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New Irish Women Poets: The Evolution of (in) Determinacy in Vona Groarke

Catriona Clutterbuck

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199561247
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199561247.013.0039

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

New Irish Women Poets: The Evolution of (in) Determinacy in Vona Groarke

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During the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Ireland was exposed to an era-transforming series of political, economic, and cultural crises, most involving open and often bitter conflict such as the Northern Irish Troubles, major recession and emigration, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the impact of globalisation. A new generation of Irish poets emerged during the 1990s, inheriting an established tradition of both female and male forebears. Yet younger women poets from Medbh McGuckian to Paula Meehan found it especially difficult to claim their foremothers' legacy and develop it on their own terms. For the women poets who have emerged since the mid-1990s, including Vona Groarke, Sinéad Morrissey, and Leontia Flynn, the groundwork of protest regarding gender inequality has already been effected by their foremothers. Their major early focus has been on accessing the freedoms of transcendence and indeterminacy. This chapter argues that the female voice in the Irish poetry tradition reconvenes relations between transcendent vision and sensual material bodily awareness, between free indeterminate existence and grounded subject identity.

Keywords: women poets; Irish poetry; indeterminacy; Vona Groarke; protest; gender inequality; transcendence; bodily awareness

Article.  8395 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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