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Release: Immediate

UI Press book looks at Scottish poet Robert Burns

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Robert Burns, the Scottish poet who often crossed swords with church, language, literati, king, government, and, not least, himself, is the subject of a new anthology of essays from the University of Iowa Press exploring Burns' multi-faceted cultural legacy.

"Robert Burns and Cultural Authority," edited by Robert Crawford, assembles an informed, and occasionally disputatious team to write about the poet who did more than any other in his century to reinforce the art of verse through vernacular voice.

Burns, who died in 1796 at the age of 37, has enjoyed a posthumous reception by writers and critics in America and Britain that few poets can rival. The author of "Auld Lang Syne," "The Selkirk Grace," Burns wrote hundreds of songs and poems, many of them celebrating the lives led by common people.

In areas as wide-ranging as gender, the aesthetics and politics of metrical forms, international and national politics, and religion, essayists in the collection explore the impact Burns has had on a variety of cultural institutions.

Contributors include Marilyn Butler, Robert Crawford, Douglas Dunn, Seamus Heaney, A.L. Kennedy, Susan Manning, Kirsteen McCue, Carol McGuirk, Andrew Nash, Alan Riach, and Nicholas Roe.

Robert Crawford is professor of modern Scottish literature at the University of St. Andrews.

"Robert Burns and Cultural Authority" is available at bookstores nationwide for $29.95 clothbound. The book can also be ordered from UI Press by calling (319) 384-3807 (for calls within Johnson County) or 1-800-235-2665 (outside Johnson County).

Information is also available at the UI Press website: