Supernatural Soundscapes and Interregnum
The term ‘women’s poetry’ implies not only poetry by and for women, but also poetry that is the articulation of women. This explains why women’s poetry is always considered to be representative of something. In Fishing by Obstinate Isles: Modern and Postmodern British Poetry and American Readers (1998), Keith Tuma outlines some of the difficulties of writing about women’s poetry, including the assumption that experimental, feminist and radical can be comfortably dismissed. This chapter offers a reading of Geraldine Monk’s book-length sequence Interregnum, which focuses on the notorious witch trial of 1612 when ten women from the Pendle area of East Lancashire were hung as witches in Lancaster. First published in 1994, Interregnum highlights the relation of language and society to place and time. The chapter explores magic (as performative utterance) and the supernatural (as hauntings and presences) in Monk’s experimental poetry. Finally, it discusses Monk’s recognition of common humanity, emotional geography, other selves and historical echoes in her work.
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