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Irish Women Writers (Irish Studies)


Literary Anthologies

This guide points researchers to material that is valuable for research into Irish Women Writers.


 A select list of literary anthologies that focus on the writing of Irish women. There are more general anthologies that include women writers on the Irish Literature and Language Research Guide.

Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Irish women's writing and traditions. Cork, Ireland: Cork University Press in association with Field Day; [New York]: New York University Press, 2002. (O'Neill Library: Reserve PB1421 .F54 2002; Burns Library: PB1345 .F53 2002 IRISH; PB1345 .F53 2002 REF)Published as vols. 4-5 of the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, these volumes aim 'to bring together a substantial body of written documents produced by and about women since writing began in Ireland.' (IV: xxxii).

GRAIL, The Galway Resource for Anglo-Irish Literature. Dublin: European Micropublishing Services, 1988. (O'Neill Library: Microforms PR8833.G724x 1988)Full texts of 19th century Anglo-Irish literary works. All 545 titles in this series can be searched by author or title in Holmes.

Kelly, A.A., ed. Pillars of the House: an Anthology of Verse of Irish Women from 1690 to the Present. Dublin: Wolfhound, 1987 (O'Neill Library: PR8853.P54x 1987)Introduction states "This first anthology of Irish women's poetry should enable the reader to follow chronologically the development of such poetry during the past two hundred and fifty years, and to look at ways in which women's poetry reflects Irish social and political history."  Many other anthologies are discussed in the introduction.  Entries are listed chronologically and include brief biographical essays, which include mention of major works and, in some cases, journals in which poetry was published. 

McCarthy, Justin, editor-in-chief  Irish Literature .  Philadelphia: J.D. Morris & Company, 1904. (O'Neill Library: PR8833.M3 10 vol.; Kenny Cottle: PR8833.M12@190653-190660 (vol. 1-7 & vol. 9))Editor-in-Chief, Justin McCarthy states, “The object of this library of ‘IRISH LITERATURE’ is to give the readers of all countries what I may describe as an illustrated catalogue of Ireland’s literary contributions to mankind’s intellectual stores.” The anthology spans a timeframe “from the dim and distant days of myth and legend to the opening of the present century.” (Introduction p. xvi) Pre-eminent literary figures contributed to the entries in the ten-volume set. George Russell (A.E), Douglas Hyde and William Butler Yeats are just three. Entries are arranged alphabetically and include biographies, literary criticisms and complete bibliographies. The work includes twelve special articles by notable Irish scholars and writers and includes topics such as “Irish Novels”, “Irish Fairy and folk Tales,” and “The Irish Theatre.”

Ni Dhuibhne, Eilis, ed.  Voices on the Wind: Women Poets of the Celtic Twilight. Dublin: New Island Books, 1995. (O'Neill Library PR8853.V65 1995) Introduction includes a definition and discussion of the Irish Literary Revival.  The anthology includes six women poets, brief biographical entries and details on major works, themes, careers.

Weekes, Ann Owens. Unveiling Treasures : The Attic Guide to the Published Works of Irish Women Literary Writers : Drama, Fiction, Poetry. Dublin: Attic Press, 1993. (O'Neill Library PR8733.W33x 1993) Offers biographical, critical, and bibliographical information.

Read, Charles A. The Cabinet of Irish Literature: Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators, and Prose Writers of Ireland: with Biographical Sketches and Literary Notices. New York: P. Murphy, 1903. (O'Neill Library PR8833.R4; Burns PR8833.C3 1902; Burns PR8833.R4 1880) Offers biographies, samples of contemporary literary criticism and selections from authors’ works. Four volumes are arranged chronologically with the fourth volume covering the period 1800-1880.

Smythe, Ailbhe. Wildish Things: an Anthology of New Irish Women's Writing. Dublin: Attic Press, 1989. (O'Neill Library PR8836.W6W54 1989) Features  work of thirty of Ireland's contemporary women writers.