"this need to dance / this need to kneel"

Denise Levertov and the Poetics of Faith

Edited by Michael P. Murphy, Melissa Bradshaw

"this need to dance / this need to kneel"

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  • ISBN: 9781532677366
  • Pages: 242
  • Publication Date: 9/17/2019
  • Retail Price: $29.00
Web Price: $23.20
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $23.20

"this need to dance / this need to kneel"

Denise Levertov and the Poetics of Faith

Edited by Michael P. Murphy, Melissa Bradshaw

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532677366
  • Pages: 242
  • Publication Date: 9/17/2019
  • Retail Price: $29.00
Web Price: $23.20
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

That Denise Levertov (1923–97) was one of the most pioneering and skilled poets of her generation is beyond dispute. Her masterly use of language, innovative experimentations with organic form, and the political acuity disclosed by her activist poetry are well marked by critical communities. But it is also quite clear that the poems Levertov wrote in the last twenty years of her life, with their more explicit focus on theological themes and subjects, are among the best poems written on religious experience of any century, let alone the twentieth. The collection of essays gathered here shed vital light on this neglected aspect of Levertov studies so as to expand and enrich the scope of critical engagement. In a mixture of theoretical considerations and close readings, these essays provide valuable reflections about the complex relationship between poetry and belief and offer philosophically robust insights into different styles of poetic imagination. The abiding hope is to broaden the terrain for discussions in twenty-first-century theology, literary theory, poetics, and aesthetics—honoring immanence, exploring transcendence, and dwelling with integrity within the spaces between.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“These essential essays, richly varied and focused, explore the range and depth of Levertov’s life, her movement towards a faith necessary to her being, and her work as activist and poet. The essays cover much that has not been defined before and shine a clear light on the poems that place Levertov at the forefront of the poetry of faith. A book for anyone interested in the continuing worth, in our troubled times, of great poetry.”

—John F. Deane, founder of Poetry Ireland, author of Dear Pilgrims



“Like the 2015 Loyola University conference that spawned them, these essays offer a feast for reflection on the poetry of Denise Levertov. The complexity, richness, and radiance of her work comes alive on the page as numerous commentators—poets, literary critics, theologians, philosophers, novelists and philologists—explore her contribution as poet, prophet and priest. The volume is unique in that it puts front and center Levertov’s poetic life as an act of faith.”

—Dana Greene, Emory University, author of Denise Levertov: A Poet’s Life



“A wide-ranging collection of thought-provoking and provocative essays that explore the theological, political, ecological, esthetic, and poetic dimensions of Denise Levertov’s grace-saturated poetry and thought. Here is a voice, it has become ever clearer, as central to the Catholic imagination as the work of Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Merton, and Dorothy Day.”

—Paul Mariani, Boston College



“It is a joy and reassurance to see and know that Denise Levertov, her life, her work, and her deep but complex spirituality continue to inspire sensitive, scholarly reflection. That the editors and contributors continue to find such jewels of wisdom in Levertov’s religious poems, and in her ‘incarnational poetics of faith’ bespeaks her continued value for the twenty-first century and beyond.”

—Edwin Block, Marquette University



“This is a stunning collection of essays on one of the most important poets of the twentieth century. Taken together, they offer a profound way to engage the theological poetics of Denise Levertov’s work.”

—Mark Bosco, S.J., Georgetown University

Contributors-

Michael P. Murphy
Melissa Bradshaw

Bio(s)-

Michael P. Murphy is Director of the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of A Theology of Criticism: Balthasar, Postmodernism, and the Catholic Imagination (2008). Recent writings include “Breaking Bodies: O’Connor and the Aesthetics of Consecration,” in the edited volume Revelation and Convergence (2017).



Melissa Bradshaw is a Senior Lecturer in English at Loyola University Chicago. Her work focuses on publicity, personality, and fandom in twentieth-century British and American poetry. Her book Amy Lowell, Diva Poet (2011) won the 2011 MLA Book Prize for Independent Scholars. She has also published on Edith Sitwell, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and on divas more generally.

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