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Poetry Survival Interviews

As part of the project, Lise Jaillant and her team interviewed many poets, editors and other people associated with the poetry scene in Britain. 

The overall objective was to understand how poetry has survived in a very tough marketplace in the past fifty years. Many of the interviewees are associated with Carcanet Press, a leading poetry publisher based in Manchester. The interviews have been transcribed and offer a rare glimpse into the experience of creating poetry. The women and men we interviewed contributed in big and small ways to the poetry scene in Britain. Collectively, they tell a fascinating story about the enduring appeal of poetry and the ways in which publishers bring it to market. 

Overall, we interviewed 30 people. Not all interviews can be shared on this open-access digital resource due to permissions and copyright reasons. When interviews took place in public places or by phone, recordings are not always good quality. However, the transcripts – which have been checked and approved by interviewees – will offer a valuable resource to anyone interested in poetry

Survival of the Weakest is excellent – I’ve already listened to a few of the interviews – Lindop, Robinson and Reeves – really interesting” – Jim Keery (writer), 21 July 2020.

A much needed ethnography of the poetry scene” – Professor Phil Cohen (Emeritus Professor Centre for Cultural Studies Research, University of East London), 20 July 2020.

A very interesting series of interviews, and a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in the history of publishing” – Professor Andrew Biswell (Director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester), 20 July 2020.