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American Epic: On Paterson


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Join thousands of poets and follow us online to ask questions, win books, receive news and chat. www.BeirBuaPress.com https: //twitter.com/beirbuapress https: //www.instagram.com/beirbuapress/ https: //www.facebook.com/beirbuapress https: //www.youtube.com/channel/UCdlyd1MKVthfnqJ__fW99Aw https: //www.tiktok.com/@beirbuapress/video/7096952834100432134?_t=8SG8j5OtZCg&_r=1 'In Paterson, Williams refuted modernist claims for coherence and unity in the long poem, instead drawing on the actuality of American variety and multiplicity he experienced. Paterson is the mature poetic realisation of Williams's ground-breaking essay collection In the American Grain. It takes a sensitive, brave critic to engage with Williams's challenging poetics, and to confront the consequences of non-coherence. We are all grateful to Ciaran O'Rourke for having the qualities evident in this informed and thoughtful study.' - Professor Stephen Matterson, Trinity College Dublin; President Emeritus of The Irish Association for American Studies. 'Incisively, O'Rourke explores Paterson as a form unto itself. This is not criticism as a tiresome demarcation exercise. The author recognises that Paterson does not fit into ordained boxes, and the poem is rightly analysed as an outlier. The likes of Angela Davis and Ludwig Wittgenstein emerge as links in a chain of thoughtfully curated references, through which O'Rourke investigates the poem's ambiguous contemporary relevance. As the author remarks in his introduction, Williams is a multifaceted poet, often remembered for the less radical facets of his output; the text that follows is vital in emphasising Williams as an innovator, and the 'complicated love song' of Paterson as a work of idiosyncratic experimentalism, both of its time, and far ahead of it.' - Michael Sutton, poet, editor of Overground Underground magazine. 'In a generation of young poets with a marked preference for academic archness and high/low culture mash-ups, Ciaran O'Rourke blazes a singular trail.... A poet who approaches both the ancient and modern with the same insight and sensitivity, O'Rourke surely has a long and distinguished career ahead of him.' - Jessica Traynor, poet & author of Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press), The Quick (Dedalus Press), & Pit Lullabies (Bloodaxe Books).

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