Critical women

With Stig Abell and Thea Lenarduzzi – Elizabeth Hardwick, the critic, co-founder of the NYRB, and, yes, stoic wife of Robert Lowell, died ten years ago this month – a new Collected Essays is cause for celebration; Suzannah Lipscomb delves into early modern French court records to tell us about the lives of women at a time when moral crimes were punished by strange rituals of public shaming; Leaf Arbuthnot, one of this year's judges of the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlet Awards, discusses the importance of this playful format, bringing us poems to be read, heard – and sniffed

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