Essays / Criticism

Norman Jope et al - The Companion to Richard Berengarten

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Norman Jope et al - The Companion to Richard Berengarten

Edited by Norman Jope, Paul Scott Derrick & Catherine E. Byfield. 2nd Edition.
Published 2016. Paperback, 9 x 6 ins, 460pp.

This book, which accompanies the volumes published in the author's Selected Writings series, guides readers through the many-faceted poetic output of Richard Berengarten (formerly Burns). Berengarten has been a crucial presence in contemporary poetry for over forty years - not only as poet but also as translator, critic and driving force behind the legendary Cambridge Poetry Festival - and his poetry has been translated into more than ninety languages. With thirty-four contributors from over a dozen nationalities, the book is a testimony to the recognition of his poetry by fellow writers and critics across cultural, linguistic and geographical boundaries and frontiers. The range of poetic canons to which Berengarten's oeuvre responds enables him to put down 'multiple roots' in a number of literary traditions, and this is reflected in the book's diversity. It sets out not only to be of use to readers and scholars already acquainted with Berengarten's poetry, but as a guide to those who are encountering his work for the first time. It is divided into three main sections, the first of which approaches the work thematically and the second chronologically, while the third focuses on his 'Balkan trilogy' (The Blue Butterfly, In a Time of Drought and Under Balkan Light). The book also contains an appendix of essays on Berengarten's ancillary roles as literary activist, EFL teacher/entrepreneur and teacher of poetry to children, as well as a detailed bibliography.

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