Contemporary innovative poetry by women in the UK : Revoicing in the work of Holly Pester, SL Mendoza and Sophie Robinson

Thurston, SD ORCID: 2015, 'Contemporary innovative poetry by women in the UK : Revoicing in the work of Holly Pester, SL Mendoza and Sophie Robinson' , Contemporary Women's Writing, 9 (1) , pp. 53-72.

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Until recently women’s position on the British innovative poetry scene has been difficult to say the least, often risking being “doubly excluded,” as an anonymous writer is quoted in the introduction to Maggie O’Sullivan’s crucial 1996 anthology Out of Everywhere. Thankfully, women’s experimental writing now seems to be in a healthier state than ever, although the refusal of key figures Geraldine Monk and Maggie O’Sullivan to be included in Carrie Etter’s 2010 anthology: Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets, reveals the need to be cautious about the gender label. As Monk and O’Sullivan declared as far back as 1984: ‘the most effective chance any woman has of dismantling the fallacy of male creative supremacy is simply by writing poetry of a kind which is liberating by the breadth of its range and innovation . . . to exploit and realise the full potential and importance of language.’ This article reflects on the risks entailed by identifying poets as ‘women’ poets in its examination of the work of three younger British writers working in the innovative ‘tradition’: Holly Pester, Sophie Robinson and SL Mendoza. The article uses a theoretical approach adapted from David Kennedy and Christine Kennedy’s recent study Women’s Experimental Poetry in Britain 1970-2010 (2013), proposing a modification of their key terms ‘voicing and unvoicing’ to ‘revoicing’.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for English Literature and Language
Journal or Publication Title: Contemporary Women's Writing
Publisher: Oxford Journals
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1754-1476
Related URLs:
Funders: University of Salford
Depositing User: Dr Scott Thurston
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2015 12:40
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 19:01

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