The Handbook covers the work of, among others, Paul Durcan, Thomas Kinsella, Brendan Kennelly, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Michael Longley, Medbh McGuckian, and Ciaran Carson. The thematic sections interspersed throughout--chapters on women's poetry, religion, translation, painting, music, stylistics--allow for comparative studies of poets north and south across the century. Central to the guiding spirit of this project is the Handbook's consideration of poetic forms, and a number of essays explore the generic diversity of poetry in Ireland, its various manipulations, reinventions and sometimes repudiations of traditional forms. The last essays in the book examine the work of a 'new' generation of poets from Ireland, concentrating on work published in the last two decades by Justin Quinn, Leontia Flynn, Sinead Morrissey, David Wheatley, Vona Groarke, and others.
Fran Brearton is Reader in English at Queen's University Belfast. Her books include The Great War in Irish Poetry (2000), Reading Michael Longley (2006), and, as co-editor, Modern Irish & Scottish Poetry (2011) and Incorrigibly Plural: Louis MacNeice and His Legacy (2012).
Alan Gillis is Lecturer in English at The University of Edinburgh, and editor of Edinburgh Review. His books include Irish Poetry of the 1930s (2005) and, as co-editor, The Edinburgh Introduction to Studying English Literature (2010), as well as three collections of poetry: Here Comes the Night (2010), Hawks and Doves (2007) and Somebody, Somewhere (2004)