"The feminist movement in Ireland opened doors to publishing for women in an immense way but the opportunity presented was lost in a welter of bad poetry, an uncritical acceptance of anything written by a woman and a fierce resistance to any reviewer who declared (particularly if the reviewer was male) than some work was not up to much . . . What we are left with, sadly, is a welter of 'chick-lit' novels and a sad passion for poems that deal with broken love-affairs and child-birth and deceased grandparents and myths about mermaids and women-who-dance-with-seals."
The latest issue of Poetry Ireland Review has a review by writer Fred Johnston of five recent poetry books which he uses to write a wonderfully opinionated piece in which he takes side swipes at many targets in the world of Irish poetry and publishing. The above quotation from the review is a good example.
(Memo to self: Write no more poems about deceased grandparents.)
It's an interesting issue for other reasons also. There's an interesting article by Tom Duddy in defence of Seamus Heaney and an edited version of a talk given by Belinda McKeon at Poetry Now 2010. A selection of the poems she refers to are printed in the magazine. The last poem in the magazine, by Máiríde Woods, is an hilarious riposte to the much discussed and criticised essay in Poetry Ireland 100 by Maria .Johnston.