Women's Poetry

Women's Poetry

Women's Poetry

Women's Poetry

Synopsis

This guide examines the production and reception of poetry by a range of women writers - predominantly although not exclusively writing in English - from Sappho through Anne Bradstreet and Emily Bronte to Sylvia Plath, Eavan Boland and Susan Howe. Women's Poetry offers a thoroughgoing thematic study of key texts, poets and issues, analysing commonalities and differences across diverse writers, periods, and forms. The book is alert, throughout, to the diversity of women's poetry. Close readings of selected texts are combined with a discussion of key theories and critical practices, and students are encouraged to think about women's poetry in the light of debates about race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and regional and national identity. The book opens with a chronology followed by a comprehensive Introduction which outlines various approaches to reading women's poetry. Seven chapters follow, and a Conclusion and section of useful resources close the book. Key Features
• Wide-ranging and flexible in scope, giving detailed consideration to widely-taught poets, texts, periods and issues
• Introduces themes, questions and perspectives applicable to the work of other less familiar writers
• Encourages informed discussion of the difficulties of defining a discrete genre of 'women's poetry'• Offers valuable introductory and supplementary guidance for students
• Discusses in detail poems by Margaret Cavendish, Anne Bradstreet, Sara Coleridge, Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, Edith Sitwell, Amy Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Ruth Fainlight, Grace Nicholls, Eavan Boland, Kathleen Jamie, Jackie Kay and Carol Ann Duffy.

Excerpt

The study of English literature in the early twenty-first century is host to an exhilarating range of critical approaches, theories and historical perspectives. 'English' ranges from traditional modes of study such as Shakespeare and Romanticism to popular interest in national and area literatures such as the United States, Ireland and the Caribbean. The subject also spans a diverse array of genres from tragedy to cyberpunk, incorporates such hybrid fields of study as Asian American literature, Black British literature, creative writing and literary adaptations, and remains eclectic in its methodology.

Such diversity is cause for both celebration and consternation. English is varied enough to promise enrichment and enjoyment for all kinds of readers and to challenge preconceptions about what the study of literature might involve. But how are readers to navigate their way through such literary and cultural diversity? And how are students to make sense of the various literary categories and periodisations, such as modernism and the Renaissance, or the proliferating theories of literature, from feminism and Marxism to queer theory and eco-criticism? The Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature series reflects the challenges and pluralities of English today, but at the same time it offers readers clear and accessible routes through the texts, contexts, genres, historical periods, and debates within the subject.

Martin Halliwell and Andy Mousley . . .

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