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A Driftwood Altar

Authors: Mark Ford

Published by Waywiser

ISBN: 9781904130161

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A Driftwood Altar is Mark Ford's own selection of the best of his literary criticism to date. It covers an impressive range of British, American and European authors, and casts a fascinating light on Ford's own development as a poet. The essays reveal a judicious eye for detail and an infectious interest in authors often overlooked by literary history. Yet Ford also tackles some of the major figures of the twentieth century, and his articles on canonical poets like Elizabeth Bishop and W.H. Auden offer provocative and compelling new perspectives on their work. A Driftwood Altar is a lucid, beguiling, and often hilarious collection of essays, and is sure to consolidate Ford's reputation as one of the foremost poet-critics of the age.

"I can think of few more trustworthy, and few more attentive, guides to modern and contemporary letters than Mark Ford, who responds to the challenge of involuted works with prose of absolute clarity, renders judgments at once authoritative and agreeable, and sees vivid connections where lesser readers see only impassable borders. Ford's essays will tell you what you need to know, then send you off in search of the wonderful works – from France, Italy, America, Britain, Australia – which Ford's writings bring to your attention, and which, without him, you might not quite understand."
Stephen Burt

Mark Ford has written widely on 19th and 20th century British and American literature. His first collection of poetry, Landlocked, was published by in 1992, and his second, Soft Sift, in 2001. He has also written a critical biography of the French poet, playwright and novelist, Raymond Roussel (Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams), published in 2000. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books.
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