No "Replicas/ Atone": Northern Irish Poetry After the Peace Process

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Abstract

By surveying the work of Leontia Flynn, Miriam Gamble, Alan Gillis, and Sinéad Morrissey, this essay proposes that replication is a defining feature of Northern Irish poetry in the post–peace process era. While “Northern Irish poetry” might be a contested term for a variety of reasons, it is useful here because of the ways these poets struggle with and critique the neoliberal normalization and market-driven homogenization of Northern Irish culture in the aftermath of the Belfast Agreement (Good Friday Agreement). But this poetry also admits complicity with the historical conditions and neoliberal market ideology from which it seeks critical distance, and reflects on its seemingly diminishing authority. In this context replication—syntactical repetition, rhythm, rhyme, quotation, and ready-made stanzaic forms—works as a means of acknowledging poetry’s enmeshment in such structures. Yet replication also features as resistance, and the essay concludes by reading replications in Northern Irish Poetry after the peace process that offer alternatives to the boredom and despair this ideological context might prompt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-229
JournalBoundary 2
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Article for Special Issue on Irish Studies: From Boom to Bust, Edited by Joe Cleary. for boundary 2, 45.1 Spring 2018. 11, 000 words

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