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Modern Women Poets

Published by Bloodaxe Books

ISBN: 9781852246785

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Modern Women Poets is the companion anthology to Deryn Rees-Jones’s pioneering critical study, Consorting with Angels: Essays on Modern Women Poets. While its selections illuminate and illustrate her essays, Deryn Rees-Jones’s superb anthology works in its own right as the best possible introduction to a whole century of poetry by women.

The anthology draws together the work of women poets from Britain, Ireland and America as one version of a history of women’s poetic writing, while not isolating women’s writing from its intersection with the work of male contemporaries.

Tracing an arc from Charlotte Mew to Stevie Smith, from Sylvia Plath to the writing emerging from the Women’s Movement, and to the more recent work of Medbh McGuckian, Jo Shapcott and Carol Ann Duffy, the anthology draws together the work of women poets from Britain, Ireland and America as one version of a history of women’s poetic writing. It shows important connections between the work of women poets and shows how – throughout past 100 years – they have developed strategies for engaging with a male-dominated tradition.

Modern Women Poets allows the reader to trace women’s negotiations with one another’s work, as well as to reflect more generally on the politics of women’s engagement with history, nature, politics, motherhood, science, religion, the body, sexuality, identity, death, love, and poetry itself.

"She makes her subject matter. It is impossible to read her and remain disengaged, and this is an important achievement."
Jane Griffiths, Times Literary Supplement

"A surprising and substantial anthology."
Faith Lawrence, The Poetry House Magazine

"An excellent, comprehensive survey… the headnotes to each poet are interesting and informative."
Michael Glover, The Independent

Deryn Rees-Jones did doctoral research on women poets at Birkbeck College, and now lectures at Liverpool University. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 1993, and an Arts Council of England Writer’s Award in 1996. She has published three poetry books with Seren, The Memory Tray (1994), which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection; Signs Round a Dead Body (1998), a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation; and Quiver: A Murder Mystery (2004). A pamphlet, Falls and Finds, appeared from Shoestring in 2008. She has also co-edited a book of essays, Contemporary Women’s Poetry: Reading/Writing/Practice (2001), with Alison Mark, and published a monograph, Carol Ann Duffy (2001) in Northcote House’s Writers & Their Work series. Her critical study Consorting with Angels: Essays on Modern Women Poets was published by Bloodaxe in 2005 at the same time as this companion anthology.

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