Welsh Environments in Contemporary Poetry

Author(s): Matthew Jarvis

Language: English

Genre(s): History Welsh Interest

Series: Writing Wales in English

  • September 2008 · 160pages · 216x138mm

  • ·Paperback - 9780708321522
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786837325
  • · eBook - mobi - 9781786837332
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786837318

About The Book

Welsh Environments in Contemporary Poetry’ examines the question of how recent English-language poetry from Wales has responded to the diverse physical environments of Wales. The first volume to offer a sustained assessment of Welsh poetry in English within the context of recent developments in environmental literary criticism, this book also draws on aspects of human geography to explore the rich contemporary poetics of Welsh space and place. Opening with an examination of poets from the 1960s as well as the early work of R.S. Thomas, ‘Welsh Environments in Contemporary Poetry’ subsequently concentrates on the poetry of writers who have come to prominence since the 1970s: Gillian Clarke, Ruth Bidgood, Robert Minhinnick, Mike Jenkins, Christine Evans, and Ian Davidson.Close reading of key texts reveals the way in which these writers variously create Welsh places, landscapes, and environments – fashioning rural and urban spaces into poetic geographies that are both abundantly physical and inescapably cultural. Far from reducing Wales to mere scenery, the poetry that emerges from this book engages with the environments of Wales, not just for their own sake, but as a crucial way of exploring key issues in Welsh culture – from the negotiation of female identity in a land of masculine myths to the exploration of Welsh space in a global context.


'Matthew Jarvis's excellent Welsh Environments in Contemporary Poetry may be regarded as a contribution to the recent and welcome geographical/spatial trend in criticism of literature from Wales. We are very fortunate that a young critic of Matthew Jarvis's caliber should have elected a Welsh identity and habitation. He is among a new generation now following in the footsteps of critics like Roland Mathias, Tony Conran and M. Wynn Thomas, and is taking the path of poetry criticism in a new and interesting direction'. - Katie Gramich, New Welsh Review, No. 83

About the Author(s)

Matthew Jarvis

Mathew Jarvis is a professor at the University of Aberystwyth and co-chair of the Association for Welsh Writing in English. His research interests include the construction of Welsh place and space in literature and environmental approaches to literature.

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