W.S. Graham: The Poem as Art Object

Nowell Smith, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9840-2507 (2022) W.S. Graham: The Poem as Art Object. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192842909

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Only in recent years has W. S. Graham come to be recognised as one of the great poets of the twentieth century. On the peripheries of UK poetry culture during his lifetime, he in many ways appears to us today as exemplary of the poetics of the mid-century: his extension of modernist explorations of rhythm and diction; his interweaving of linguistic and geographic places; his dialogue with the plastic arts; and the tensions that run through his work, between philosophical seriousness and play, between solitude and sociality, regionalism and cosmopolitanism, between the heft and evanescence of poetry’s medium. In the first concerted study of Graham’s poetics in a generation, David Nowell Smith draws on newly unearthed archival materials - poems, manuscripts, and visual/mixed-media work - to orient Graham’s poetics around the question of the ‘art object’. Graham sought throughout his work to craft his poems into honed, finished ‘objects’; yet he was also intensely aware that poems only live when released into their afterlives: the poem’s ‘finished object’ is never wholly finished. Nowell Smith situates this tension with broader debates around literary objecthood and builds up a broader reflection on language as a medium for art-making.

Item Type: Book
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Modern and Contemporary Writing Research Group
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2021 01:03
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2023 11:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/81617
DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780192842909.001.0001

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