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Contemporary Poetry and Postmodernism explores the fraught relationship between the poetry of the mainstream and kinds of modernist poetry that have had to make their way outside it. Mainstream poets like Paul Muldoon, James Fenton and Carol Ann Duffy multiply voices and so draw on resources from the novel - Bakhtin's concept of the dialogic is therefore used to explain their techniques. By contrast, Shklovsky's concept of 'estrangement' is shown to be more useful in accounting for the radical experimentation of poets like Edwin Morgan, Christopher Middleton and Denise Riley. However, the book concludes by suggesting that - partly because of the influence of surrealism in women poets like Selima Hill and Jo Shapcott - the mainstream has recently been infiltrated by modernist and postmodernist estrangement effects.