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Rereading Rafferty

This just in - and Eyewear is glad to hear it.

Seán Rafferty: A Revue
Edited by Alistair Noon

Ahead of Seán Rafferty's birth centenary in 2009, this symposium takes a rare and overdue look at a 20th Century British poet whose name and work, despite the efforts of some illustrious supporters and publishers, remains little known.

Beyond early magazine publications in the 1930s, and a small collection in 1973, Rafferty's work didn't resurface till much later, with chapbooks and collections from Poetical Histories, Babel Verlag and Carcanet in the early 90s, shortly before and after his death. The work is currently kept in print by Etruscan Books, with two volumes: Poems and Poems, Revue Sketches and Fragments, corresponding roughly to a Collected and Uncollected.

The contributions this week begin with an appraisal of Rafferty's writing life and impulses, continue with readings of individual poems, and round off with a comparison between Rafferty and a couple of contemporaries. Readers are invited to comment at length or in brief on what they find, maybe writing further pieces to extend the symposium onwards.

Monday - Peter Riley, 'Seán Rafferty's Echoes'
Tuesday - Kelvin Corcoran, 'Reading Seán Rafferty for the first time. . .' and Seán Rafferty's 'I would be Adam'
Wednesday - Catherine Hales, 'The Heron Rising: A moment of affirmation in Seán Rafferty's poetry'
Thursday - Edmund Hardy, 'Barefoot Ballads'
Friday - Alistair Noon, 'Implements in New Places: Rafferty, Graham and Bunting'
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