Poetic Investments: Public Finance and Anglophone Poetry After 1945 Restricted; Files Only

Chitwood, Bryan (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/05741s63t?locale=en


This dissertation aims to contribute to scholarly conversations regarding relationships between creative and fiscal economies, taking as its object of study the history of post-World War II Anglophone poetry and the ways we evaluate it. During the years since World War II, circuits of public funding fundamentally altered the field of Anglophone poetry. As this dissertation shows, English-language poetry around the world has been deeply connected to public money and has a much closer, and much more dynamic, relationship to monetary concerns than the prevailing approaches to poetry would suggest. In this analysis, close attention to public funds and the structures that disseminate them reveals powerful hidden forces that influence cultural processes, social structures, and institutional values.

           Nigeria, Jamaica, and Ireland form sites of special interest because of the interconnected ways in which their poets have navigated both transoceanic channels and channels of funding that link them to the United States and United Kingdom. Using an interdisciplinary method that bridges literary studies and sociology, the project situates post-1945 Anglophone poetry within the international flux of public money and cultural administrative structures in order to show how the poetic field was impacted by public funds, as well as to illuminate poetry’s influence, as an imaginative force, within those international processes and flows.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Poetry and Public Money                                                                                         1

Chapter 1: Valuing Nigerian Poetry                                                                                             19

Chapter 2: Jamaican Poetry and Island Economics                                                                      79

Chapter 3: Accounting for Poetry in England and Northern Ireland                                        135

Afterword                                                                                                                                    199

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