In the twentieth century more people spoke English and more people wrote poetry than in the whole of previous history, and this Companion strives to make sense of this crowded poetical era. The original contributions by leading international scholars and practising poets were written as the contributors adjusted to the idea that the possibilities of twentieth-century poetry were exhausted and finite. However, the volume also looks forward to the poetry and readings that the new century will bring. The Companion embraces the extraordinary development of poetry over the century in twenty English-speaking countries; a century which began with a bipolar transatlantic connection in modernism and ended with the decentred heterogeneity of post-colonialism. Representation of the 'canonical' and the 'marginal' is therefore balanced, including the full integration of women poets and feminist approaches and the in-depth treatment of post-colonial poets from various national traditions. Discussion of context, intertextualities and formal approaches illustrates the increasing self-consciousness and self-reflexivity of the period, whilst a 'Readings' section offers new readings of key selected texts. The volume as a whole offers critical and contextual coverage of the full range of English-language poetry in the last century.