British Poetry since 1945

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British Poetry since 1945 is a poetry anthology edited by Edward Lucie-Smith, and published in 1970 by Penguin Books.

It was a careful attempt, by sub-classification, to take account of the whole span of post-war British poetry,[1], including poets from The Group, the London-centred movement of which Lucie-Smith himself had assumed leadership from Philip Hobsbaum. Older poets such as Robert Graves, John Betjeman and Dylan Thomas are included in the first section, "Sources". Under "New Voices" it not only included Seamus Heaney, but also Liverpool poets, Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten, who, although featured in the best-selling The Mersey Sound anthology, were not accepted at the time by mainstream critics.

Lucie-Smith wrote in the introduction:

The evidence seems to be in favour of the notion that British poetry is currently in a period of exploration, and that it is not in the thrall of any dominant figure, or even of any dominant literary of political idea. It is for this reason that I have cast my net so wide, and have chosen to represent so many writers.

It was reprinted several times. In 1985 there was a revised edition, omitting some poets and adding new ones. New sections recognised the increased influence of the Northern Irish and "university" poets.

Poets in British Poetry since 1945 (first edition)

A. Alvarez - Kingsley Amis - George Barker - Patricia Beer - Martin Bell - Francis Berry - John Betjeman - D. M. Black - Thomas Blackburn - Alan Bold - Alan Brownjohn - Basil Bunting - Miles Burrows - Charles Causley - Barry Cole - Tony Connor - Iain Crichton Smith - Peter Dale - Donald Davie - Lawrence Durrell - D. J. Enright - Paul Evans - Ian Hamilton Finlay - Roy Fisher - John Fuller - Roy Fuller - Robert Garioch - David Gascoyne - Karen Gershon - Henry Graham - W. S. Graham - Robert Graves - Harry Guest - Thom Gunn - Michael Hamburger - Ian Hamilton Finlay - Lee Harwood - Spike Hawkins - Seamus Heaney - John Heath-Stubbs - Adrian Henri - Geoffrey Hill - Philip Hobsbaum - Anselm Hollo - Ted Hughes - Elizabeth Jennings - Brian Jones - Philip Larkin - Peter Levi - Christopher Logue - Edward Lucie-Smith - George MacBeth - Norman MacCaig - Hugh MacDiarmid - Roger McGough - George Mackay Brown - Louis MacNeice - Barry MacSweeney - Derek Mahon - Matthew Mead - Christopher Middleton - Adrian Mitchell - Dom Moraes - Edwin Morgan - Edwin Muir - Jeff Nuttall - Stewart Parker - Brian Patten - Sylvia Plath - Peter Porter - Tom Raworth - Peter Redgrove - Jon Silkin - Stevie Smith - Bernard Spencer - Jon Stallworthy - Nathaniel Tarn - Dylan Thomas - D. M. Thomas - Anthony Thwaite - Charles Tomlinson - Rosemary Tonks - Gael Turnbull - Vernon Watkins - David Wevill

Notes and references

  1. Middleton, Peter (2004) "The Poetry Review Essay: Recognition", Poetry Review, Spring 2004.
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