Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Contemporary British Place Writing: towards a definition

    Cooper, David ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6143-3772 (2020) Contemporary British Place Writing: towards a definition. In: The Routledge Handbook of Place. Routledge, London, pp. 634-643. ISBN 9781138320499 (hardback); 9780429453267 (ebook)

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    Place writing is a collocation that has increasingly entered creative and literary critical discourse over the past decade but has yet to receive substantial scholarly scrutiny. Focussing on the forms and themes that emerge from two landmark collections – Towards Re-Enchantment: Place and its Meanings (2010) edited by Gareth Evans and Di Robson and Ground Work: Writings on Places and People (2018) edited by Tim Dee – this chapter moves towards a critical definition of contemporary British place writing. The chapter also moves beyond the contents of these twin volumes to argue for an expansive understanding of place writing that incorporates the imagined geographies of fiction as well as the first-person accounts of geographical experience offered in creative non-fiction and lyric poetry. Ultimately, this chapter proposes that place writing is a literary genre, rather than literary form, that is analogous to the similarly heterogeneous genre of life writing.

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