950s’ in the 1980s and the sequels of that, and the nature of ‘amateur’ poetry, something which wasn’t involved in the theoretical flights of the highly literary but which nonetheless was subject to history.
The interest in 50s culture was not necessary to study of the period 1960-97. It was just something I felt emotionally drawn to. I toyed with the idea of an essay which said that pop music all went wrong with The Beatles - not true, but this book was written as if the innovations since 1962 didn't count.
In FCon I dealt with the rapid stylistic changes belonging to a certain tier of poets who have the agility and audacity to translate theory directly into poems. If we get away from that we find a realm of much slower change. This might in fact be hard to detect. However, long-term comparisons, such as between the condition of 1955 and the condition of 1995, would lure these slower changes out into daylight and in doing so would give us a view of the history of the amateur poets, of the conventions which affect the entire poetry-writing population and not just the few poets freed from restraint by a dexterity of technique. This then is where we get the notion of the long 1950s and of a change of the central set of stylistic rules in the 1980s - a phase of liberation which is missed in FCon.

poets discussed:
Roy Fuller, John Holloway, Edwin Morgan, Peter Levi, Peter Abbs, Emyr Humphreys, Christopher Logue, Brian Jones, Judith Kazantzis, Pauline Stainer, Jeremy Reed, Jo Shapcott, Jamie McKendrick, Robert Saxton, Alice Oswald, John Stammers
WJ Gruffydd, Rhydwen Williams, James Kitchener Davies

(published by Shearsman Books)

7. Fulfilling the Silent Rules

This was written in response to a tender which wanted a self-contained book about modern British poetry. I figured the main point was the extraordinary range of poetry being written, so I did a design with 80 pieces on individual volumes. I had great trouble getting the list down from 120. This went along with chapters on syntax, on metre, and on 'concatenation', the sequencing of ideas. A study of grouping looks at the inclusions of 15 anthologies on the presupposition that the lines of mutual exclusion might reveal the underlying divisions of poetic space. This sample, touching 450 poets, allows a tentative identification of nine different poetic factions or clusters, (two of which are not found in the anthologies), and we suggest that the story might be better told if it tracked the nine clusters separately. The book aims to stitch the exclusive and territorialised partial views back together to form a unified and capacious space.
Maybe the theorising can start once the substance of the time, achieved and outstanding books, has been understood. There may be silent rules composing the cultural field which permits poetry to be written and read. States of mind can be recovered from allusive language because we know what they are. Poetry can be original but cannot be arbitrary. Works created by the reader's participation have to embody a shared logic, unlike for example photographs.

A set of generalisations says among other things “The classification system leads directly to the notion of a collection - where the owner does not wish two copies of any object and is on the look-out for sorts which he/she does not yet own. This leads us into a demonic and beautiful world of differentiation - where poets reflexively modify their style, creating something unique because it is artificial. The sense of a classification system of poets - shared by a community of reflexive poets and interested connoisseurs - points the way to acquisition of a unique proprietary niche in the historic form series. This may appear to other observers as a great refusal - being located by a massive compilation of negative instructions which tell you where you must not go. If one poet writes work n, the second poet must avoid n. Where a thousand poets have written, the set of what must be avoided is {n1 + n2 + n3 … n1000}. This is a large set, and the space which is outside it is specialised indeed. But there you must go, outside the focal dislike, if you sign on to the reflexive project. It is demonic because the series it conjures up are so huge and because the solutions it draws the victim towards are so extreme and exotic.”
The book was originally written in 2002-3 but I tinkered with the list of poets included subsequently.

