Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland, 1968-2008

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Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 306 pages
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Ideas of home, place and identity have been continually questioned, re-imagined and re-constructed in Northern Irish poetry. Concentrating on the period since the outbreak of the Troubles in the late 1960s, this study provides a detailed consideration of the work of several generations of poets, from Hewitt and MacNeice, to Fiacc and Montague, to Simmons, Heaney, Mahon and Longley, to Muldoon, Carson, Paulin and McGuckian, to McDonald, Morrissey, Gillis and Flynn. It traces the extent to which their writing represents a move away from concepts of rootedness and towards a deterritorialized poetics of displacement, mobility, openness and pluralism in an era of accelerating migration and globalisation. In the new readings of place, inherited maps are no longer reliable, and home is no longer the stable ground of identity but seems instead to be always where it is not. The crossing of boundaries and the experience of diaspora open up new understandings of the relations between places, a new sense of the permeability and contingency of cultures, and new concepts of identity and home.

Professor ELMER KENNEDY-ANDREWS teaches in the Department of English at the University of Ulster.
 

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Contents

the lie of the land
1
rooted men and nomads
21
global regionalist?
53
omphalos and diaspora
83
Padraic Fiacc and James simmons
118
michael longleys Ecopoetics
137
An Exile and a stranger
155
dwelling without roots
180
the new urban Poetics
203
the lyric of gendered space
225
new Voices Peter mcdonald sinead morrissey Alan gillis and
249
Select Bibliography
287
Index
297
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