Tackling the catastrophic canonical neglect of Irish women poets and writers

‘We need the voices of women in our national cultural narrative’

Maureen Kennelly, Director of Poetry Ireland, which has tackled gender imbalance under its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2020. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Maureen Kennelly, Director of Poetry Ireland, which has tackled gender imbalance under its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2020. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Faced with the catastrophic canonical neglect of Irish women poets and writers in very real terms, there are many responses. Those of interrogation, of anger, of reclamation and of healing. These responses have all occurred, are continuing to occur among women writers across literary genres.

In her article, A profound deafness to the female voice (The Irish Times, April 18th, 2018), Sinéad Gleeson examines our responses as the women who have been left to reclaim our narrative heritages. Once again, it is up to women to use their time to respond, to do the corrective work of calling out male editors, and how this eats up their creative time, steering the focus away from their own work.

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