British contemporary poetry

British contemporary poetry

Welcome to one of the very few uncommercialized areas in British culture, which is contemporary poetry. Generally ignored by literary culture and mainstream media, contemporary British poetry can be labelled as linguistically innovative, language centred and avant-garde, and is still in touch with genuine avant-garde impulses. There is a variety of poetry in contemporary Britain that meets the complex and intricate state of our lives and consciousness in the Third Millennium in as fascinating ways as you would expect music or theatre to. Are you totally new to this writing? introduces you to the world of British contemporary poetry, with a poor public presence in Britain, even if it actually plays a central role in many people’s lives.

Although contemporary poetry has become somewhat more public lately, it is still a blossoming, thriving, lively art activity that is completely independent and still not dominated and influenced by money and the market, nor regarding itself as a branch of light entertainment. The typical features of British contemporary poetry include improvisatory formal creativity, experimentation and different forms of estrangement effect to stress the focus on language and process.

British contemporary poetry has succeeded in maintaining itself in a position of resistance and opposition to the sterile mainstream of British literary culture. It is still real art, pursued for its own sake. Only a restricted mainstream poetry published by the heavily subsidized and larger commercial presses in Britain is given the bulk of what little distribution there is for poetry.

Contemporary poetry in Britain, Ireland and English speaking countries

Irish poets, mainly those from Ulster and Northern Ireland, are frequently taken as part of the British mainstream, but there is a parallel avant-garde, which has some connections with the British one. Ireland actually has complexities and crosscurrents of its own. On the other hand, the situation in Scotland is slightly different, with less of this mainstream/avant-garde split. The wider field of the poetry is actually international, with connections with contemporary poets and critics in USA, Canada and Australia. More than ever, the influence of North American poetry on British contemporary poetry is surfacing in so many ways, and the results of such combination are surprising yet exciting, distant yet familiar. It is our hope that this project will encourage and extend the discussion among Anglophone poetries further still.

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