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Fired! Pressbook 2018-2018


About Fired! Irish Women Poets

The Pledge represents a convergence of practising women poets and academics who are responding to the publication of The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets earlier this year. A group of contemporary poets have joined together to create reading events, online discussion, and most importantly a pledge which everyone is welcome to sign. 


Lagan Online

Arena 14th December 2017

VIDA 17th December 2017


Report from the Field: Poets on Strike, Irish Women Poets and the Canon


Scoop IT


Irish Times 

A prosaic lack of women in the Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets

Selected poets and their work ‘alive and present to the reader’, Gerald Dawe reflects on his editing of ‘The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets’ (2017)

The Guardian 12/01/2018

A tipping point’: women writers pledge to boycott gender biased books after very male anthology


Cork Evening Echo 22/01/2018

Making a stand for female poets in Ireland

BBC, The Front Row

The Honest Ulsterman

The White Blackbird; The Marginalisation of Irish Women Poets from Literary Magazines During the 1980s by Laura Loftus 

The Blue Nib

Fired! Events

Crescent Arts Centre 18th November 2017

Barcelona  18th January 2018

O’Bheal, Cork 22 January 2018

Highfalutin’ at the Liquor Rooms

Last night’s reading went really well. The audience were so receptive to the FIRED! movement and Susan Mitchell went down a bomb. As I read her work, I asked the audience to imagine how different our experience of poetry in school would have been, if we’d had strong female Irish poets to inspire us (Soundings, the text we used, had only ONE female poet out of twenty two, and that was Emily Dickinson). One of our musicians, Johnny, came up afterwards and said that he had a copy of Soundings that he carried in his car all the time, and he’d never noticed that there was only one female poet, and it made him very sad to think that fact had eluded him.

The upshot was there was a lot of discussion after the readings about the movement, and Karen McDonnell, A Clare poet, was telling us about an event in Ennis where seven female poets will be reading, and she’s going to read the work of Eve Gore Booth. And someone I’d never met before came up and said that she teaches international students and is going to include the work of Susan Mitchell as part of their introduction to Irish Literature. I was telling them about your hashtag #hedgeschool and they loved the idea of it.


HighFalutin at The Liquor Rooms
with thanks to Maria McManus for compiling this list


The field of what is signified is consistently bare until such a time that women writers are deemed significant for what is being written about is forgetful and/or repressive, before it begins, of what it is being left out. This is a terrible loss for everyone and a terrible exclusion for those women who are not included. At the heart of this lies much of the imbalance within our cultural psyche and indeed within much of the established writing which extols itself without addressing the greater absence it’s own presence conceals. Here’s to anything that seeks to end this enforced and absolutely conscious act of censorship. Brendan McCormack

Read, agreed and signed. Mark Andresen

Signed and shared an important pledge. Jackie Gorman

For years, I have waited for a response to the diminishment and disregard for literature from Irish women. It is systemic. It is patriarchal. It privileges male commentators and writers and quietly seeks to ignore writing from women. This is most insidious in anthologies. Mary O’Donnell

Very glad to be part of this important moment. Moyra Donaldson

‘We call on scholars, editors and publishers to attend to diversity in Irish poetry, in all its dimensions’. Elaine Feeney

I promise to help ensure that Irish women poets and their poetry are no longer forgotten. Laura Loftus

‘Áit liom bean bheith ina file’, a dúirt an fearfhile fadó. Ní hait ach iontach. Réaltán Ní Leannáin

The absence of so many great poets undermines the Cambridge Companion. How can someone of the stature of Paula Meehan be overlooked? Annette Skade

The situation regarding recognition of the contribution women have made in all spheres of life, not just literature, is ridiculous. Why are we not recognised? Why do men continually overestimate their own abilities and fail to recognise us? Congratulations on starting this pledge. Doreen McBride

This casual misogyny needs a serious amount of attention drawn to it; as an active member of Women Aloud NI who’s been involved in cross-border projects, I’ve become aware of the ferociously talented women writers (playwrights, poets, novelists, screenwriters and short story writers) who populate this island. And they’re good! Damn good. This is not a frustrated plea to accept mediocre work simply in order to redress the notion of equality. This kind of publication does not reflect the talent, the passion and the sheer number of accomplished women poets in Ireland today. Anne McMaster


3 thoughts on “Fired! Pressbook 2018-2018

  1. It’s as plain as the proverbial nose on our face – the more balanced, inclusive and diverse the range of poetic voices heard and celebrated, the richer Irish poetry is for everyone. Simple.


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