Griffiths, Jane 1970-

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Griffiths, Jane 1970-

PERSONAL:

Born 1970, in Exeter, Devon, England.

ADDRESSES:

Office—University of Bristol, Department of English, 3/5 Woodland Rd., Bristol BS8 1TB, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, poet, editor, and educator. University of Bristol, Bristol, England, lecturer in English literature. Formerly worked as an instructor at Oxford University, England, and Edinburgh University, Scotland. Oxford English Dictionary, former editor. Worked as a bookbinder in London and Norfolk, England.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Eric Gregory Award, 1996; Newdigate Prize for the poem "The House."

WRITINGS:

John Skelton and Poetic Authority: Defining the Liberty to Speak, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

POETRY

The House, Mandeville Press (Hitchin, England), 1990.

A Grip on Thin Air, Bloodaxe Books (Chester Springs, PA), 2000.

Icarus on Earth, Bloodaxe Books (Chester Springs, PA), 2005.

Another Country: New and Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books (Chester Springs, PA), 2008.

Contributor to books, including Reactions: New Poetry, edited by Esther Morgan, University of East Anglia (Norwich, England), 2000; Magdalen Poets: Five Centuries of Poetry from Magdalen College, edited by Robert Macfarland, Magdalen College (Oxford, England), 2000; Self-Presentation and Social Identification: The Rhetoric and Pragmatics of Letter-Writing in Early Modern Times, edited by Toon van Houdt, Jan Papy, and Gilvert Tournoy, Leuven University Press, 2001; Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times, edited by Neil Astley, Bloodaxe Books (Tarset, Eng- land), 2002; "Nothing but Papers, My Lord": Studies in Early Modern English Language and Literature, edited by J.L. Bueno Alonso et al, University of Vigo, 2003; The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Colin Matthew and Brian Harrison, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2004; John Stow: Author, Editor, and Reader, edited by Ian Gadd and Alexandra Gillespie, British Library (London, England), 2004; The New Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Colin Matthew and Brian Harrison, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2004; and Not Just a Game: Sporting Poetry, edited by Andy Croft and Sue Dymoke, Five Leaves Publications (Nottingham, England), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Interfaces, Medievalia et Humanistica, Renaissance Studies, History Today, Edinburgh Review, Times Literary Supplement, Oxford Poetry, Signals, Saturday Guardian, Poetry Review, Tabourey, Notes and Queries, Library, Edinburgh Review, Rialto, Observer (London, England), and Huntington Library Quarterly.

Oxford Poetry, editor (with Graham Nelson and Jennifer Nuttall), 2000; Owl, editor (with Giles Scupham), 1989-93.

SIDELIGHTS:

Poet, editor, and educator Jane Griffiths conducts scholarly research on medieval and modern poetry in her position as a lecturer in English literature at the University of Bristol in England. Her work looks at topics such as medieval and Renaissance poetics and concepts of literary authority; the works and lives of poets John Skelton and Stephen Hawes; how medieval works were accepted and received during the Renaissance; and twentieth-century poetry, she stated on the Bristol University Department of English Web site. Griffiths is a former bookbinder, and previously worked as an editor on the venerable reference work the Oxford English Dictionary.

Griffiths's poetry is represented in four different books: The House, A Grip on Thin Air, Icarus on Earth, and Another Country: New and Selected Poems. In a review on the Poetry Society Web site, critic Wayne Burrows remarked that Griffiths's works in Icarus on Earth are "often promising, but in serious need of further work."

In John Skelton and Poetic Authority: Defining the Liberty to Speak, Griffiths reassesses the poetry of Skelton and looks again at his place within the history of English literature and whether the quirky poet is as difficult to place within the English literary canon as once believed. Raymond-Jean Frontain commented in Discoveries that Skelton is best remembered as "the great English poet of festivity," a "madcap country parson" whose devastating satirical works drew the attention and ire of church authorities. In her book, Griffiths "offers a radically different perspective on Skelton, presenting him as a poet who shrewdly experiments with various sources of authority." The book "has many strengths, not least of which are its fresh and challenging readings of a number of major poems" by Skelton, noted Elizabeth Evershed in Medium Aevum. Griffiths looks at a number of seemingly contradictory aspects of Skelton's life, such as his position as a religious protestor but also as a "scurrilous figure of misrule," Evershed remarked. In terms of the book's title, Griffiths considers carefully where and how Skelton locates his poetic voice, and from what source he derives his authority to function as a writer. "Skelton emerges from Griffiths' study as a poet who needs continuously to negotiate or reconstitute his source of authority in order to write," Frontain observed. Evershed concluded that Griffiths's work on Skelton is a "valuable contribution to Skelton scholarship," while Frontain found it to be "the most illuminating study of Skelton to emerge in decades."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

London Review of Books, December 14, 2006, Helen Cooper, "Skeltonics," review of John Skelton and Poetic Authority: Defining the Liberty to Speak, p. 32.

Medium Aevum, spring-summer, 2007, Elizabeth Evershed, review of John Skelton and Poetic Authority, p. 143.

Renaissance Quarterly, summer, 2007, Jessica Winston, review of John Skelton and Poetic Authority, p. 659.

Times Literary Supplement, July 13, 2001, Sarah Broom, review of A Grip on Thin Air, p. 27; September 29, 2006, A.S.G. Edwards, "A Pair of Parrots," review of John Skelton and Poetic Authority, p. 30.

ONLINE

Bristol University Department of English Web site,http://www.bris.ac.uk/english/ (January 17, 2008), biography of Jane Griffiths.

Discoveries,http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~nydam/scrc/discoveries/ (January 17, 2008), Raymond-Jean Frontain, review of John Skelton and Poetic Authority.

Poetry Society,http://poetrysociety.org.uk/ (January 17, 2008), Wayne Burrows, "Look at These," review of Icarus on Earth.

University of Edinburgh Department of English Literature Web site,http://www.englit.ed.ac.uk/ (January 17, 2008), biography of Jane Griffiths.

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Griffiths, Jane 1970-

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