Chapter 12. Institutions of Poetry in Postwar Britain

  1. Nigel Alderman Assistant Professor2 and
  2. C. D. Blanton Assistant Professor3
  1. Peter Middleton Professor

Published Online: 23 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444310306.ch12

A Concise Companion to Postwar British and Irish Poetry

A Concise Companion to Postwar British and Irish Poetry

How to Cite

Middleton, P. (2009) Institutions of Poetry in Postwar Britain, in A Concise Companion to Postwar British and Irish Poetry (eds N. Alderman and C. D. Blanton), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444310306.ch12

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Mount Holyoke College, USA

  2. 3

    University of California, Berkeley, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Southampton, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 10 APR 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405129244

Online ISBN: 9781444310306



  • institutions of poetry in postwar Britain;
  • poetry may be, in the words of Hugh MacDiarmid's encyclopedic poem - In Memoriam James Joyce, “human existence come to life” in the flower and fruit;
  • Literary criticism of poetry tending to treat poem as xif its roots in publishing - this idealization of poem visualized as a black text printed on white pages of a book of related poems by a single author;
  • scenes of aesthetic innovation and generation of poem's semantic repertoire - often takes place at other sites than the book-length collection of poems;
  • Motion's win points to the future - becoming one of the most influential figures in British poetry;
  • all committed poets - says Prynne want not just to be read passively (as a diversion or entertainment) but for their work to encourage transformative action;
  • Greenlaw's poem “Guidebooks to the Alhambra” - is one of three she published in this issue of Poetry Review;
  • Howard Belsey - challenging the belief that there is a “redemptive humanity” in art and scorns the idea of beauty in art and “mytheme of artist as autonomous individual with privileged insight into the human”


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Acknowledgments

  • Further Reading