Poetry Centre

Episode 2: Sisters in Verse

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    This episode features the keynote panel discussion from the ‘Sisters in Verse’ symposium at Oxford University in association with the Poetry Centre, which took place on 9 March 2012. This event is one in a series organized by the Postgraduate Contemporary Women's Writing Network ( http://pgcwwn.wordpress.com/). The discussion was chaired by Alex Pryce and the panelists were Kate Clanchy, Jane Yeh, and Sophie Mayer. You can see a list of the contents of the discussion below with timings.

    Some highlights from the discussion:

    Jane Yeh: 'As a writer, or an artist of any kind, I think I don't like the idea of people using that term [woman poet] in a reductive way, which I think still can happen, although much less so, I would say, than in the past.'

    Sophie Mayer: '[T]his idea, that we might think of [Rainer Maria] Rilke as being a woman poet or someone like Keats, who wrote a lot about affect and died from being a carer, as being a woman poet; I quite like that idea too.'

    Kate Clanchy: 'When I was reading poetry when I was young, I always thought of it as being by men about women, always. I didn't know there were women poets. I went to [Oxford University] and I thought there was only Sylvia Plath and then you died.'

    Contents of the podcast by subject and time:

    1. podcasts_episode2_JaneYeh_jpgIntroduction to the podcast by Anna Hewitt: 0-1.23.
    2. Introduction of the poets by the chair of the panel discussion, Alex Pryce: 1.24-3.22.
    3. Questions of self-definition: would you describe yourselves as women poets?: 3.23-7.50.
    4. Issues around women-only poetry anthologies; poetry as a gendered field; the gender of the poetic voice: 7.51-14.08.
    5. Women as the objects of poems not subjects, : 14.10-21.00.
    6. Influences: how does gender affect which writers influence you?: 21.01-26.48.
    7. Why are there so few critical works by men about women writers?: 26.44-29.31.
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    9. How has your experience of being a woman poet changed within your lifetime?; what kinds of subjects are still not perceived acceptable for poetry?: 29.32-37.38.
    10. What is Kate Clanchy's relationship to poetry now?: 37.33-39.41.
    11. Do women poets have a sense of 'sisterhood'?: 39.42-40.58.
    12. What will post-millennial poetry be known for?; how do you think women's poetry will progress over the next fifty years?: 40.59-43.24.
    13. Conclusion by Alex Pryce and podcast conclusion by Anna Hewitt: 43.25-44.07.