British Lesbian Poetics: A Brief Exploration

Research paper by Liz Yorke

Indexed on: 01 Jun '99Published on: 01 Jun '99Published in: Feminist Review


In a post-feminist, post-lesbian feminist, postmodern or queer world, should lesbian work remain clearly identifiable, even when it refuses to claim lesbian identity as such? Scanning anthologies from the past three decades of lesbian poetry, and focusing particularly on the work of Maureen Duffy, Marge Yeo, Dorothea Smartt, Gillian Spraggs and Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Yorke addresses issues of lesbian visibility, lesbian identification, lesbian desire, and lesbian performativity. How do we identify what constitutes a lesbian poetic in an era when ‘lesbian’ as an identity is less overtly defended, and many anthologies gloss over lesbian difference in prioritizing a higher order dedication to theme?