Lawson, Peter 1960–

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Lawson, Peter 1960–

(Peter J. Lawson)

PERSONAL: Born 1960. Education: Earned Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Offfice—University of Joensuu, P.O. Box 111, 80101 Joensuu, Finland.

CAREER: University of Southampton, Southampton, England, instructor; University of Joensuu, Joensuu, Finland, senior lecturer in English.


(Editor) Passionate Renewal: Jewish Poetry in Britain since 1945: An Anthology, Five Leaves Publications (Nottingham, England), 2001.

(Editor) Anglo-Jewish Poetry from Isaac Rosenberg to Elaine Feinstein, Vallentine Mitchell (London, England), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including Jewish Quarterly and Jewish Chronicle. Style editor, Jerusalem Review.

SIDELIGHTS: Peter Lawson is a poet and educator whose Passionate Renewal: Jewish Poetry in Britain since 1945: An Anthology is a collection of the work of twenty Jewish poets who write on Jewish as well as universal topics. Included are Emanuel Litvinoff's well-known comments on the anti-Semitism of T.S. Eliot and the poetry of Michael Horovitz and Jeremy Robson. Other contributors are Philip Hobsbaum, Jon Silkin, Michael Rosen, Daniel Weissbort, Michael Hamburger, A.C. Jacobs, Elaine Feinstein, George Szirtes, Ruth Fainlight, Dannie Abse, Gerda Mayer, Lotte Kramer, Karen Gershon, Bernard Kops, Richard Burns, Jonathan Treitel, and Joanne Limburg. Times Literary Supplement contributor Ian Sansom commented that "what is extraordinary about the book is how different the writers are, which is, of course, what you would expect among any group of individuals, even poets. You can call it Jewish poetry if you like. Or you might just want to call it poetry."

Matt Simpson wrote in Critical Survey that among the subjects "are family rituals, anti-Semitism, Jewish humour, the feeling for special places abroad (the Introduction draws attention to the fact that many of the poets are translators) as well as what the editor calls 'the curse of an exilic Jewish time without space,' which, it is suggested, encourages poets to find their 'home' in language." Simpson concluded by saying that the book "is a testimony, in another good phrase from the Introduction, to 'Jewish perseverance and freedom.'"



Critical Survey, May, 2003, Matt Simpson, review of Passionate Renewal: Jewish Poetry in Britain since 1945: An Anthology, p. 101.

Times Literary Supplement, February 8, 2002, Ian Sansom, review of Passionate Renewal, p. 31.