poets discussed: James Berry, Euros Bowen, Paul Holman, Grace Lake, Penelope Shuttle, Sean Bonney, Adrian Clarke, David Dabydeen, Peter Didsbury, Jane Draycott & Lesley Saunders, Jeff Hilson, Kathleen Nott, Iain Sinclair, Harry Guest
Ted Hughes, Alexander Hutchison, Mimi Khalvati, Pauline Stainer,
Frank Kuppner, RF.Langley, Tom Lowenstein, Helen Macdonald, Peter Manson, Brian Marley, D.S. Marriott, Roland Mathias, Kevin Nolan, F.T. Prince, Kathleen Raine, Alan Ross, Colin Simms, Sacheverell Sitwell, Martin Thom, Philip Toynbee, Karlien van den Beukel, David Wevill, John Hartley Williams, Rosemary Tonks, Michael Ayres, Ian Hamilton Finlay, JF Hendry, Denise Riley, John Ash, George Mackay Brown, Geoffrey Hill, J.H. Prynne, Peter Redgrove, Robert Crawford, D.M.Black, David Jones, Gavin Selerie, Elisabeth Bletsoe, George Barker, Francis Berry, David Chaloner, Deryn Rees-Jones, Vicki Feaver, Judith Kazantzis, Hilary Llewellyn-Williams, Menna Elfyn, Nigel Wheale, Moniza Alvi, Walter Perrie

(to be published by Shearsman in September 2018)
Unusually, there is an eighth part of this seven-volume series. It is called "Nothing is being Suppressed", and deals with British poetry of the 1970s. The poets involved are: Beeching, Jack; Bowen, Euros; Brown, Paul; Casey, Gerard; Crozier, Andrew; Evans, Paul;
Finch, Peter; Fisher, Allen; Fisher, Roy; Flintoff, Eddie; Freer, Ulli; Gibbs, Michael;
Guest, Harry; Hawkins, Ralph; Horovitz, Frances; Jackowska, Nicki; Jenkins, Phil; Lopez, Tony; MacBeth, George; MacLean, Sorley; Marley, Brian;
Mengham, Rod; Morgan, Edwin; Mottram, Eric; Prynne, JH; Raine, Kathleen; Reed, Jeremy; Simms, Colin; Sinclair, Iain; Smith, Iain Crichton; Smith, Ken;
Thom, Martin; Turnbull, Gael; Wain, John; Ward, John Powell

This began with a chapter on "long poems of the 1970s" which dates from around 2002 and was on this website at one point. It was written for 'Silent Rules' but I cut it. Originally I listed about 30, but I came back to the idea around 2016. With some searching on library shelves, I found 100 long poems of the decade. The book came out from Shearsman, in 2022.
Dropping standards slightly, I am going to mention some work outside the "core" of Affluence. The design of the books just didn't allow everything of significance to be included, but I have now put much of the excluded material on the Internet - either here or at Labels should take you to the material on this site, but for Pinko you may have to scratch around a bit. You may well ask, if it's important why isn't it in the books? No answer. There are probably 20 poets who should have been in the work but aren't. On this site: see details at catalogue-of-this-site :
Dunstan Thompson
'Sexuality and the body' posting (includes Jeff Nuttall, Ruth Pitter, Barry MacSweeney, Robert Conquest)
David Wevill
Stephen Spender
posting on "The Long Poem of the 1970s" includes Ken Smith, MacSweeney, Allen Fisher, Tony Lopez, Andrew Crozier
'Shopping update' contains notes on Giles Goodland, Philip Jenkins, John Burnside, Paul Gogarty, Gerard Casey, Harry Guest, Dan Lane, David Kennedy, Harry Gilonis and Tony Baker, Tom Rawling, Ian Bamforth
Elsewhere, notes on: Eric Mottram
Audrey Beecham
Dorothy Wellesley
Richard Aldington
Paul Brown
Tony Conran
Kathleen Nott
Jack Beeching

John Seed
Robert Sheppard
Gavin Selerie
Chris Bendon
WS Graham
Essay on Scottish poets: Alexander Hutchison; Robert Crawford; Frank Kuppner; Robert Garioch; Douglas Young; Ian Hamilton Finlay; Alastair Mackie; Sidney Goodsir Smith; Norman MacCaig
"review of Faber anthology" includes pieces on George Mackay Brown, Edwin Morgan, DM Black
Essay on “Christian poetry” includes David Jones, CH Sisson, Kathleen Raine, and Peter Abbs.

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