Poems Between Women: Four Centuries of Love, Romantic Friendship, and Desire

Overview

The collection Poems Between Women explores many facets of female-female relationships in poems not only about love or affection between or inspired by women but also about the moments that complicate and call into question the nature of sexuality and intimacy between women. Including women married and single, young and old, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual, the anthology covers historical development and changing mores through the seventeenth century, after the Restoration of Charles II, a time of relative ...
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Overview

The collection Poems Between Women explores many facets of female-female relationships in poems not only about love or affection between or inspired by women but also about the moments that complicate and call into question the nature of sexuality and intimacy between women. Including women married and single, young and old, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual, the anthology covers historical development and changing mores through the seventeenth century, after the Restoration of Charles II, a time of relative freedom for women; the eighteenth century, when the cult of romantic friendship reached its peak; the nineteenth century, when women writers wrote about issues of same-sex desire indirectly and explored complex issues such as death in tones of weariness and resignation; and the twentieth century, when poets began to engage in more overt explorations of women's bodies, sensuality, and lovemaking. Emma Donoghue's introduction deftly guides readers into the rich tradition of women's poetry in English, exploring the relationships between poets and their muses and poets and their cultures. Poems Between Women is testimony not only to the recurring theme of the unique bonds among women but also to the universality of love, friendship, and creativity.

1998 Lambda Literary Awards, spirituality/religion category

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune

Poets from the last 400 years contribute to this rich anthology of women's love poetry, which includes works from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich. This collection, revealing secrets, longings and startling friendships, is an eloquent tribute to love shared by women.

San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle

Dazzling in its range and scope, [ Poems Between Women] places in sharp focus the matrix of women's lives, socially and emotionally, over four centuries....Outstanding.

Chicago Tribune
Poets from the last 400 years contribute to this rich anthology of women's love poetry, which includes works from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich. This collection, revealing secrets, longings and startling friendships, is an eloquent tribute to love shared by women.
San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
Dazzling in its range and scope, [Poems Between Women] places in sharp focus the matrix of women´s lives, socially and emotionally, over four centuries....Outstanding.
Chicago Tribune
An eloquent tribute to love shared by women.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue is a novelist, playwright, and author of Passions Between Women: British Lesbian Culture 1668-1701. Her short stories have appeared in The Penguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories and The Oxford Book of Historical Stories.

Columbia University Press

Biography

Emma Donoghue is an award-winning Irish writer who lives in Canada. At 34, she has published six books of fiction, two works of literary history, two anthologies, and two plays.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, on 24 October 1969, Emma is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten. In 1990 she earned a first-class honours B.A. in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a Ph.D. (on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth-century English fiction) from the University of Cambridge. Since the age of 23, Donoghue has earned her living as a full-time writer. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 she settled in London, Ontario, where she lives with her lover and their son.

Biography courtesy of the author's official web site.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Donoghue

"The youngest of eight children, I would never have been conceived if a papal bull hadn't guilt-tripped my poor mother into flushing her pills down the toilet.

"The nearest I've ever got to 'honest toil' was a chambermaiding job in Wildwood, New Jersey, at the age of 18. I got fired for my 'low bathroom standards.' "

"My lover and I have a one-year-old son called Finn, whose favorite thing is to rip books out of my hands and eat them.

"I am clumsy, a late and nervous driver, and despise all sports except a little gentle dancing or yoga.

"I have never been depressed or thrown a plate, which I attribute to the cathartic effects of writing books about people whose lives are more grueling than mine.

"I am completely unobservant and couldn't tell you how many windows there are in our living room.

"I would be miserable in beige; I mostly wear red, purple, and black.

"The way to my heart is through Belgian milk chocolate.

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    1. Hometown:
      London, England and Ontario, Canada
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 24, 1969
    2. Place of Birth:
      Dublin, Ireland
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English and French, University College Dublin, 1990; Ph.D. in English, University of Cambridge, 1998
    2. Website:

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