Thursday, July 1, 2010

Does Gallimard Publish Women Poets?

Yesterday's presentation of the conference volume Voi(es)xde l'autre: Poètes femmes XIXe-XXIe siècles (Presses Universitaires Blaise Pascal, 2010) at the Librairie Wallonie-Bruxelles (Paris) was a joyful event. Patricia Godi-Tkatchouk, the editor, gave a synopsis of the book and the conference in Clermont-Ferrand that preceded it. This was followed by brief poetry readings from many of the poets included in the 52 page anthology that ends the volume ("Complainte de l'escargot" by Claire Malroux: "bavant des mots comme l'argent de personne"). The discussion period was also lively, as these photos demonstrate.
Apparently, the gossip about Gallimard Press is that it does not really desire to publish women poets. My own observation is that the otherwise excellent Anthologie bilingue de la Poésie Anglaise (Pléïade) includes only three women representing poetic creation after 1960, whereas the explosion of talented women poets writing during this period would demand a much larger contingent.
Marilyn Hacker lamented that there have been few anthologies of women's poetry published in France, although numerous volumes of this kind exist in the USA and in Great Britain. Until now, anthologies of women writing poetry in French have apparently been published in Canada more than in France...

Marie-Claire Bancquart (ed.), Couleurs femmes: Poèmes de 57 femmes (Le Castor Astral, 2010).
Christine Planté (ed.), Femmes poètes du XIXe siècle: Une anthologie (PUL, 2010).
Erhan Turgut (ed.), Voix de femmes. Anthologie de femmes poètes et photographes du monde(Turquoise Editions, 2010).
Nicole Brossard (ed.), Anthologie : De la poésie des femmes au Québec des origines à nos jours (Rémue-Ménage, 2005).
Conseil international des femmes, Anthologie de la poésie féminine mondiale (Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 1973).