This collection of essays addresses poetic and critical responses to the various crises encountered by contemporary writers and our society. The essays included discuss a range of issues from the holocaust, the Troubles in Northern Ireland and their aftermath and the war on terror to the ecological crisis, poetry's relationship to place and questions of cultural and national identity. What are the means available to poetry to address the various crises it faces, and how can both poets and critics meet the challenges posed by society and the literary community? How can poetry justify its own role as a meaningful form of cultural and artistic practice? The volume focuses on poetry from Britain, Ireland and the US, and many of the poets discussed in this volume are among the most acclaimed contemporary writers, including for example Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Louise Glück and Alice Oswald.