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Contemporary Irish Women PoetsMemory and Estrangement$
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Lucy Collins

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381878

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381878.001.0001

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Medbh McGuckian’s Radical Temporalities

Medbh McGuckian’s Radical Temporalities

(p.139) Chapter Five Medbh McGuckian’s Radical Temporalities
Contemporary Irish Women Poets

Lucy Collins

Liverpool University Press

For McGuckian memory is linked to the presence of multiple subjectivities in her work, and to its movement between private and public positions. This chapter has a three-part structure. The opening section focuses on McGuckian’s first two volumes of poetry, exploring the importance of private memory in constructing intimate spaces. The second part examines McGuckian’s transition to political themes in Shelmalier (1998) and Drawing Ballerinas (2001) – here the dynamics of personal and collective memory are a key consideration. Finally this chapter considers the growing spiritual dimension of McGuckian’s work, exploring the power of symbolism in the construction of meaning. Of primary importance is the changing dynamic between personal and collective memory in McGuckian’s work, and the influence that her intertextual practice has had on this development.

Keywords:   Medbh McGuckian, Cultural Memory, Northern Ireland, Poetry and Poetics, Subjectivity in Poetry, Intertextuality in Poetry

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