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Literature's nuisance: (Riding) Jackson's memoir
A review of The Person I Am: The Literary Memoirs of Laura (Riding) Jackson
published in Jacket, February 2013
"To critics, (Riding) Jackson says, she is “a nuisance” (1:145): “my work has an effect of dampening, discouraging, literary
interest in it because it asks no favors of good regard, and offers no congratulations for attention paid to it as manifesting
sensible discretion and sagacity” (1:201). It is in fact her work’s demanding, unapologetic quality — and its continuing relevance
to writers and readers — which provokes fascination and literary investigation."
'Re-writing History, Literally: Laura Riding's The Close Chaplet'
An essay on The Close Chaplet, Laura Riding's first collection of poems, 1926
by Mark Jacobs
Gravesiana, Volume 3, No.3 Summer 2012
Contemporaries & Snobs
A new edition to be published in Autumn 2013 by
University of Alabama, Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series
edited by Jane Malcolm and Laura Heffernan
Contemporaries & Snobs was composed at the same time as A Survey of Modernist Poetry
and the latter more popular, indeed famous, book is based on its principles and ideas.
See 'Laura (Riding) Jackson and Robert Graves: The Question of Collaboration'
Gravesiana, Volume 3, No.2, Summer 2010, by Mark Jacobs
Number 10, 2012
Review by Morag Shiac
John Nolan and Carroll Ann Friedmann (eds), The Person I Am: The Literary Memoirs of Laura (Riding) Jackson.
Nottingham: Trent Editions, 2011. 2 vols, 372 pp. & 354 pp. £15 each, pb. Laura (Riding) Jackson Series: General Editor, Mark Jacobs.
ISBN 978-1-84233-1439 and 978-1-84233-1446.
Three new essays
Jack Blackmore Julia Fiedorczuk and Anett Jessop
delivered at the Cornell Laura (Riding) Jackson Conference 2010.
The Person I Am
a new book in 2 Volumes by
Laura (Riding) Jackson
edited by John Nolan and Carroll Ann Friedmann
Series editor Mark Jacobs
£15.00 per volume
A two-volume book of literary memoirs by Laura (Riding) Jackson, written between 1972 and her death in 1991, opens with her even-handed account
of her personal rôle as a poet, critic and writer throughout her life, and evaluates and reflects on the broad issues of her
literary milieu from the 1920s onward and the ground she occupied within it. It comprises numerous commentaries on those she
had personal working relations with, such as the Fugitives, Robert Graves, Jacob Brownowski, Norman Cameron and others of
the 1920-1930s and beyond, to those who impinged closely upon her work such as W. H. Auden, W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Ted
Hughes, Sylvia Plath, plus her views on various modernist critics.
Trent Editions is preparing eight volumes of Laura (Riding) Jackson’s work to be published sequentially, three of them hitherto unpublished
in book-form, while others will be edited and annotated re-issues of books difficult to find, such as Experts Are Puzzled (1930), The World And Ourselves, a new collection of stories and a selection of letters.
Laura (Riding) Jackson, The Person I Am, Volumes I and II, price £15 each. ISBN Vol. 1 SBN: 9781842331439, 372pp, Vol.2 ISBN: 9781842331446, 356pp. A5. Publication
date: 20th October 2011
Distributor Central Books: https://onlinestore.ntu.ac.uk/ and all good bookshops. Also available now on Amazon Kindle
These letters written to Naomi Mitchison along with her replies in 1937 are now added to the Scholar section. They concern Naomi Mitchison's participation in Riding's The World And Ourselves (1938) and refer to the nature of the proposed book and its author's political background. They are from the National Library of Scotland Archive MSS Acc.9186, folder 1, from Laura Riding to Naomi Mitchison, March 6 & 11, 1937. Transcribed by Alan J Clark 16th June 2011,
with an attempt to reproduce any minor oddities of capitalisation or punctuation.
Two other new letters of 1970 may be found addressed to William Empson on the subject of A Survey Of Modernist Poetry (1928) and his acknowledgement of it as a source for his first edition of Seven Types Of Ambiguity (1930).
Focus is now online in four sections:
A focus ‘is a point from which any activity (such as disease or an earthquake wave) originates. At any rate, a point at which
forces meet. You know how we speak of things being “in focus”. My idea is, then, that we should put ourselves in FOCUS….’
