Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Women Versed in Myth - new publication

I am very pleased to announce the publication of the book Women Versed in Myth: Essays on Modern Women Poets, edited by Colleen S. Harris-Keith and Valerie Estelle Frankel, and published by McFarland. The volume examines women's poetic responses to myth from scholarly, creative and teaching perspectives.  I have a chapter in the book, entitled "Reimagining Myth and the Maternal with Ruth Fainlight, Margaret Atwood and Katie Donovan". 

I was particularly happy to have the opportunity to research and write on three female poets whose work I very much admire:  the Canadian poet and author Margaret Atwood, the British/American poet Ruth Fainlight, and the Irish poet Katie Donovan.  They are very different poets, yet all three offer rich and complicated treatments of mythology in their work, and my chapter proposes ways of reading these multi-faceted representations from feminist and maternal perspectives.

I have a long-standing interest in women's poetry which I have also published on previously.  My chapter in Women Versed in Myth examines the myriad ways in which women have creatively reimagined mythology and reclaimed female figures in order to explore hitherto marginalised or ignored dimensions of women's experience and to energise poetic language and form.  The chapter furthermore contains a section on maternal perspectives and uses of mythic mother figures in Fainlight, Atwood and Donovan.  In her introduction to the volume, Valerie Frankel states that in my chapter, I examine "reimaginings through the European tradition, as Ruth Fainlight recreates the sibyl as writer and katie Donovan tackles gender politics for the Irish Queen Medb and violated goddess Macha."

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