Supporting your high street Find out how »
Basket Image


Poetry Wars : British Poetry of the 1970s and the Battle of Earls Court, Paperback / softback Book

Poetry Wars : British Poetry of the 1970s and the Battle of Earls Court Paperback / softback


Poetry Wars is an account of the six-year battle at the National Poetry Society during the 1970s when this highly conservative institution and its journal Poetry Review were taken over by radical poets.

The story is told from primary sources, including the Arts Council's Records at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Eric Mottram Archive at King's College London, and the Barry MacSweeney Collection at Newcastle University, and from contemporary newspaper accounts.

The story has never been made public before in documentary detail, though brief reference is often made to it in accounts of contemporary poetry, and anecdotes and hearsay about these events have been in circulation for over twenty years.

The repercussions continue to reverberate, and struggles of the same nature continue in the Poetry Society and other cultural institutions today.

The question of how an avant-garde `negotiates' with the `centre' it seeks to displace remains crucial, and this issue is of increasing importance to the study of literature and the arts in the twentieth and twenty first centuries. The book is in three sections: the first, `Chronology' (chapters 1-5), tells the story of the events; the second, `Themes' (chapters 6-9), considers the events from various thematic viewpoints, and includes a detailed chapter on the writing, teaching, and editing practice of Eric Mottram, and another on the characteristics of the `British Poetry Revival' of the 1970s.

The third section, `Documents', reproduces a series of contemporary documents from the relevant archives, along with new summary data about the personalities involved.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 276 pages, No
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: from c 1900 -
  • ISBN: 9781844712472

Also by Peter Barry   |  View all