Call for Book Chapters: Gerard Manley Hopkins's Poetic Legacies

full name / name of organization: 
Daniel Westover / East Tennessee State University
contact email: 

Co-editors Daniel Westover and William Wright invite chapter proposals for 'The Fire that Breaks': Gerard Manley Hopkins's Poetic Legacies, a new volume of critical essays focusing on the diverse and continuing influence of Gerard Manley Hopkins.

In terms of literary history, Gerard Manley Hopkins has been hard to pin down. Many of his concerns—industrialism, religious faith and doubt, science, language—were common among Victorian writers, and in this sense he was clearly a poet of his age, but his aggressive poetics differ radically from his contemporaries. Because of this, he has often been regarded as a proto-modernist, more at home in the twentieth century than in the nineteenth, but this placement is likewise problematic. While his vigorous stress patterns are perhaps well suited to a post-WWI literary landscape (Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins was first published a month after the armistice), Hopkins avoids the self-conscious allusiveness and indirectness that typify much high modernist poetry.

It is partly because Hopkins cannot be pigeonholed that he has, in terms of influence, remained relevant for almost a century. In his strange creations, poets of multiple generations have found an openness of feeling, rhythmic freshness, and relish for sound that is often lacking among their contemporaries. Some of the foremost poets of the twentieth century—among them Ivor Gurney, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, Randall Jarrell, and Geoffrey Hill—have counted Hopkins as a foundational influence, and through their work as well as his own, Hopkins has entered the mainstream of contemporary poetry. Many of the poets who have responded to his work could hardly be more different from each other in terms of style and subject matter, yet Hopkins is a common denominator.

Essays to be considered for The Fire that Breaks can explore any element of Hopkins's influence throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These might be essays that focus on the responses of single authors (including those listed above) to Hopkins's work, but they might also be essays that explore his stylistic influence, the impact of his environmental consciousness, the varied responses to his spiritual themes, or any number of related subjects.

The Fire that Breaks is a companion volume to 'The World is Charged': Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins, an anthology of contemporary poetry. The aim of the critical volume is to explore the diverse manifestations of Hopkins's influence throughout the twentieth century and leading up to the present moment—a moment represented by the companion anthology, which is already in production. Both books will be published by Clemson University Press.

500-word abstracts are due by June 15. Please also attach a current C.V. Contact information is below.

Daniel Westover - westover@etsu.edu
William Wright - vercimber@hotmail.com