Though poets have always written about cities, the commonest critical categories (pastoral poetry, nature poetry, Romantic poetry, Georgian poetry, etc.) have usually stressed the rural, so that poetry can seem irrelevant to a predominantly urban populati. Explores a range of contemporary poets who visit the 'mean streets' of the contemporary urban scene, seeking the often cacophous music of what happens here. Poets discussed include: Ken Smith, Iain Sinclair, Roy Fisher, Edwin Morgan, Sean O'Brien, Ciaran Carson, Peter Reading, Matt Simpson, Douglas Houston, Deryn Rees-Jones, Denise Riley, Ken Edwards, Levi Tafari, Aidan Hun, and Robert Hampson. Approaches contemporary poetry within a broad spectrum of personal, social, literary, and cultural concerns. Includes 'loco-specific' chapters, on cities including Hull, Liverpool, London, and Birmingham, with an additional chapter on 'post-industrial' cities such as Belfast, Glasgow and Dundee.
Peter Barry is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth