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This book calls for a new approach to poetry criticism. Eighteen brilliant essays offer challenging new theoretical approaches by examining the work of twentieth-century women poets. Poets covered include the most famous - Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Jackie Kay, Liz Lochhead, Grace Nichols, Eavan Boland - and the more neglected such as Una Marson, Jean Binta Breeze, Lorine Niedecker and Denise Riley. The essays are grouped into six sections: women poets and modernism; the politics of place; (post)colonial contexts; the body; radical poetics; and reconfigurations; and within these areas, war poetry, Caribbean, Irish and Scottish women's poetry, birth poetry and science poetry are also discussed.