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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2024
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Book description

Two centuries after Percy Shelley's death, his writings continue to resonate in remarkable ways. Shelley addressed climate change, women's liberation, nonbinary gender, and political protest, while speaking to Indigenous, queer/trans, disabled, displaced, and working-class communities. He still inspires artists and social justice movements around the world today. Yet Percy Shelley for Our Times reveals an even more farsighted writer, one whose poetic methodology went beyond the didactic powers of prophetic art. Not historicist, presentist, or transhistorical, Shelley 'for our times' conceives worlds outside himself, his poetry, and his era, envisioning how audiences connect and collaborate across space and time. This collection revitalizes a writer once considered an adolescent of idealist protest, showing how his interwoven poetics of relationality continually revisits the meaning of community and the contemporary. This title is part of the Flip it Open programme and may also be available Open Access. Check our website Cambridge Core for details.


‘A fresh, spirited collection that roundly demonstrates the contemporaneity and diversity of ‘Shelley’ – not by asserting that the master Poet contains multitudes, but by centering the unforeseen readers and writers who did, still, and will bend his restless verses to unforeseeable ends. ‘Indianized,’ disabled, unsexed, bewitched, rewilded, exiled, and intra-active, the Shelleyan corpus emerges anew, ‘for our times,’ even as the volume’s many voices never cease to ask for whom it remains ‘a book sealed.’’

Amanda Jo Goldstein - Associate Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley

‘This timely collection offers readers a Shelley who resists in both form and philosophy any easy political assignations, provoking instead a reimagining of our own assumptions about what Romantic poetry, and its criticism, can do in the world.’

Jonathan Mulrooney - Professor of English, College of the Holy Cross

‘This uniformly stimulating collection of essays, expertly curated by Omar F. Miranda and Kate Singer, offers a rigorous assessment of Percy Shelley's work and influence 200 years after the first posthumous edition of his poems was published. Brave, self-aware, and critically engaged, the contributors address the spectrum of Shelley's writings, reflecting richly and refreshingly on how their complexity may be read today.’

Michael Rossington - Professor of Romantic Literature, Newcastle University, UK

‘This illuminating volume takes up the question of what Shelley is, not ‘to’ us, but, more dynamically, ‘for’ us. How might Shelley’s relational poetics provide us with methods and strategies for engaging the challenges of our own historical moment? The path-breaking, wide-ranging essays included here tease out the ways in which Shelley’s work – especially, its limning of alternative modes of bodily and collective being – can propel, direct, and respond to our own efforts to think through the crises of ‘our times.’’

Karen Swann - Professor of English, Emerita, Williams College

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