Elles is the first bilingual anthology of its kind. It introduces English-speaking readers to some of the best French poetry written by women over the last twenty years. Martin Sorrell has chosen a selection of work from seventeen distinctive and diverse poets, and provided lively facing-page verse translations, poems in their own right, alongside the originals.
Martin Sorrell's Introduction situates the poets in their context and discusses the issues which confronted him as compiler and translator, not least as a man responding to creative work written by women. Each poet introduces herself with an essay on her conception of poetry and her own position as a writer. These biographical pieces are published in French and in an English translation. There is also a selected bibliography for each poet.
The Afterword, by Jacqueline Chénieux-Gendron - Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, and a leading specialist in modern French literature - is also published in French and in an English translation. The poets represented in ELLES are Marie-Claire Bancquart, Christiane Baroche, Geneviève Bon, Claude de Burine, Andrée Chedid, Louise Herlin, Jeanne Hyvrard, Leslie Kaplan, Josée Lapeyrère, Jo-Ann Léon, Anne Portugal, Gisèle Prassinos, Jacqueline Risset, Amina Saïd, Sylvia Baron Supervielle, Marguerite Yourcenar, Céline Zins