When exploring the relationship between her Irish ancestry and her creativity, Roxanne learned that women’s poetry in Ireland was largely obliterated from the literary canon and missing from the archives. Early Irish poetry was often anonymous, and scholars presumed this indicated male authorship even when written with a female persona. However, while women’s poetry may have, as Mary N Harris says, gone ‘unnoticed and unpublished’, the lack of archival evidence does not indicate that women were not composing poetry and an increasing body of academic research supports this argument. The mythological collection makes significant references to female poets, and oral poetry such as the lullaby and the lament commonly went unrecorded. Irish poets, including Eavan Boland and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, demonstrate that contemporary poetry can bridge the gap where female poets were actively written out of history to a new understanding of the importance of their contribution.
Reimagining the Archive
Where did women's poetry go in Ireland?