Making for Planet Alice: New Women Poets

Maura Dooley, Editor Bloodaxe Books $19.95 (174p) ISBN 978-1-85224-398-2
Dooley has assembled an exciting, alphabetically arranged introduction to 30 women poets currently living in England, Ireland and Scotland, all of whom have had either a first or second collection of poetry published in the 1990s with British presses such as Bloodaxe, Carcanet, Oxford and Faber. Although Dooley, also a poet, admits that yet another anthology of women poets won't immediately grab the attention of readers looking for novelty, the vivid and strong poems she chooses justify her labors. The work isn't limited to stereotypical women's experience or to the realm of domestic experience--""blood, babies, the moon and jam-making"" as Dooley calls it in her tart introduction. Instead, the volume gives us one intense, personal and intelligent psychic landscape after another. Very short bios introduce each poet, mentioning age, residence, occupation, awards and major poetic themes. Look closely at the formalists Eleanor Brown, Sophie Hannah and Gwyneth Lewis, and make special note of the imaginative lyricism of Jane Duran, Lavinia Greenlaw, Tracey Herd and Deryn Rees-Jones. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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