Laura Loftus

School: English, Drama and Film

Supervisors: Dr Anne Mulhall and Associate Professor Lucy Collins Research

Irish Women Poets, Literary Journals and the Field of Irish Poetry 1980-1992 Marginalisation and Resistance

My PhD focuses on Irish women's poetry during the 1980s, exploring how Irish literary periodicals contributed to the mainstream marginalisation of women's poetry during this period. What makes this dynamic remarkable is that in this same period renowned poets like Boland, Eiléan Ní Chuileanáin, Medbh McGuckian and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill were writing at the height of their creative powers. It was also a period that saw a surge in feminist literary collectives and enterprises, manifest in writers’ workshops, the output of feminist presses such as Attic Press and Arlen House, and in the establishment of the Salmon Press in Galway. The relationship between on the one hand, exclusion from and non-recognition by the mainstream and on the other, perhaps the most important outpouring and organising of poetic endeavour by women poets in Ireland is one that calls for full analysis, both in terms of its historical and literary importance, but also for what it might tell us about the nature of the dynamics of ‘centre’ and ‘margin’ in poetic and other forms of literary and cultural production.


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