"After thirty Falls"

New Essays on John Berryman


Prefaced by an account of the early days of Berryman studies by bibliographer and scholar Richard J. Kelly, “ After thirty Falls” is the first collection of essays to be published on the American poet John Berryman (1914-1972) in over a decade. The book seeks to provoke new interest in this important figure with a group of original essays and appraisals by scholars from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and the United States. Exploring such areas as the poet’s engagements with Shakespeare and the American sonnet tradition, his use of the Trickster figure and the idea of performance in his poetics, it expands the interpretive framework by which Berryman may be evaluated and studied, and it will be of interest to students of modern American poetry at all levels. What makes the collection particularly valuable is its inclusion of previously unpublished material – including a translation of a poem by Catullus and excerpts from the poet’s detailed notes on the life of Christ – thereby providing new contexts for future assessments of Berryman’s contribution to the development of poetry, poetics, and the relationship between scholarship and other forms of writing in the twentieth century.
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EUR €81.00USD $109.00

Review Quotes

"What a pleasure to have a new collection of essays on John Berryman, most by a younger generation of scholars – and from the other side of the pond, as it were. Having immersed myself in the fertile waters of Berryman scholarship since the early Seventies, I have had the privilege to observe, and be part of, the ebb and flow of over thirty years of work on a man I believe will be remembered by future generations as one of the most notable and enduring poets of his time. This fine book gives heart to that belief." – Richard Kelly, author of John Berryman’s Personal Library and editor of We Dream of Honour: John Berryman’s Letters to his Mother
"Berryman’s work retains its high voltage, and high jinks!" – Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize for Literature 1995

Table of contents

Note on Abbreviations
Richard J. KELLY: Preface
Philip COLEMAN and Philip MCGOWAN: Introduction
Matthew BOSWELL: The Black Book: John Berryman’s Holocaust Requiem
Alex RUNCHMAN: “Continuity with lovers dead”: Berryman, Lowell, and the Twentieth-Century American Sonnet
Page RICHARDS: The Written and the Oral in Homage to Mistress Bradstreet
Ron CALLAN, Justin QUINN, Edward CLARKE, and Kit FRYATT: Encountering Henry: A Roundtable on Dream Song 1
Peter DENMAN: Form and Discontent: The Prosody of The Dream Songs
Anthony CALESHU: “Dramatizing the dreadful”: Affective Postures in The Dream Songs
Michael HINDS: Allusions, Etc.: Berryman, Catullus, Sappho
Stephen MATTERSON: “He lived like a rat”: The Trickster in The Dream Songs
Brendan COOPER : “One grand exception”: The Dream Songs as Theodicy?
Tom ROGERS: The Life of Berryman’s Christ
Maria JOHNSTON: “We write verse with our ears”: Berryman’s Music
Peter MABER: John Berryman and Shakespearean Autobiography
Philip COLEMAN: Love & Fame and the Self in Society
Philip MCGOWAN: John Berryman and the Writing of Silence
Lavinia GREENLAW, Brendan KENNELLY, Maura DOOLEY, Harry CLIFTON: After BERRYMAN: Four Poets
Notes on Contributors


Collection Information