Episode 2: Sisters in Verse

Sisters in Verse

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. Introduction 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.
  8. 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.
  9. What is Kate Clanchy's relationship to poetry now?: 37.33-39.41.
  10. Do women poets have a sense of 'sisterhood'?: 39.42-40.58.
  11. 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.
  12. Conclusion by Alex Pryce and podcast conclusion by Anna Hewitt: 43.25-44.07.