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Irish Poetry | Anthologies

The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry, 1967-2000

Poetry from Eavan Boland, Eiléan N' Chuilleanáin, Medbh McGuckian, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Rita Ann Higgins, Paula Meehan, Mary O'Malley, Kerry Hardie, and Moya Cannon. Selected and edited by Peggy O'Brien

"[T]his collection is one of the first proofs that Irish women poets have collectively emerged from the shadows of their brothers — and that they have been on the cutting edge of poetry in Ireland for some years." The Women's Review of Books

"Editor Peggy O'Brien brings us a germinal anthology of Irish women poets' work of the last thirty years. She has taken the bold step of choosing only nine poets, all born in the 1940s and '50s, beginning with Eavan Boland, (whose work, along with Heaney's has become synonymous with Irish poetry in the United States,) and continuing through poets known to smaller but passionate audiences, or only beginning to be known, representing each one by a selection often equivalent to a slim volume, but a volume spanning years of development and achievement. … This anthology is a treasure for any reader, and essential for students of Irish literature, of women's writing, and of contemporary poetry in general." Marilyn Hacker, author of Selected Poems: 1965-1990 and of Squares and Courtyards: Poems

"With rich selections from such superb contemporary poets as Eavan Boland, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and Paula Meehan, as well as a luminously intelligent introduction by Peggy O'Brien, The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women's Poetry is indeed a book of wonders, proving that Yeats's daughters and granddaughters are the keepers of a flourishing female literary tradition." Sandra Gilbert, co-author of The Madwoman in the Attic and co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women

From Moya Cannon


Why does it affect
and comfort me
that little scar
where, years ago, you cut your lip
shaving when half drunk
and in a hurry
to play drums in public.

We step now
to rhythms we don't own or understand,
and, with blind, dog-like diligence,
we hunt for scars
in tender places.

1999   314 pages  
Selected and edited by Peggy O'Brien
ISBN 978-0-916390-88-4

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