Reviews of Poetry & Commons

[Poetry & Commons] marshals an eloquent and superbly researched argument, covering the literary and social implications of the issues and controversies involved in land use […] mak[ing] a genuinely significant intervention in current debates.

Roger Ebbatson, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism

This is an excellent, highly original, and necessary study of poetry and radical thought. In tracing both the persistence (and permutations) of the concept of the commons alongside a probing reading of lyric poetry in the Romantic and British and North American postwar periods, Poetry & Commons makes anew the case for thinking about lyric in the neoliberal era.

David Farrier, Professor of Literature and the Environment, University of Edinburgh

‘Daniel Eltringham’s brilliant Poetry & Commons traces the transhistorical relationship between a poetry of the common word and the continuing resistance to ongoing practices of enclosure, dispossession, and extraction. Few critics have so precisely articulated the conceptual range with which the commons is necessarily entangled: from a romantic-era politics of enclosure to contemporary ecopoetics; from land rights and the right to roam to the interdependencies of “earth’s human and nonhuman tenants”; and, ultimately, from the origins to the outputs of the Anthropocene. Throughout, Eltringham has his finger on the pulse of the poet’s temporally open practice of “commoning historical languages of resistance”. Poetry & Commons constitutes a major expansion of our understanding of the literary commons.’ – Stephen Collis, Professor of English, Simon Fraser University

‘The lines of poetic language that Daniel Eltringham traces here are invaluable for ecopoetics and our understanding of the poetries and politics of the land, particularly the somewhat neglected area of agrarianism. As they follow these hard-won connections, scholars, literary critics, poet-practitioners, environmentalists and students in all these areas will emerge with a refreshed vision of Romantic and twentieth-century British and American poetry in the modernist tradition. Eltringham opens up our concept of the commons, reading back and forwards in time and demonstrating how certain poetic formal and linguistic inventions are connected to transgressive, anti-capitalist radicalism in relation to the human and more-than-human worlds. There is nothing naïve about this book however. Eltringham’s passionate belief in poetry is hedged about with his impressively researched knowledge of the abuses of land rights, and land itself. His reading of enclosure, the dismissal of peasantry and contemporary agribusiness is rooted in cultural history, appropriately so, since one of his many convincing arguments hinges on how the poets he admires understand the importance of archival delvings and subsequent recyclings of the commons of language. From such positionings they, and we, are better able to understand and revalue both the resilience and the precarity of our lyrics and our landscapes. To conclude, an inspiring and scholarly volume, packed with brilliant readings of poets you thought you knew, and poets you ought to know, a book that inspires us to invest anew in traditions of resistance in relation to place and politics.’ – Harriet Tarlo, Professor of Ecopoetry and Poetics, Sheffield Hallam University

Journal Articles

2019. With David Walker Barker, ‘Searching for Jossie: surface and substratum in the layered landscape of Langsett and Midhope’, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, ‘Cross Multi Inter Trans’, ASLE-UKI 2017 Conference special issue, ed. by Harriet Tarlo and Judith Tucker.

2018. ‘Growing food on the green world: J. H. Prynne’s agro-chemical pastoral in the vale of Tintern’, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism (Sept 2018), pp. 1-16 (7500 words). DOI:10.1080/14688417.2018.1509722.

2018. ‘Shifting vantage, common musings: the politics of Wordsworthian excursus in the poetry of Peter Riley’, Textual Practice (online publication 08 May 2018), DOI: 10.1080/0950236X.2018.1467961.

Reviews & Shorter Prose Writing

2017. Review of Modernist Legacies: Trends and Faultlines in British Poetry Today, ed. by David Nowell Smith and Abigail Lang (London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Chicago Review, 60.03 (2017).

2016. Late Modernism and The English Intelligencer: On the Poetics of Community by Alex Latter (Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry 8 (1) (2016), 2,500 words)

2015. ‘About Watching: Identification and the Animal’, in Glasgow Review of Books

December 2014 – ‘Under/ground: a partial commentary on Oli Hazzard’s Within Habit (The Literateur, 2,500 words)

August 2014The Orchid Boat by Lee Harwood (Shearsman Review, 1000 words)

Eltringham, D (2013). ‘“The idea of the bird”: Bird Books, the Problem of Taxonomy and Some Poems by R. F. Langley’, PN Review 210, 39: 4 (March-April 2013), 50-53.

Eltringham, D and Joelle, N (2013). ‘“I stand at the threshold of the gleaning field”: Harvest by Jim Crace’, Dandelion, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Winter 2013): Ecology.

January 2013 2012: Poetry Redux (The Literateur). A digest of some 2012’s most interesting poetry, which I commissioned and for which I wrote a brief piece on the Forward Book of Poetry 2013 (mainly on Denise Riley’s fine elegy ‘A Part Song’)

October 2012This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (Fiction Uncovered, 800 words)

September 2012Zbinden’s Progress by Christoph Simon (The Literateur, 600 words)

September 2011 – ‘Present Imperfect’ (Banner). This piece was adapted from several blogposts and concerns Guatemalan history and politics, with a focus on the city of Xela and the language school Proyecto Linguistico Quetzalteco. PDF of the issue in print here; my article is pp. 27-29

August 2011Some Questions on the Cultural Revolution by Alistair Noon (The Literateur, 1000 words)

July 2011The Tunnel by Ernesto Sábato (Times Literary Supplement, 350 words). PDF of the review in print here: thetunnelreview

June 2011 The Levelling Sea by Phillip Marsden (Financial Times, Books, 170 words)

June 2011Into the Arena by Alex Fiske-Harrison (Financial Times, Books, 170 words)

May 2011Deep Country by Neil Ansell (The Literateur, 600 words)

April 2011 Playing Days by Benjamin Markovits (Fiction Uncovered, 500 words)

June 2010 – Open to the World – A report from the London Review Bookshop’s World Literature Weekend in Bloomsbury. I co-ordinated the feature in conjunction with the LRB shop, commissioned the writers and wrote-up two events plus the afterword  (The Literateur)

August 2010 Emergence by Fanny Howe (The Literateur)

March 2010 Reality Hunger by David Shields (The Literateur, 1000 words)

December 2009 Ashes of the Amazon by Milton Hatoum (The Literateur, 1000 words)

September 2009 Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (The Literateur, 1000 words)


January 2012 Interview with Peter Riley (The Literateur)

December 2011 Interview with Juan Pablo Villalobos (The Literateur)

May – June 2011 – ‘Small Talk’ interviews with Geraldine Brooks, Ali Smith, Andrew Miller and Miriam Toews (Financial Times, Books)

February 2011 – Contributed questions to an interview with Sean Bonney (The Literateur)

January 2011 – Contributed questions to an interview with John Fuller (The Literateur)

May 2010 Interview with James Shapiro (The Literateur)

November 2009 Interview with Paul Muldoon, Part One; Part Two (The Literateur)

October 2009Keep an eye on…Michael McKimm interview feature (The Literateur)

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