Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This article is taken from PN Review 250, Volume 46 Number 2, November - December 2019.

on D.J. Enright
Death, Fevers and Contemporary Poetry
D.J. Enright as an anthologist
John Greening
At one time, alongside their regular ‘state of the art’ reassessments, the major publishing houses would produce big popular, themed anthologies, invariably edited by a man, and in most cases by Geoffrey Grigson. They still exist to a certain extent – war poetry, love poetry, nature poetry – but tend to be in aid of some topical concern or emerge from literary micro-breweries such as Candlestick Press (with their Ten Poems ‘instead of a card’ series). Appropriately enough, D.J. Enright’s first themed anthology, The Faber Book of Death came out the year Grigson died (he was one of the contributors, and also reviewed it) and the pattern was quickly set. Enright was hardly a young man in 1985, but he was well placed to continue the anthology tradition, having worked in publishing since the early 1970s and possessing the necessary magpie instinct. The Book of Death was followed by Ill at Ease: Writers on Ailments, Real and Imagined (1989), which was reissued the same year (rather puzzlingly, and in the same gruesome red jacket) under the title The Faber Book of Fevers and Frets. The themes brightened a little for The Oxford Book of Friendship (1991, with David Rawlinson) and finally came the enormous Oxford Book of the Supernatural (1994).

Enright’s curatorial gifts had been demonstrated almost forty years earlier when he brought out Poets of the 1950s: An Anthology of English Verse (somehow managing to edit it while living in Japan) and confirmed in their full maturity by The Oxford Book of Contemporary ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image