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Author: Brian Baker

This book is a comprehensive critical introduction to one of the most original contemporary British writers, providing an overview of all of Iain Sinclair's major works and an analysis of his vision of modern London. It places Sinclair in a range of contexts, including: the late 1960s counter-culture and the British Poetry Revival; London's underground histories; the rise and fall of Thatcherism; and Sinclair's writing about Britain under New Labour and Sinclair's connection to other writers and artists, such as J.G. Ballard, Michael Moorcock and Marc Atkins. The book contributes to the growing scholarship surrounding Sinclair's work, covering in detail his poetry, fiction, non-fiction (including his book on John Clare, Edge of the Orison), and his film work. Using a generally chronological structure, it traces the on-going themes in Sinclair's writing, such as the uncovering of lost histories of London, the influence of visionary writings, and the importance of walking in the city, and more recent developments in his texts, such as the focus on spaces outside of London and his filmic collaborations with Chris Petit. The book provides a critically informed discussion of Sinclair's work using a variety of approaches.

Brian Baker

Iain Sinclair’s major works of poetry, Lud Heat: A Book of Dead Hamlets (1975) and Suicide Bridge: A Book of the Furies, A Mythology of South and East (1979) (both subsequently collected in a 1995 Granta edition I will use here), represent Sinclair’s engagement with what was described and promoted by Eric Mottram (professor at King’s College, London) as a ‘British poetry revival’ (or alternately ‘renaissance’) from the mid-1960s to the end of the 1970s. The ‘poetry revival’ was organised around three bookshops in London, which

in Iain Sinclair
Marie Mulvey-Roberts

subsequently become known Angela Carter’s poetry 83 as the British Poetry Revival saw an enormous increase in publication outlets: according to Andrew Duncan, ‘there were 2,000 poetry magazines during the Sixties; poetic activity went to an unheard-of height’ (Duncan, 2003: 76). Carter’s poems appeared in just such publications – principally The Aylesford Review (1955–68) and Tlaloc (1964–70). She also had three poems published in Universities’ Poetry, one in the Leeds University student magazine Poetry and Audience, and five poems in a pamphlet anthology entitled Five

in The arts of Angela Carter
Manchester’s poetry in performance (1960s to the present)
Corinne Fowler

a new surge of popular interest in British poetry. This popularity is not unprecedented. It is reminiscent of mass poetry readings associated with the British Poetry Revival4 (1960–75), and Manchester’s poetry in performance is strongly associated with the devolved cosmopolitanism5 of poets associated with the revival, such as Roger McGough and Brian Patten from neighbouring Liverpool. To my knowledge, this is the first time that the British Poetry Revival has been discussed in connection with the work of British black and British Asian poets but my research has

in Postcolonial Manchester
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Maps of the London Underground
Brian Baker

. Sinclair’s major early works, Lud Heat (1975) and Suicide Bridge (1979), were self-published by his own Albion Village Press, which also produced books by Sinclair’s friends and contemporaries. It was part of the ‘British poetry revival’ scene of the early 1970s, which found its locus in the bookshop Compendium Books. One should not see Sinclair’s early works as being produced in a vacuum, then, although as the 1980s unwound, Sinclair’s self-produced ‘chapbooks’ eventually were made in runs of no more than a dozen. His first novel, White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings

in Iain Sinclair