© 2018

Space, Place and Poetry in English and German, 1960–1975


Part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies book series (GSLS)

About this book


Space, Place and Poetry in English and German, 1960-1975 examines the work of Paul Celan, J. H. Prynne, Derek Mahon, Sarah Kirsch, Edwin Morgan and Ernst Jandl, bringing together postwar English- and German-language poetry and criticism on the theme of space, place and landscape. Nicola Thomas highlights hitherto underexplored connections between a wide range of poets working across the two language areas, demonstrating that space and place are vital critical categories for understanding poetry of this period. Thomas’s analysis reveals weaknesses in existing critical taxonomies, arguing for the use of ‘late modernist’ as a category with cross-cultural relevance, and promotes methodological exchange between the Anglophone and German traditions of landscape, space and place oriented poetic criticism, to the benefit of both.


British poetry German poetry postwar poetry landscape in poetry place in poetry space in poetry Paul Celan J.H. Prynne Derek Mahon Sarah Kirsch Ernst Jandi Edwin Morgan German-language literary criticism spatiality temporality British literary criticism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.St Hilda’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Nicola Thomas is Stipendiary Lecturer in German at St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, UK. Her research examines twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetry in English and German.

Bibliographic information


“This is a timely and engaging monograph informed by thorough, perceptive and sophisticated scholarship. The pairings of poets are novel and illuminating – I know of no other study that examines Anglophone and German-language poetry of this period in such detail – and Thomas’s deft combination of ideas from German and Anglophone traditions is highly suggestive.” (Neal Alexander, Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literature, Aberystwyth University, UK and author of Ciaran Carson: Space, Place, Writing)

“Space, Place and Poetry in English and German, 1960-1975 offers an ambitious, original perspective on the poetry of six acclaimed poets from six different countries over nearly two decades. It pairs major writers from the Anglophone and German traditions in a series of genuinely illuminating case studies, which run counter to conventional wisdom and contribute to a bold topographical reading of post-war poetry. This is subtle, detailed and constantly inspiring, interdisciplinary research the way it should be done.” (Karen Leeder, Professor of Modern German Literature, University of Oxford, UK)