There are not enough portrayals of working class females in literature. What there are, often tend to be of escape from a repressive class or one of discrimination when trying to be part of another. I was therefore struck by the title of Liz Lochhead’s poem, “Photograph, Art Student, Female, Working Class“. It is both intriguing and to the point, which I think always makes for a good title for a poem.
I don’t think the poem is wholly based upon the model, Twiggy (she was 17 in 1966, not 18, was dubbed the ‘face of 66’, but didn’t go to art school), but in some ways that doesn’t matter; the young woman in question represents many from her background at the dawn of women’s liberation in the 1960s. The poem was written for Carol Ann Duffy‘s Jubilee Lines anthology. where 60 poets wrote a poem for each year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; Liz’s year, whether chosen by her or not, was 1966. (more…)