James Fountain

Hidden Sun: The Poetry of Joseph Macleod (1903 – 1984) (2022)


In short, Joseph Macleod deserves to be read, and whoever reads him will find themselves richly rewarded. James Fountain explores the development of his poetic style from Macleod’s high modernist long poem, The Ecliptic (1930), through to the five books of poetry written via the pseudonym ‘Adam Drinan’; significant critical chapters by Andrew Duncan complete the text.

With the kind assistance from Joseph’s son, Iain Antony Macleod, also his extended family – and in particular Professor Nigel Leask, Fountain has been entrusted with the honour of being the first to access Macleod’s private papers, as well as the first Doctoral candidate with the privilege of working on his richly beautiful poetry and other writings.

Waterloo Press, under the direction of Simon Jenner, is delighted to support an ongoing schedule aiming, with Fountain and Duncan, to publish the major poetical and prose works of Macleod in the coming years.

ISBN: 978-1-915241-01-6 Category: Tag:

Praise and Poems

In this first detailed study of his work and life, James Fountain (and Andrew Duncan) explore why such a gifted poet has almost vanished from the story of British Modernism, and confidently reclaim his place. Based on original archival research, this book opens a new and exciting vista on a gifted poet and his troubled times.

(James McGonigal, University of Glasgow)

The book shines a scholarly light on his early modernist poetry, his move to a documentary style in the 1930’s, and his significant contribution (under the pseudonym of ‘Adam Drinan’) to the Scottish Renaissance… I hope that this timely book will rekindle interest in Macleod’s poetry and inspire a new generation of readers.

(Nigel Leask, University of Glasgow)

James Fountain (and Andrew Duncan) offer here an admirably lucid and companionable commentary on his works, drawing out the extraordinarily diverse elements that constituted his singular voice: by turns mythical, modernist, anthropological, socialist, populist, Scots. A poet who was regarded by writers as various as Ezra Pound, Graham Greene, and W.S. Graham is here handsomely recovered for a modern readership.

(Seamus Perry, Balliol College, Oxford)

…this excellent account of Macleod should place him back into the public arena as a key modernist voice… James Fountain brings this forgotten voice alive, and offers us the chance to take up the challenge as the 21st century readership this poet so deserves.

(Adam Piette, University of Sheffield)

Macleod’s and Drinan’s poetry, his contemporaries and reputation are all brought to the foreground in this timely and welcome book. Its unusual structure, combining biography, cultural history, literary analysis and the priority of reassessment, is itself compelling.

(Alan Riach, University of Glasgow)

James Fountain’s fine monograph about Joseph Macleod is welcome news to admirers of Macleod’s poetry, which includes not only the fascinating modernist long poem The Ecliptic but the very different and better-known poems he published as Adam Drinan. Macleod’s poetry deserves more readers, and this book should help his work find them.

(Keith Tuma, Miami University)

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