This article examines Dickinson’s influence upon the development of Northern Irish poetry, with particular emphasis on the work of John Hewitt and Tom Paulin. Such engagement with Dickinson is connected to longstanding cultural debates surrounding standard English and its variants: in the case of Hewitt and Paulin, Irish English, in the case of Dickinson, American English. This context of intertwining national narratives concerning poetic idiom, dialect, and vernacular dissent provides a means of understanding the continued resonance of Dickinson’s lyric voices within the charged cultural politics of Northern Ireland. Particular attention is given to Paulin’s ongoing reassessment of the place of a dissenting Protestant tradition within a wider narrative of Irish literature and Dickinson’s presence as a resonant and vibrant resource in this project.


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pp. 79-97
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