This paper examines how the contemporary Irish poet, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, is destabilizing traditional notions of the masculine and feminine. Female Irish writers have been suppressed and silenced by a strong patriarchal society and it is interesting to study how Ni Dhomhnaill uses vivid masculine imagery to delineate new boundaries within the institutionalized male/female construction. The two works that I explore, “Nude” and “A God Shows Up,” represent her complex journey toward a strong feminine voice.

Author Biography

Margaret Garry Burke is an Assistant Professor of Reference and Instruction at Hofstra University in New York. In addition to her Master of Library and Information Science degree, Professor Burke holds a Master in Humanities. She is the subject liaison for Women’s Studies and Irish Studies. She has published and presented papers on the poet, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, and has done primary research in Ireland on the social evolution of Irish women. This article is a version of a paper delivered at the International Association of Irish Studies in Prague in 2005.