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, UCB
The analysis is judiciously balanced and always insightful; the reader’s attention is consistently rewarded by what is found within these covers.