This article discusses the space that is created when poetry meets the archives, a unique space wherein a poet can use the historical materials found in archives together with her imagination to reconstruct women’s lives and narratives that hitherto have been marginalised or ignored by more traditional historical texts and outlets. The article considers the impulse that occurs when creativity, language, and history meet, and uses the lens of some of Susan Stanford Friedman’s ideas on feminism and history found in her book Mappings. Often, this kind of imaginative rendering takes space, and the use of the women’s long poem in providing a form for this work is also considered. The ideas and work of other poets, such as Jordie Albiston, Susan Howe and Helen Rickerby, further inform the discussion, and two manuscripts by Kimberly K. Williams are analysed and discussed.


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