Tackling the catastrophic canonical neglect of Irish women poets and writers
(published Irish Times 27/092019)
Faced with the catastrophic canonical neglect of Irish women poets and writers in very real terms, there are many responses. Those of interrogation, of anger, of reclamation and of healing. These responses have all occurred, are continuing to occur among women writers across literary genres.
In her article, A profound deafness to the female voice (The Irish Times, April 18th, 2018), Sinéad Gleeson examines our responses as the women who have been left to reclaim our narrative heritages. Once again, it is up to women to use their time to respond, to do the corrective work of calling out male editors, and how this eats up their creative time, steering the focus away from their own work.
Re-reading Gleeson’s article, I was struck by the above because of the truth of her statement. In the almost two years since the publication of The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets (2017) a melt of activity has occurred. Fired! Irish Women Poets was part of a response to that othering of women poets but it fed into other meetings, voices and attempts to work out, to formulate responses to a neglect and omission that appears endemic in Irish literature.
(read more here)