Anthony Barnett

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Author photo copyright © Toraiwa Aya.

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About the author

Anthony Barnett is like no other poet of his generation, yet both his elliptical lyrics and his work in longer spans should be part of the current consensus of what constitutes our modern poetry. The Resting Bell collected most of his work up to 1987. Further volumes, some with prose pieces, followed. His work is included in the anthologies A Various Art; Poets on Writing: Britain 1970–1991 and Other: British and Irish Poetry Since 1970. Miscanthus selects from previously published collections, reprinting several in their entirety, and includes new writing. A new collected poetry and prose Poems & appeared in 2012 from Tears in the Fence in association with Allardyce Book alongside a volume of his collected Translations. He is publisher and co-editor of the literary and arts review Snow. Website here.

For a while, his editorial work at Allardyce, Barnett, Publishers took attention away from his own writing: he published, for example, the first collected editions of Douglas Oliver and J. H. Prynne, and edited Veronica Forrest-Thomson's Collected Poems and Translations. His translations include works by Anne-Marie Albiach, Roger Giroux, Pär Lagerkvist, Tarjei Vesaas and Andrea Zanzotto. During the 1970s in particular, he worked as a percussionist, recording and broadcasting with John Tchicai and occasionally performing with such musicians as Derek Bailey, Don Cherry, Mbizo Dyani and Evan Parker. His research in music history includes bio-discographies of African-American violinists and editorship of the journal Fable Bulletin: Violin Improvisation Studies.

A collection of essays and letters about his work, The Poetry of Anthony Barnett, was published in 1993, and includes an interview. In 2002 he was visiting scholar at the Center for International Programs, Meiji University, Tokyo.

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