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'a scheme of echoes'

Trevor Joyce, Poetry and Publishing in Ireland in the 1960s

Marcella Edwards

For some time a consensus has existed in critical circles concerning developments in poetry and publishing in Ireland in the 1960s. This decade has been seen as a period of expansion in the volume of new writing, in the range of subject matter and in the formal properties of poetic writing, activities which represented an unprecedented change in poetic expression. This has been frequently claimed but seldom analysed. While history testifies to the beginning of a modernising process in Ireland in the 1960s in terms of industry, economics and social policy changes, contrary to the glib pronouncements that to date neatly package the poetic activities of this period, it was, in fact, a complex period of cultural adjustment involving many players whose thinking and whose written pronouncements often harboured antithetical perspectives. This is most obvious in the editorial policies and pronouncements within Irish poetry journals, which, contrary to the above impression, harboured traditionalist and often nationalist and or essentialist affinities.

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Kathy Cremin, Marcella Edwards, Eibhlín Evans, Helen Kidd, Mary King, Richard Kirkland and Steven Matthews

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