Considers how Irish poets have drawn on discourses of locality to articulate new forms of place and belonging amid Ireland’s transforming global identity.
Poetics of the Local considers contemporary Irish poetry in light of transnational forces of globalization and financialization, showing how these conditions have shaped poetic innovation in Ireland from the 1960s to the present. The book is organized around different sites caught in the growing pains of a rapidly globalizing Ireland—from the "ghost estates," or housing projects abandoned after the economic boom of the 1990s, to the urban "regeneration" of Belfast after the Troubles, to the transformation of Dublin into a hub for creative economy programs like the UNESCO City of Literature. In readings of works by Thomas Kinsella, Paula Meehan, Seamus Heaney, John Montague, Ciaran Carson, Leontia Flynn, Alan Gillis, Sinéad Morrissey, and Paul Muldoon, Shirley Lau Wong argues that the enduring centrality of place in Irish poetry should be seen not as a hangover of nostalgic nationalism but rather as an exploration of the material and emplaced effects of the seemingly faraway processes of global capitalism.
Shirley Lau Wong is Assistant Professor of English at the United States Naval Academy.
"This book provides an important reconceptualization of one of the basic themes of Irish literature: place. Wong’s study will help to reorient the study of Irish poetry beyond the category of the nation and invigorate attention to the material realities and textures of economic and cultural globalization as they are absorbed into contemporary Irish poems." — Eric Falci, author of The Value of Poetry