Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Successes and Shortcomings

John McAuliffe praises a new crop of Irish poets, but wonders where the reviewers are:
Such healthy diversity is an impressive turnaround, possibly a consequence of new publishing technologies and cheaper costs, as well as the rise in festival and event nights through which publishers can sell the books. But it also suggests a question about the reception of new poetry: welcome as the emergence of presses with good production values is, is there a review culture which situates and considers these books? How are books’ successes and shortcomings judged, and who is reading them in relation to one another, in relation to poetry’s existing audience in Ireland, as well as to new audiences, and the increasingly international and wired literary culture in which English-language poetry in particular operates? Poetry Ireland Review and its associated publication, Trumpet, do clearly cover critical reviewing, as do other venues, but there are not nearly as many journals as there are publishers of Irish poetry: it would certainly be good to see both more argument and careful reading of the books written by the “Rising Generation” in the “little magazines” and online journals which would match the growth in publication of new poems.

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