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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

‘ “Dafter than we care to own”: Some Poets of the North of England’ studies the work of a number of poets associated with Kingston upon Hull. In the decades since Philip Larkin’s move to Hull in 1955, several generations of writers have drawn inspiration from this northern city. While examples of regionalism abound in contemporary poetry (the Belfast poets, the Liverpool poets), Hull is exceptional in several ways. Almost none of the ‘Hull poets’ is native to that city, and Hull’s peculiar marginal status has complicated usual dialectics of place and belonging in the English lyric, whether in the work of Douglas Dunn, Peter Didsbury, or Sean O’Brien. Questions of social realism and postmodernism too are played out in the contrasting representations of urban space we find in Dunn’s Terry Street and Didsbury’s The Classical Farm. The Hull of these poems is an anywhere that is also an everywhere, and an exemplary testing ground for some of the most compelling trends in British poetry today.

Keywords: Poetry, Hull, North, social realism, history, lyric, margin

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