John Jordan as Critic
Denman, Peter (2007) John Jordan as Critic. .
John Jordan was closely connected with Poetry Ireland in its various forms. He edited all seven issues of the periodical of that name published by Dolmen press in the 1960s. Later, on the formation of the Poetry Ireland organisation in the late 1970s, he was the first editor of its magazine, Poetry Ireland Review, overseeing eight issues between 1981 and 1983. Jordan's reputation has rested largely on the impression he left with those who knew him, rather than on any enduring body of work that has remained in continued circulation. That said, Jordan's friend and literary executor Hugh McFadden has been assiduous in ensuring that Jordan's work, somewhat fugitive by nature, is given more permanent form. He put together a Collected Stories and Collected Poems in the 1990s, and now we have this volume, Crystal Clear, gathering a generous selection of essays, reviews and radio scripts. It is a useful reminder of Jordan as polymath, informed critic and judicious reviewer. Running to well over 350 pages without counting the introduction and notes, the book is a compendium of occasional writings over nearly four decades - from the 1940s when Jordan was in his teens to the year before his death in 1988, at the age of fifty-eight. Apparently, there is further material sufficient for another volume of the same size.
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