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Title: Fitting manifestations : epiphany in Alice Oswald, Kathleen Jamie, Liz Berry and Joanne Dixon
Author: Dixon, Joanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 7661 0833
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2017
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Epiphany in contemporary British poetry has received limited recent critical attention and is perceived reductively by some poets and critics as a uniform, coercive, teleological, and unchallenging literary mode. This thesis intervenes in current debates by asking how epiphany is presented on the page in my own poetry and also in that of Alice Oswald, Kathleen Jamie and Liz Berry. Through new critical readings of recent collections published within a decade by these poets, I argue that contemporary poetry is able to engage with epiphanic modes that are more diverse than those typically suggested. Chapter 1 reviews scholarly definitions of epiphany and recent criticism, explains why Oswald, Jamie and Berry were selected for this study and outlines the creative-critical approach adopted. Chapter 2 analyses Oswald's collection, Woods etc., and demonstrates how individual poems present epiphanies that resist a teleological mode by engaging with uncertainty, the uncanny and liminality. Chapter 3 investigates how Jamie's attentiveness to the non-human world in The Overhaul, and the gap between that world and our own, produces epiphanies that embrace 'not knowing' and manifestations of consciousness. The analysis in Chapter 4 highlights how poems in Liz Berry's debut collection, Black Country, dissolve boundaries between the human and non-human realms and boundaries of poetic form, in contrast to readings which restrict epiphany to a straightforward and linear mode of writing. The close critical readings of the poems in these poet-centred chapters expand current thinking on epiphany; the concluding chapter then embodies this thinking. Chapter 5 is the creative conclusion to this thesis, comprising poems that engage with diverse epiphanies and are in dialogue with the different strands of the epiphanic mode explored throughout this thesis: creative, critical, historical and contemporary.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available