About Poethead


I wanted to read or hear the narrative of someone else – a woman and a poet – who has gone here and been there.

(Eavan Boland)

Poethead assumes diversity on the part of the poetry writer. Poetry is not bounded by a presumed career trajectory, it is governed alone by the poet’s willingness to experiment and by her love of writing. Poetry journal submission parameters are narrowing and becoming limited by ‘theme’ which makes a mockery of the poetry writer and of her reader. That editors wish to stand between the poem and its reader using outmoded methods of control and dissemination is surely risible. The result of control in poetry is the creation of an establishment and an attendant shadow register of poets who refuse to comply with the poetry industry. If you wish to submit to this site, you can contact me via this page.

As a working writer I have located a lack in the Irish cultural narrative, the woman poet’s voice is minimized, is not adequately reviewed, nor is it very audible. This unacceptable state of affairs extends into the anthologizing, indexing, academic citations of, and current critical approaches to her work.  There are two indices on this site dedicated to increasing the visibility of women poets, aIndex Of Women Poets is devoted to women poets from many countries. While Contemporary Irish Women Poets represents an ongoing attempt to index contemporary women poets from Ireland. 

This blog goes a small way toward sharing the writing talents of historical and contemporary women poets. Billy Mills’ blog Elliptical Movements carries An Irish Women Poets Category which is concerned in publishing the work of some earlier Irish women poets. I think that it will be of interest to my regular readers. I recommend this interview on Freda Laughton and Irish mid-century women poets which looks closely at how Irish thinkers have created absence in the Irish Literary Canon. Cultural narratives are entirely subjective. In Ireland, cultural narratives have mistrusted modernism and experimentalism. An unending line of clone poetry reflects an industry that is conservative both root and branch.

About A Saturday Woman Poet

For the past eight years I have carried a feature on Poethead called A Saturday Woman Poet, which I started after a popular newspaper distributed a series of modern poets as a giveaway idea. The series included but one woman poet, Sylvia Plath. There has been little emphasis on poets working in translation, in editing, nor indeed in the sound and visual formats. 

The editors’ categories on the Poethead blog are relatively new and include references to the funding and editing of women editors and translators. My posts and articles are about the women editors who have brought such writers as Simone Weil, Julian of Norwich, Dante and others to a contemporary audience. The list of women editors mentioned in the blog include, Eavan Boland, Cate Marvin, Marion Glasscoe, Dorothy L. Sayers and Joan Dargan, to name but a few.

Poethead carries links to the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights and to UBUWEB, both are concerned in the issue of the poet’s voice, the dissemination of literature and in the intellectual rights of writers to the ownership  of their own work. I like sites such as Jacket 2 , Nomadics , Poetry Ireland Guernica  and Harriet and I frequently link to them.

About Copyright and CC-Licenses on Poethead.

Copyright of individual poems published on this blog remains with the author and/or translator of the work. The Poethead blog uses cc-licenses to identify this blog owner’s right to ownership of the blog and to the original works published herein. These works include original poems, critiques, reviews and essays by C. Murray. Most of those CC-Licenced poems are previously published in Irish Journals or in online magazines.

About Christine E. Murray


s200_christine_elizabeth.murrayChristine Murray is an Irish born poet and writer, a graduate of Art History and English Literature (UCD) and a City and Guilds qualified restoration stonecutter (OPW/ Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland).

Her chapbook Three Red Things was published by Smithereens Press in June 2013. A collection of poems Cycles was published by Lapwing Press in Autumn 2013. A dark tale The Blind was published by Oneiros Books late in 2013. Her second book length poem She was published in Spring 2014 (Oneiros Books). A chapbook Signature was published in March 2014 by Bone Orchard Press.

Her poetry is published in the The Southword Journal, Crannóg Magazine, A New Ulster Magazine, Caper Literary Journal, Ditch Poetry, Bone Orchard Poetry, Levure littéraire, Recours au Poème Magazine, and WomenArts Quarterly Journal.


14 thoughts on “About Poethead

  1. C. Murray Post author

    Thanks very much Anne, its great to have so many visits. As I have said before now, my search engine terms are often based in a line or a wisp of poetic image. More people than ever are looking for women poets and their works. It would be nice to see that reflected in editorial choices in book reviews and in the newspaper poems. Instead, I find that editors are remiss, and tend to neglect women poets in favour of a handful of failsafe options in contemporary literature.

    I wonder how some of our poets feel about the invisibility of their female contemporaries ? _Do they notice_


  2. patjourdan

    So glad to have found your blog;don’t know how it happened! Somewhere among the heap of papers here I’ve a piece about Irish women poets and their rarity value(?) Will send it, when found.

  3. C. Murray Post author

    Sounds good ! I believe that visibility of women poets in some countries (and not alone Ireland) is an issue of neglect: in citation, in prioritisation, in identification, and in inability to understand women poets’ use of image and symbol.

    How that is addressed is entirely up to the poets who do not see their female contemporaries’ value. I am interested in why male poets do not question the invisibility of women writers, and I assume that the problem is based in ego. That being a vaguely hopeful assumption.

  4. Nomzi Kumalo

    What a great blog to find! As for the ego situation…Sigh…Well, as women we must change things ourselves I think. I am busy writing poetry myself. Do please pop in should you get the chance.

Thanks for Commenting on Poethead :-)

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s