Medbh McGuckian

(2340 words)

With a dozen or so collections of poetry published to widespread critical acclaim, the Northern Irish poet Medbh McGuckian must now be considered among the leading poets of her generation. However, McGuckian’s literary debut was marked by controversy. Her poem “The Flitting,” submitted in 1979 under the pseudonym, Jean Fisher, was awarded the National Poetry Prize, ahead of a well known poet. When it became known that the winner was an Irish housewife, the organisers “rearranged the prize money”. The TLS took up the case, wanting to know whether she received less “ because she was Irish, or Catholic, or a woman, or unknown. ” (1) The challenge facing McGuckian from the outset was to find her place alongside a distinguished …

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Early, Patrick. "Medbh McGuckian". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 September 2004
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]