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John Berryman's Public Vision
Relocating the Scene of Disorder

Philip Coleman (author)
Publication date:
2nd September 2014

Author Biography

Philip Coleman is a lecturer in English Studies in Trinity College Dublin, where he specialises in American Literature and is Director of the MPhil in Literatures of the Americas programme. He has co-edited 'After thirty Falls': New Essays on John Berryman (2007) and, most recently, 'Forever Young'?: The Changing Images of America (2011).


Drawing on published and previously unpublished manuscript sources in poetry and prose, John Berryman's Public Vision offers an original reappraisal of an important twentieth-century American poet's work. Challenging the confessional labelling of him that has dominated his critical reception and popular perception for decades, the book argues that Berryman (1914-72) had a far greater concern for developments in the public sphere than has previously been acknowledged. It reassesses the poet's engagements with W.B. Yeats and Robert Bhain Campbell in the 1940s and offers radical re- contexualisations of Berryman's work from every stage of his career. Concluding with an account of Berryman's influence on contemporary writing on both sides of the Atlantic, John Berryman's Public Vision provides a detailed and comprehensive reconsideration of the poet's achievement in his centenary year.