Carcanet online book launch: Apocalypse: An Anthology

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Laureate Simon Armitage. Photo by Paul Wolfgang Webster.

13 January 2021 Tickets from £2 — Book now

Editor James Keery chats Apocalypse with John Clegg, Carcanet poet and London Review Bookshop bookseller, and Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

The new anthology out of Manchester-based Carcanet Press certainly sounds topical, as Keery digs deep into the annals of twentieth-century literature to unearth some end-of-times gems. Poet, editor, essayist and critic Peter Riley calls his quest “passionate” and almost “biblical”, and says, in The Fortnightly Review: “This anthology must have taken an immense amount of dedicated work; in fact I can’t imagine how he managed to uncover so many worthwhile poems hidden away in forgotten poetry magazines and old small-press books.”

Bringing together the work of over 200 poets (including forty-plus women), the book includes many eclipsed, neglected and even notorious pieces from the 1940s poetry grouping the New Apocalyptics.

Meanwhile Apocalypse: An Anthology has caught the eye of uncanny and folklore fan Max Porter. The Grief Is The Thing With Feathers and Lanny author – whose latest book, The Death Of Francis Bacon, is out this month – recently praised the weighty 432-page tome on Twitter, saying: “It’s incredible. Right into my favourite anthologies of all time.”

Bringing together the work of over 200 poets (including forty-plus women), the book includes many eclipsed, neglected and even notorious pieces from the 1940s poetry grouping the New Apocalyptics (named after the 1939 anthology The New Apocalypse, edited by JF Hendry and Henry Treece), and the wider New Romantics and Scottish Renaissance writers. The publisher’s blurb reckons “Apocalyptic poetry will come as a revelation to most readers” – indeed, this claims to be the first anthology of Apocalyptic or neoromantic poetry since then. It places the poetry of the Second World War in a new context and offers “an overview of the visionary modernist British and Irish poetry of the mid-century, its antecedents and its aftermath”. Among the poets represented are Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Edith Sitwell and Dylan Thomas, although much of the work is reprinted for the first time since the 1940s.

Apocalypse: An Anthology editor James Keery will be reading from and discussing the new book with John Clegg, Eric Gregory Award-winning Carcanet poet and a bookseller at the London Review Bookshop, along with the current Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, also Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds.

As ever with Carcanet’s well-versed programme of online events, extracts of the text will be shown during the readings so that audience members can follow the text, and attendees will also have the opportunity to put forward their own questions. Registration for this online event is £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book, available direct from Carcanet at a special price – attendees will receive the discount code and details of how to order during and after the event.

Please note that there is a limited number of places for the reading, so do book early to avoid disappointment. You should receive a confirmation email with details on how to join the live Zoom event after you register.

Apocalypse: An Anthology cover
Apocalypse: An Anthology cover

13 January 2021

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