"I was hooked from the word go . . . . this pioneering book develops a strong case for the engagement of poetry and law in Ireland. It opens up in a genuinely original and intellectually nuanced way the resonant overlap between legal, constitutional and ethical concerns in Irish poetry since Yeats."—Hugh Haughton, Emeritus Professor of English and Related Literatures at the University of York
"Poetry, Politics, and Law in Modern Ireland is a major achievement. Combining the rigours of quite brilliant close readings with an attention to the various legal and extra-legal contexts that help shape the work of Ireland's modern poets, Hanna reveals the jurisprudential unconscious of the literary and the cultural after-life of the law."—Eugene McNulty, Dublin City University
"This is a book about poetic justice itself, about how the acknowledged legislations of poetry act as conscience and arbitrator for the failings of laws—and their inevitable repeal. Hanna's scholarship has an ambition of breadth and reach that means it should be read by lawyers, historians and political scientists—but above all it should be read by poets and their readers, as an argument for the seriousness of Irish poetic engagement with the laws of the country, South and North."—Matthew Campbell, University of York
Poetry, Politics, and the Law in Modern Ireland is a richly detailed exploration of how modern Irish poetry has been shaped by, and responded to, the laws, judgments, and constitutions of both of the island’s jurisdictions. Focusing on poets’ responses in their writing to such contentious legal issues as partition, censorship, paramilitarism, and the curtailment of women’s reproductive and other rights, this monograph is the first in the growing field of law and literature to focus exclusively on modern Ireland. Hanna unpacks the legal engagements of both major and non-canonical poets from every decade between the 1920s and the present day, including Rhoda Coghill, Austin Clarke, Paul Durcan, Elaine Feeney, Miriam Gamble, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Kinsella, Paula Meehan, Julie Morrissy, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and W. B. Yeats.
Poetry from the time of independence onwardhas been shaped by two opposing forces. On the one hand, the Irish public has traditionally had strong expectations that poets offer a dissenting counter-discourse to official sources of law. On the other hand, poets have more recently expressed skepticism about the ethics of speaking for others and about the adequacy of art in performing a public role. Hanna’s fascinating study illuminates the poetry that arises from these antithetical modern conditions.
Adam Hanna is a lecturer in the English Department at University College Cork.He is the author of Northern Irish Poetry and Domestic Space and the coeditor of Architectural Space and the Imagination: Houses in Art and Literature from Classical to Contemporary and Law and Literature: The Irish Case.
Series: Irish Studies
6 x 9, 272 pages, 1 black and white illustrations