Irish Women Poets Rediscovered: Readings in poetry from the eighteenth to the twentieth century
Edited by Maria Johnston and Conor Linnie
Irish Women Poets Rediscovered is a ground-breaking collection of original essays which brings to new recognition the lives and work of seventeen remarkable Irish women poets spanning the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Its unique format combines the poetry anthology with the essay as each poet is presented first in their own words with a key poem which is followed by an engaging and original essay-style response. Of interest to both the poetry scholar and the general reader, the volume offers lively, fresh and accessible introductions to the work of a range of Irish women poets whose vibrant work has undeservedly been forgotten. Through a combination of close reading, original research, and broader contextualization, these essays push out the boundaries of Irish poetry and point to new possibilities for the poetry of the future.
Irish Women Poets Rediscovered invites the reader to delight in the newly found poem, but also to consider why women poets have been historically denied a readership. The volume raises vital questions about class and inequality from eighteenth-century servants and labourers to those struggling with unemployment and marginalisation in modern day Dublin. It charts the cultural aspirations and political activism of women poets during the Revival and revolutionary years of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It highlights the liberating social space of the writing group and the vital opportunities offered by periodicals and the private press. It brings to attention the ongoing challenges faced by women poets in a male-dominated publishing sphere.
Irish Women Poets Rediscovered enters into the reinvigorated critical field of Irish women’s literary studies to tell the distant but echoing stories of seventeen women poets across three centuries. Together these seventeen essays represent a sustained and necessary act of attention as they rediscover and reclaim those women poets whose work has not received the appraisal or analysis that it warrants; their voices invigorate and enliven the story of poetry in Ireland and beyond.
Maria Johnston is a freelance poetry critic. Conor Linnie is an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland postdoctoral fellow, School of English Drama and Film, University College Dublin
November 2021| 9781782054795 | €39 £35| Hardback | 234 x 156mm | 206 pages
Cork University Press
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