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Rod Mengham

Vanishing Points

Vanishing Points


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This major international anthology provides students and the general reader with an invaluable introduction to contemporary modernist poetry.

Containing over thirty poets from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA, this selection offers a powerful vision of late-Twentieth-century poetic achievement: international, politically- and socially-engaged, and radical in imaginative vision and practice. It celebrates risk, resistance, protest and diversity within poetry, reaching across national and cultural boundaries.

Vanishing Points provides students of Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, English and American Studies, as well as the general reader, with an important survey of modernist poetry at the start of the new millennium.

• A unique introduction to the wide range of modernist experiment in contemporary poetry

• Ideal study aid for students of poetry and poetics

• Broad, international selection of acclaimed modernist poets

• Substantial contributions offer important insights into the range of each poet’s work

From the Introduction:

The vanishing point lies beyond the horizon established by ruling conventions, it is where the imagination takes over from the understanding. Most anthologies of contemporary verse are filled with poems that do not cross that dividing-line, but our contention is that many poems in this volume are situated on the threshold of conventional sense-making. They go beyond the perspective of accepted canons of taste and judgement and ask questions about where they belong, and who they are meant for, often combining the pathos of estrangement with the irascibility of the refusenik.

All anthologies enter the world fully aware of their genealogy, of where they fit in, of how they relate to certain traditions of writing by affiliation or rejection. This combination of dependent and independent gestures is inevitable, particularly in the case of selections of work aligned with national or regional versions of literary history. The present anthology does not fall into that category; its international reach does not, however, bring exemption from the dilemma of wanting to stand apart from conditions of rivalry while also needing to claim a special value in comparison with publications already available.

Reviews of this Book

‘Amidst the plethora of anthologies which flood the British market there are two which stand out, distinguished, alone, separate: the first Conductors of Chaos (Picador 1996) is now out of print and the second is this recently published delight from Salt Publishing, Vanishing Points. Buy it! Keep it with you. Dip into it time and time again.’ —Ian Brinton

Vanishing Points [...] achieves an informative line, which looks both ways as it crosses and spans an international reach. The poems work best when self-conscious and projected imports coincide in order to build, not merely deconstruct, sense. Andrew Crozier’s poetry represents a persuasive recombination of old and new lyric tones, as words embody falling back through endnotes to stand for the uptake of fresh insight: ‘Divisions interposed ... rise to the surface.’’ —Sarah Wardle

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