Tag: Women’s History

9 Female Poets to Celebrate Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, here are nine contemporary female poets that are making a big impact!

1. Warsan Shire

Even before her poetry was featured in Beyonce’s Lemonade, Warsan Shire has been a poetic super-star with a cult following. Shire’s work centers around feminist issues, race displacement, immigrant and refugee experiences, trauma, and politics. Her most notable works include Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth and Her Blue Body.

 

image via The New Yorker

 

2. Rupi Kaur

Another poetic super-star, Rupi Kaur, initially gained a following through social media. She was one of the forerunners of the Instapoetry movement, sharing her poems along with her own illustrations. Kaur’s work focuses on abuse, femininity, self-care, love, and heartbreak. Kaur’s two books are titled Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers.

 

image via The Michigan Daily

 

3. Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi

Author, trans performance artist, priestess. Amid an impressive and expansive bio, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi has received multiple awards for her work in both literature and the trans community. Her works feature themes of liberation, revolution, love, and healing among others. Her poetic works include Baltimore: A Love Letter, Remains: A Gathering of Bones, The Blood of a Thousand Roots, For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss a Motherf***er Out When Snatching an Edge Ain’t Enough, and Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem.

 

image via theatre washington

 

 

4. Megan Falley

Megan Falley is a queer femme author and powerful slam poet. Her Youtube Channel, where she posts her epic performances, has garnered over a million views and she has been named a National Poetry Slam Finalist and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work focuses on LGBTQ issues, sex and body positvitiy, sexism, homophobia, and love. Some of her notable works include After the Witch Hunt, Drive Here and Devastate Me, Bad Girls Honey (Poems About Lana Del Rey).

 

image via meganfalley.com

 

5. Elizabeth Alexander

An American poet, essayist, and playwright, Elizabeth Alexander is well known for her poem Praise Song for the Day, which was written and performed by the poet for President Barack Obama’s 2009 presidential inauguration. Alexander’s most notable poetic works include The Venus Hottentot, Body of Life, Antebellum Dream Book, and American Sublime.

 

image via Elizabeth Alexander

 

6. Evie shockley

Evie Shockley is somewhat of an experimental poet, often stepping outside of the box in terms of structure, form, and themes within her work. Her work focuses on race and feminism and are often presented in the form of a retold fairytale. Some of Shockley’s most recent and prominent works include the new black, and semiautomatic.

 

image via Poetry foundation 

 

 

7. Olena Kalytiak Davis

Poet Olena Kalytiak Davis’ work gives voice to all the female experiences that are otherwise not often talked about. Themes of her poems include love, sexual violence, and aging as a woman. Davis’s honors include a 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry and a 1996 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award in poetry. Her most recent works include The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems and shattered sonnets love cards and other back handed importunities.

 

image via official uk chapbook chart

 

8. Suheir Hammad

Inspired by New York City hip hop and the traditional Palestinian stories of her grandparents, poet Suheir Hammad explores the destruction and reconstruction of the female body, of culture, and of language in her work. Hammad has received many awards, including a Tony award for her work on Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway (2003). Some of her collections include Born Palestinian, Born Black; Zaatar Diva; and Breaking Poems.

 

image via medium

 

9. matthea harvey

Poet Matthea Harvey has a unique talent for blending the most iconic commercialized images and blends them all together into one. She describes herself as a “gatherer” collecting inspiration for her poems from music, scraps of conversations, images, and paintings. Harvey’s most prominent works include If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?Modern Life, and Sad Little Breathing Machine.

 

image via the New Yorker

 

Featured Image via Penguin Random House Audio

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Empowering Female Biographies For Women’s History Month

Happy Women’s History Month! This month, we take the time to celebrate all the fierce women of history and recognize their outstanding lives of achievement and legacy. To start off this month, here are five must-read biographies of women that have certainly shaped history.

I AM MALALA– MALALA YOUSAFZAI

Image via amazon

You have most likely heard of this inspiring young woman. In October of 2012 when Malala’s story garnered worldwide attention, watchers from all parts of the globe avidly tuned in as this courageous young woman fought for the rights of girls everywhere. Courage radiates off the pages of this autobiography and you will surely admire Malala’s journey.

 

Zelda– nancy Milford

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Her husband is one of the most famous authors in literary history. Young Zelda Sayre’s life is chronicled from her childhood through her adult life, as she became Zelda Fitzgerald, and in turn, a prominent figure in the literary world beyond. Milford eloquently tells of the struggles and trying times behind the glamour of the roaring twenties and the shining legacy of The Great Gatsby.

 

Madame curie: a biography– eve curie

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This biography written by Madame Curie’s own daughter brings a personal touch to the story of one of the greatest female scientists of all time.

The collective autobiographies of Maya Angelou– Maya Angelou

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This collection of memoirs will let you into the intimate details of Maya Angelou’s life and mind. This book chronicles the many milestones in her life, from her childhood to her adulthood.

The immortal life of henrietta lacks– rebecca skloot

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Rebecca Skloot writes the unbelievable story of Henrietta Lacks, the woman who contributed revolutionary cells to science without knowing it. Skloot takes dives deep into the Lacks family, science, and the circumstances surrounding the revolutionary HeLa cells. Much is revealed about this strong woman’s life in this utterly fascinating account.

 

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Women Have Always Been Writers

Women have been part of the literary world for years, and this inclusion was thought to date back to the middle ages in the west. Now, a new finding shows that women started writing way before the middle ages even began, dating back to the eighth century. There is an eighth century abbess who is known to write the first surviving example of poetry that is known to be authored by an Englishwoman. Another woman, a nun, wrote a full length prose book in English. Unfortunately, her name was not explicit in the text.

