This Companion provides new ways of reading a wide range of influential women's poetry. Leading international scholars offer insights on a century of writers, drawing out the special function of poetry and the poets' use of language, whether it is concerned with the relationship between verbal and visual art, experimental poetics, war, landscape, history, cultural identity or 'confessional' lyrics. Collectively, the chapters cover well established and less familiar poets, from Edith Sitwell and Mina Loy, through Stevie Smith, Sylvia Plath and Elizabeth Jennings to Anne Stevenson, Eavan Boland and Jo Shapcott. They also include poets at the forefront of poetry trends, such as Liz Lochhead, Jackie Kay, Patience Agbabi, Caroline Bergvall, Medbh McGuckian and Carol Ann Duffy. With a chronology and guide to further reading, this book is aimed at students and poetry enthusiasts wanting to deepen their knowledge of some of the finest modern poets.
This is the only monograph to consider the entire thirty-year career, publications, and influence of Britain's first female poet laureate. It outlines her impact on trends in contemporary poetry and establishes what we mean by 'Duffyesque' concerns and techniques. Discussions of her writing and activities prove how she has championed the relevance of poetry to all areas of contemporary culture and to the life of every human being. Individual chapters discuss the lyrics of 'love, loss, and longing'; the socially motivated poems about the 1980s; the female-centred volumes and poems; the relationship between poetry and public life; and poetry and childhood and written for children. The book should whet the appetite of readers who know little of Duffy's work to find out more, while providing students and scholars with an in-depth analysis of the poems in their contexts. It draws on a wide range of critical works and includes an extensive list of further reading.
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