The first critical edition of the complete poems of Basil Bunting, published on the fiftieth anniversary of his masterpiece, Briggflatts
Basil Bunting is one of the most important British poets of the twentieth century, admired early on by Ezra Pound and Louis Zukofsky, and acknowledged since the 1930s as a major figure in the Modernist movement. Faber published a selection of his early work in Pound´sActive Anthology (1933), but Bunting´s reputation was not confirmed until decades later with the publication of his masterpiece, Briggflatts, by Fulcrum Press in 1966.
Bunting´s work was published throughout most of his life in editions from Oxford University Press, Bloodaxe Books, New Directions and various small presses. This is the first critical edition of the complete poems, and offers an accurate text with variants from all printed sources. Don Share annotates Bunting´s often complex and allusive verse, with much illuminating quotation from his prose writings, interviews and correspondence. He also examines Bunting´s sources (including Persian literature and classical mythology), and explores the Northumbrian roots of Bunting´s poetic vocabulary and use of dialect.
This important work of literary scholarship offers, for the first time, an edition commensurate with the achievement of this neglected Modernist master.
Basil Bunting was born in Northumberland in 1900. He was imprisoned for six months during the First World War as a conscientious objector and, after a wandering existence in Europe, in 1923 met Ezra Pound, who published his early poetry in Active Anthology (1933). It wasn´t until 1964 that he received widespread attention in Britain, with the publication of The Spoils, First Book of Odes and Loquitur. The publication of his most famous work, Briggflats (1966), led to an Arts Council Bursary and a Northern Arts Poetry Fellowship at the universities of Durham and Newcastle. He died in 1985.
Don Share is the editor of Poetrymagazine. His most recent books areWishbone(Black Sparrow, 2012), Union (Eyewear, 2013), and Bunting´s Persia (Flood Editions, 2012). His translations of Miguel Hernández, awarded the Times Literary Supplement Translation Prize and Premio Valle Inclán, were published in a revised and expanded edition by New York Review Books (2013), and also appear in an edition from Bloodaxe Books (1997). He received a VIDA ´VIDO´ Award in 2015 for his ´contributions to American literature and literary community.´