Michael Schmidt

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No Text ­The pictures on this page include Michael Schmidt in Manchester, 2013 (photographer Benedict Schmidt), and a book cover.

Here you can find information about titles, and acquire them.









Michael Schmidt OBE FRSL is the founder and editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press Limited, the general editor of PN Review, and Professor of Poetry at the University of Glasgow. He is currently a writer in residence at St John's College, Cambridge, and a visiting professor at the University of Bolton. Reviewing The Novel: a biography in the Times Higher Educational Supplement, Robert Eaglestone described Schmidt as 'a fascinating figure in contemporary British and world literature'.

This web site may be of interest to browsers curious about Carcanet Press, PN Review, or about Michael Schmidt's work. He recently published The Novel: a biography, a companion volume to Lives of the Poets (1999) and Lives of the First Poets (2005). His collection of poems The Resurrection of the Body was published in January 2007 in the United Kingdom and in March 2007 in the United States. In the autumn of 2009 his Collected Poems appeared, and in 2013 The Stories of My Life. John Ashbery wrote: 'Vibrant, radiant, Michael Schmidt’s poetry is steeped in modernist tradition (Yeats and Eliot) and questingly new. The result is a passionate discourse that is at once earthy and numinous, from which “flows that unusual grace which is rooted in muscle, / Which comes from the marrow and lymph, which is divine . . .” '

On this site he posts sample prose and verse writings. There are basic links to other sites which visitors may find of value, in particular Carcanet and PN Review.

Of The Novel: a biography William Deresiewicz wrote in The Atlantic:

“Given the fluidity with which [Schmidt] ranges across the canon (as well as quite a bit beyond it), one is tempted to say that he carries English literature inside his head as if it were a single poem, except that there are sections in The Novel on the major Continental influences, too—the French, the Russians, Cervantes, Kafka—so it isn’t only English. If anyone’s up for the job, it would seem to be him… Take a breath, clear the week, turn off the WiFi, and throw yourself in… The book, at its heart, is a long conversation about craft. The terms of discourse aren’t the classroom shibboleths of plot, character, and theme, but language, form, and address. Here is where we feel the force of Schmidt’s experience as an editor and a publisher as well as a novelist… Like no other art, not poetry or music on the one hand, not photography or movies on the other, [a novel] joins the self to the world, puts the self in the world, does the deep dive of interiority and surveils the social scope… [Novels] are also exceptionally good at representing subjectivity, at making us feel what it’s like to inhabit a character’s mind. Film and television, for all their glories as narrative and visual media, have still not gotten very far in that respect, nor is it easy to see how they might… Schmidt reminds us what’s at stake, for novels and their intercourse with selves. The Novel isn’t just a marvelous account of what the form can do; it is also a record, in the figure who appears in its pages, of what it can do to us. The book is a biography in that sense, too. Its protagonist is Schmidt himself, a single reader singularly reading.”

Marina Warner declared:

“Michael Schmidt is one of literature’s most ambitious champions, riding out against the naysayers, the indifferent, and the purse holders, determined to enlarge readers’ vision and rouse us all to pay attention. Were it not for his rich and adventurous catalogue of publications at Carcanet Press, and the efforts of a few other brave spirits at other small presses (such as Bloodaxe Books) the landscape of poetry in the U.K. would be depopulated, if not desolate. He has now turned his prodigious energies to telling the story of the novel’s transformation through time: a Bildungsroman of the genre from a persevering and unappeasable lover.”

The book was launched at the London Review Bookshop and the launch discussion with Michael Wood and Kirsty Gunn can be heard here.

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News & Events:
Reviews of THE NOVEL: A BIOGRAPHY

For More Information:
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The Novel: a biography Books by Michael Schmidt include

Literary History and Criticism
The Novel: a biography, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014
Lives of the Ancient Poets: The Greeks, Weidenfeld, Knopf, 2004, 2005
The Story of Poetry I-III, Weidenfeld, 2001-2008
Lives of the Poets, Weidenfeld, Knopf, 1998, 1999
Reading Modern Poetry, Routledge, 1989
Fifty Modern British Poets: an introduction, Pan/Heinemann, 1979
Fifty English Poets 1300-1900: an introduction, Pan/Heinemann, 1979

Poetry
The Stories of My Life, Smith/Doorstop, 2013
Family Tree, Greville Press, 2011
Collected Poems, Smith/Doorstop, 2009
The Resurrection of the Body, Smith/Doorstop, 2006
Selected Poems, Smith/Doorstop, 1997
The Love of Strangers, Century Hutchinson, 1989
Choosing a Guest: new and selected poems, Anvil, 1983

Poetry Anthologies
Five American Poets, Carcanet, 2010
The Great Modern Poets, Quercus, 2006
New Poetries I-V, Carcanet, 1994-2011
The Harvill Book of Twentieth-Century Poetry in English, Harvill, 1999
Poets on Poets (with Nick Rennison), Waterstone's/Carcanet, 1997
A Calendar of Modern Poetry, PN Review 100, 1994
Eleven British Poets, Methuen/Routledge, 1980

Novels
The Colonist, Muller/Hutchinson, 1983
The Dresden Gate, Century Hutchinson, 1988

Translations
On Poets & Others, Octavio Paz, Paladin, 1991
Flower & Song: Nahuatl Poetry (with Edward Kissam), Anvil, 1977, 2010

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