Alcobia-Murphy, Shane (2012) Medbh McGuckian: The Poetics of Exemplarity, Aberdeen Introductions to Irish and Scottish Culture, Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Culture, pp.202+ viii. ISBN: 978-1-906108-18-2
This is the first monograph wholly devoted to the poetry of Medbh McGuckian and it presents pathways into her work that have thus far remained largely unexplored. The chapters examine the ways in which McGuckian uses literary exemplars to explore the psychodramas of female literary authorship and ways of approaching issues of memory, trauma and elegiac remembrance.
This monograph provides an excellent introduction to McGuckian’s poetry and argues that her work self-reflexively presents a deeply felt belief in the primacy (and efficacy) of poetry in the modern world.