Poetry and the Language of Oppression: Essays on Politics and Poetics

ISBN : 9780198868323

Carmen Bugan
224 ページ
138 x 216 mm

A first-hand account of the creative process that engages with the language of oppression and with politics in our time. How does the poet become attuned to the language of the world's upheaval? How does one talk insightfully about suffering, without creating more of it? What is freedom in language and how does the poet who has endured political oppression write himself or herself free? What is literary testimony? Poetry and the Language of Oppression is a consideration of the creative process that rests on the conviction that poetry is of help in moments of public duress, providing an illumination of life and a healing language. Oppression, repression, expression, as well as their tools (prison, surveillance, gestures in language) have been with us in various forms throughout history, and this volume represents a particular aspect of these conditions of our humanity as they play out in our time, providing another instance of the communion, and sometimes confrontation, with the language that makes us human.


Introduction: Visiting the Country of My Birth
1 Sounding the Deeps of Nature: Lyric Language and the Language of Oppression
2 The lyric I: Private and Public Narratives
3 Resettling in the English Language
4 Artistic Distance and the Language of Oppression
5 Writing in Turbulent Times
Conclusion: Lumina Mea


Carmen Bugan, George Orwell Prize Fellow, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Lilies from America: New and Selected Poems (a PBS Special Commendation), a memoir, Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police (a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week) and a monograph on Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile. She was the 2018 Helen DeRoy Professor in Honors at the University of Michigan, a Chargee de Cours at the Universite de Fribourg in Switzerland, and taught in the Continuing Education department at the University of Oxford, while she was a Creative Arts Fellow in Literature at Wolfson College. She has a doctorate in English literature from Balliol College, Oxford. She currently teaches at the Gotham Writers' Workshop in Manhattan.