Saarbrücker Beitrage zur vergleichenden Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft Bd. 26
The present volume contains papers and poems presented at Saarland University’s international conference „A World of Local Voices: Poetry in English Today“ (October 22-23, 1999), and the „Day of International Poetry“ (October 24, 1999), both organised by the university’s Department of North American Literature and Culture. The conference set out to explore how the modernist tendency towards overarching concepts and a „poetry of ideas“ is slowly being superseded by a more modest „poetry of place“, which at the same time seems to be loosely subsumed within the unifying medium of English in its various forms. The „Day of International Poetry“ was meant to put into operation some of the poetic issues discussed during the conference by asking poets from several English-speaking countries (Canada, India, Jamaica, and the USA) to contribute their individual voices to an international reading of poetry.
This volume comprises critical contributions which deal with the interplay of aesthetic, cultural, and political forces in comtemporary poetry. The common reference of this collection is poetry written in varieties of the English language, including translations. The essays show awareness of the current critical debates concerning postcolonialism and intercultural literary relations while also suggesting new paradigms of critical understanding, based on the analyses of individual poetic expression. As a supplement, selected poets and translators have submitted individual poetic texts with accompanying commentaries.