A description of Focus by Laura (Riding) Jackson is to be found in the Berg Collection of John Aldridge papers
Focus was published locally in Majorca, without boards or covers, and was planned as a periodical which would publish personal
statements from contributors who, for the most part, knew each other, and therefore the number of copies was very small, perhaps
somewhere between thirty and forty copies and hence extremely rare nowadays, given the sparseness of copies and the fragility
of the paper. Its importance lies, as well as in the writings themselves, including poems and other material, in the picture
it presents of the Majorcan milieu and their comings and goings. It was distributed privately among friends. Contributions
mostly take the form of letters lightly edited by Riding or requested by her. For example, Riding's letter in Focus I discusses her current reading, a book she wanted to write about women as people, her progress on a Dictionary of Related
Meanings she had begun the year before, these two books completed much later in her life as The Word Woman and Rational Meaning, and her hopes for Focus.
Focus remains under copyright. All permissions to reprint or republish parts, portions or the whole of Focus must be sought from The University of Cornell Kroch Library. The copy presented here was previously authorized by The Laura (Riding) Jackson Board Of Literary Management and is the
only copy available on-line. All rights reserved.
Laura (Riding) Jackson Cornell University Conference, 28 October 2010
Sponsored by the Laura (Riding) Jackson Board of Literary Management and the Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University
On the Continuing of the Continuing
Written by Laura (Riding) Jackson Circa 1980, this previously unpublished short essay is now available as a fine-printed book in a limited edition run of 100 numbered
copies from Wyeswood Press (2008). This publication includes colour facsimiles of four pages of the manuscript, and a previously
unpublished photograph of Laura (Riding) Jackson from 1970. Designed and typeset in Lexicon at Libanus Press, Marlborough,
printed by Hampton Printing of Bristol on Zerkall paper and bound by Ludlow Binders Ltd. Ludlow. 24pp.
'The single I speaks the truth of the invariable Only-I, the infinite One that being is in being all-real in whatever, whoever,
To order a copy, or for more information e-mail John Nolan.
Archive Exhibition and Literary Management Board Meeting
On Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 of July the Laura (Riding) Jackson Literary Management Board gathered from around the globe
at Nottingham Trent University for their annual meeting.
On Wednesday the meeting was opened by Professor Marianne Howarth, followed by a brief talk by Dr Mark Jacobs, and an exhibition
of archive works by Laura (Riding) Jackson, including rare books from the Seizin Press, out of print work, and original letters
from Jackson to Dr Jacobs. Mrs Joan Wilentz of the Laura (Riding) Jackson Board gave a speech of thanks to Nottingham Trent
University for hosting the event and congratulations for acquiring the archive of Laura (Riding) Jackson letters and documents.
The event was attended not only by members of the Literary Board, but academics from within Nottingham Trent University including
Peter Jones (Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Development and Research) and Professors Marianne Howarth (Dean of the
School of Arts and Humanities); Nahem Yousaf (Subject Leader for English); Martyn Bennett (Associate Dean for Research and
Graduate Studies); John Goodridge (Professor of English, Editorial Director of Trent Editions); and Stan Smith (Research Professor
in Literary Studies).
A Mannered Grace
A Mannered Grace, the authorised biography of Laura (Riding) Jackson by Elizabeth Friedmann, has been published by Persea Books (2005) and
is available at all good bookshops or via the Internet. This is the only biography Laura (Riding) Jackson countenanced and
had her full backing, including complete access to letters, unpublished typescripts, manuscripts and personally afforded views
and memories on a great many events. She denied all other biographers access to her papers.
The Failure of Poetry, the Promise of Language (Poets on Poetry Series)
Published April 2007 by The University of Michigan Press and edited with an introduction by Dr. John Nolan, this book is a
reconstruction of a book entitled The Failure Of Poetry envisaged by Laura (Riding) Jackson in the 1970s, with essays and pieces of writing assigned to it but not published in her
life-time. Dr. Nolan has 'reconstructed' the book from the typescripts and manuscripts prepared for it representing her reasons
for her renouncing poetry after her Collected Poems were published in 1938. This book, he says, '...is best thought of not as poetics, not as secondary critical commentary on
something else (on the nature of poetry. for instance), but as primary in its own right, part of the author's attempt at truth-speaking
outside the "pleasance" of poetry.