Contemporary Irish Women Poets

BookOpen AccessContemporary Irish Women Poets

Contemporary Irish Women Poets

Memory and Estrangement

Liverpool English Texts and Studies, 66


September 14th, 2015


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This study examines the intersection of private and public spheres through the representation of memory in contemporary poetry by Irish women. Collins explores how memory shapes creativity in the work of well-known poets such as Eavan Boland, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Medbh McGuckian as well as in that of an exciting group of younger poets. This book analyses, for the first time, the complex responses to the past recorded by contemporary women poets in Ireland and the implications these have for the concept of a national tradition.


'There is a great deal to admire in this volume. Collins has a thorough knowledge of each of her poets’ work, and each chapter aims to deal with nearly the complete oeuvre of the writer at hand. The prose style is clear and concise. There are a wide range of critics and theorists mentioned throughout the text, and a number of topics are brought up in relation to the poetry. And Collins has a knack for choosing the right passage or poem to bring into play.'
Eric Falci, UC Berkeley

Author Information

Lucy Collins is Lecturer at University College Dublin and the editor of 'Poetry by Women in Ireland: A Critical Anthology 1870–1970' (Liverpool University Press, 2012).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Introduction: Memory, Estrangement and the Poetic Text15
I Concepts35
1 Lost Lands: The Creation of Memory in the Poetry of Eavan Boland37
2 Between Here and There: Migrant Identities and the Contemporary Irish Woman Poet63
3 Private Memory and the Construction of Subjectivity in Contemporary Irish Women’s Poetry92
II Achievements123
4 Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s Spaces of Memory125
5 Medbh McGuckian’s Radical Temporalities153
6 Catherine Walsh: A Poetics of Flux183
7 Vona Groarke: Memory and Materiality209
Conclusion: Memories of the Future 232