Image result for woman writing medieval"

Image via Lisa Shea

 

Now a new history of women’s literature has been found to date back farther than expected. Earlier histories have deliberately excluded the contribution women have made to early literature. Some of the earliest female writers in Europe is Marie De France from the 12th century, and in the 14th century, Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. According to a Professor at the University of Surrey, men often rewrote work originally written by women.

Image result for women writing and religion watt"

Image via Amazon

 

Now there is a book by Diane Watts, which is going to take in depth look into the women writers of the past, writers we’re just learning about. The book is titled, Women, Writing, and Religion in England and Beyond 650-1100. The book will show how women played a part in literature, and it brings a lot of early on female writers together, such as, Leoba, an English missionary, and an abbess of Tauberbischofshiem in Franciona, who died in 782. There is also something written by an English nun. One of Leoba’s surviving letters is one of the earlier forms of poetry. All of these interesting women are part of a writing history that helped start the careers of the amazing women writers of the past and present.

Be sure to get a more in depth look into these earlier female writers, here.


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Five Books for Women Who Want to Skip Parenthood

It’s tough being a woman who doesn’t want kids and it shouldn’t have to be. We compiled a list of books for women who are proud of their decision, or for those who are thinking about not wanting kids, try these reads before making your decision, or you can see these books to help you with your choice. Book Riot, and Hello Giggles influenced some of these book choices. Happy Women’s History Month, to every woman and her choices!

 

 

#1. Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life Without Children by Jeanne Safer

 

 

image via amazon

 

After years of soul-searching, Jeanne Safer made the conscious decision not to have children. In this book, Safer and women across the country share insights that dispel the myth of childless women as emotionally barren or incomplete, and encourage all women to honestly confront their needs–whether they choose motherhood or not.

 

 

#2. I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From A Happy Life Without Kids by Jen Kirkman

 

 

image via amazon

 

In this instant New York Times bestseller that’s “boldly funny without being anti-mom” (In Touch), comedian and Chelsea Lately regular Jen Kirkman champions every woman’s right to follow her own path—even if that means being “childfree by choice.”

In her debut memoir, actress and comedian Jen Kirkman delves into her off-camera life with the same snarky sensitivity and oddball humor she brings to her sold-out standup shows and the Chelsea Lately round-table, where she is a writer and regular performer. As a woman of a certain age who has no desire to start a family, Jen often finds herself confronted (by friends, family, and total strangers) about her decision to be “childfree by choice.” I Can Barely Take Care of Myself offers honest and hilarious responses to questions like “Who will take care of you when you get old?” (Servants!) and a peek into the psyche—and weird and wonderful life—of a woman who has always marched to the beat of a different drummer and is pretty sure she’s not gonna change her mind, but thanks for your concern.

 

 

#3. Motherhood by Sheila Heti

 

 

image via amazon

 

In Motherhood, Sheila Heti asks what is gained and what is lost when a woman becomes a mother, treating the most consequential decision of early adulthood with the candor, originality, and humor that have won Heti international acclaim and made How Should A Person Be? required reading for a generation.

In her late thirties, when her friends are asking when they will become mothers, the narrator of Heti’s intimate and urgent novel considers whether she will do so at all. In a narrative spanning several years, casting among the influence of her peers, partner, and her duties to her forbearers, she struggles to make a wise and moral choice. After seeking guidance from philosophy, her body, mysticism, and chance, she discovers her answer much closer to home.

Motherhood is a courageous, keenly felt, and starkly original novel that will surely spark lively conversations about womanhood, parenthood, and about how―and for whom―to live.

 

 

#4. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids by Meghan Daum

 

 

image via amazon

 

One of the main topics of cultural conversation during the last decade was the supposed “fertility crisis,” and whether modern women could figure out a way to have it all-a successful, demanding career and the required 2.3 children-before their biological clock stopped ticking. Now, however, conversation has turned to whether it’s necessary to have it all (see Anne-Marie Slaughter) or, perhaps more controversial, whether children are really a requirement for a fulfilling life. The idea that some women and men prefer not to have children is often met with sharp criticism and incredulity by the public and mainstream media.

In this provocative and controversial collection of essays, curated by writer Meghan Daum, sixteen acclaimed writers explain why they have chosen to eschew parenthood. Contributors include Lionel Shriver, Sigrid Nunez, Kate Christiensen, Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer, and Tim Kreider, among others, who will give a unique perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood.
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed makes a thoughtful and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path in life, taking our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. What emerges is a more nuanced, diverse view of what it means to live a full, satisfying life.

 

 

#5. Nobody’s Mother: Life Without Kids by Lynne Van Luven

 

 

image via amazon

 

Statistics say that one in 10 women has no intention of taking the plunge into motherhood. Nobody’s Mother is a collection of stories by women who have already made this choice. From introspective to humorous to rabble-rousing, these are personal stories that are well and honestly told. The writers range in age from early 30s to mid-70s and come from diverse backgrounds. All have thought long and hard about the role of motherhood, their own destinies, what mothering means in our society and what their choice means to them as individuals and as members of their ethnic communities or social groups. Contributors include: Nancy Baron, a zoologist and science writer who works in the United States for eaWeb/COMPASS and has won two Science in Society awards, a National Magazine Award and a Western Magazine Award for Science. Lorna Crozier, well-known poet and the author of a dozen books, as well as the recipient of a Governor General’s award and numerous other writing prizes.

 

 

featured image via girltalkhq.com