‘Where are ye now?’ – after @FiredIrishPoets – name checks and notes

Picking up from a conversation from the inspiring ‘Fired’ event that took place on Friday night (14 September, Aspects, Bangor) where tracing the names and work of those Irish women poets of the previous generation was discussed, I am writing this post to name check and link to those poets who were read, and the contemporary poets who read  both these and their own work.

I chanced on the (not-Irish) poet Lorine Niedecker through a throw-away comment on wikipedia, or some such site, that she was the one woman poet associated with Objectivist movement. I was lucky enough to be able to find enough of her work freely available via internet search to know this was a voice I needed to know more about in the context of my own writing. It took some years before I was able to get a fuller sense of her work and contribution.

It’s my belief – hence this post – that the more name checks and links there are on the WWW, the more there will be an e-trail to the poets of the country of our imagination, whether sharing or not, geographical territory.

For a compendium of women poets, a first port of call is POETHEAD.

In order of appearance on the night:

Maria McManus read a piece of her own and two by Rhoda Coghill

I (Olive Broderick) read a piece of my own and two by Lorine Niedecker (US)

Amy Wyatt Rafterty read a piece of her own and two by Alice Milligan

Gaynor Kane  (see also Women Aloud NI) read a piece of her own and two by Katherine Tynan 

Chris Murray (Poethead) read a piece of her own and two by Frieda Laughton

Katie O’Donovan read a piece of her own and two by Eithne Strong

This was followed by a panel discussion featuring poet Katie Donovan, Chris Murray of Poethead and academic Alex Pryce, introduced and chaired by Dr Lucy Collins (University College Dublin) author of Poetry by Women in Ireland 1870-1970: A Critical Anthology (2012).

Thanks to Moyra Donaldson for organising this particular event, and Aspects Festival for hosting it.

Note: A trail of breadcrumbs and ‘caveat googler’

A person can while away many a happy hour in the grip of a good internet search. The good news is, for those of us out of the realm of inter-library networks, you can get information readily enough. But you do need to approach what you find with an enthusiastic kind caution.  I like wikipedia but, when in the grip of a subject, I like to read pretty much anything at all I can find on that subject (it is no wonder my eyesight is in the state it is). The net result is generally a useful kind of confusion, rather than a limited kind of certainty.  It’s this delicate balance between reliable information and one-stop-shops (of which I am a bit nervous). While approaching with caution, the more searching that’s done, the more the search engines will produce results – this is my thinking here.





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