Gender and Criticism

Michaelmas 2011 is now over and most of the undergraduate students will filter out of Oxford this very weekend. Meanwhile, I’m still working hard on this chapter draft. The Christmas lights at the end of the tunnel are definitely close now though; with over 16,000 words done it should be less than a week before I send this all to my supervisor for comments.

My posts have been sparse this term as I’ve been deep in the mire of poetry criticism for the chapter I unofficially call ‘the gender chapter’. I’m heading back to writing now, so I’ll let one of my thesis poets give a thoughtful approach on my behalf:

‘Gender seems to matter far more in how poetry is criticised. Publishing has opened up, thankfully, but criticism seems to find change harder. Male poets are usually criticised in relation to the canon whereas women poets are often discussed as working in a vacuum’

Colette Bryce, In the Chair: Interviews with Poets from the North of Ireland ed. John Brown (Salmon, 2002), p.319.

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