Book Prizes 2021

  • Dr Jeff Barda, University of Manchester
  • Experimentation and the Lyric in Contemporary French Poetry
  • London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019

We are delighted to award the first LE Book Prize in the category ‘Literature in languages other than English’ to Jeff Barda’s Experimentation and the Lyric in Contemporary French Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), a monograph endorsed by major scholars as a ground-breaking work that reshapes its field of study, “a truly brilliant book that provides the first full account we have of how French poetry has evolved in the course of the past half century” (Marjorie Perloff). It considers all the key authors in terms of their poetic methods and perspectives, as well as the research questions their work poses. Supported by systematic close-reading, Barda’s book is also pioneering in that it applies its extensive understanding of international theoretical and critical models to show their differences as well as correspondence with French poetic production. The book is to be commended for its relatively jargon-free, highly precise and tightly argued prose. It manages at the same time to be pedagogically accessible and to offer refined and sophisticated critical judgement.