This introductory chapter begins with an assessment of Don Paterson's work. It then sets out the book's purpose, which is to bring together chapters focusing on his poetry, aphorism, editorial work, literary criticism and theory, as well as his presence on the UK poetry scene, and his interests across the arts — including music, photography, painting, analytic psychology, and architecture. Included within the book are also two interviews. This book is organized into two parts. The first section considers the relationship between sound, shape, and semantics, and engages a series of discussions about lyric form and structure in Paterson, and the literary-historical precedents of semantic and aural organization. The second section consists of chapters that are topic-focused, and dwell at more length on the social, political, and economic dimensions of Paterson's writing and other activities as a contemporary literary figure.
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