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Poem Sampler

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Poems, articles, podcasts, and blog posts that explore women’s history and women’s rights.


Pro Femina” by Carolyn Kizer 

Planetarium” by Adrienne Rich

Sadie and Maud” by Gwendolyn Brooks

The Applicant” by Sylvia Plath

won't you celebrate with me” by Lucille Clifton

They shut me up in Prose – (445)” by Emily Dickinson

Legacies” by Nikki Giovanni

Poem about My Rights” by June Jordan

A Woman Speaks” by Audre Lorde

Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou

Howl” by Amy Newman 

Women Whose Lives are Food, Men Whose Lives are Money” by Joyce Carol Oates

Macha” by Monica McClure

Responding” by Juliana Spahr

Worth” by Marilyn Nelson

To Be Walang Hiya” by Barbara Jane Reyes

from Raw Meditations on Money, “1. She Speaks: A School Teacher from South India” by Meena Alexander 

The River of Girls” by Tishani Doshi

The Archaeologists” by Julia Shipley

Among Women” by Marie Ponsot

Bound for Hell” by Marina Tsvetaeva

Women in Labor” by Mary Ruefle

Poet as Housewife” by Elisabeth Eybers

That Country” by Grace Paley

Women” by May Swenson

Postfeminism” by Brenda Shaughnessy 

Hip-Hop Ghazal” by Patricia Smith

My mother’s body” by Marge Piercy 

To The Indifferent Women” by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman

A Double Standard” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Interview” by Dorothy Parker


 Browse poems by and biographies of nearly 1,500 women poets.  



‘100 Years of Poetry: ‘In the Middle of Major Men’: The women who edited and defined Poetry magazine” By Liesl Olson

Meghan O'Rourke, J. Allyn Rosser & Eleanor Wilner on ‘Women's Poetry’” An Exchange

The Struggle to Write: ‘I became a poet because I became a revolutionary’” By Minnie Bruce Pratt

Revealing all the Secrets: Julie Enszer on reissuing Sapphic classics and lesbian-feminist poetry” By Nuria Sheehan

Waiting for the Tide to Come In: On assembling an anthology of contemporary women's poetry” By Susan Aizenberg and Erin Belieu

The Bell Jar at 40: Sylvia Plath's YA novel reaches middle age” By Emily Gould

Learning to Breathe under Water: Considering Muriel Rukeyser’s oceanic work” By Alicia Ostriker

She Could Tell You Stories”: Lucille Clifton interviewed by Hilary Holladay 

Poem Guide to Anne Bradstreet’s “To My Dear and Loving Husband”: She became a cultural icon for speaking out. Anne Hutchinson was banished. By Emily Warn

Poem Guide to Emily Dickinson’s “It was not death, for I stood up”: Music and adolescent angst in the (18)80s. By Robin Ekiss

Poem Guide to Elizabeth Drew Barrow Stoddard’s “One morn I left him in his bed”: The child elegy and the 19th-century poet. By Hannah Brooks Motl

Poem Guide to Nikky Finney’s “The Afterbirth, 1931”: Finney captures an American nightmare. By Kwame Dawes

Poem Guide to Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea’s “The Answer”: How poetry became the 18th century’s social media network. By Ange Mlinko



The Poetics of Disobedience” (1998) by Alice Notley

Female Tradition as Feminist Innovation” (2005) by Annie Finch




The Women of the Avant-Garde: Part 1

The Women of the Avant-Garde: Part 2

What's a Man Doing in a Feminist Poem?”: Listening to the work of Alicia Ostriker” 

Becoming Anne Bradstreet”: Eavan Boland on the first American poet

Eileen Myles for President”: The politics and poetry of a groundbreaking author 

An Essential American Poet”: Fanny Howe talks to us about the range of Jean Valentine’s poems.

Battle of the Bards”: On Denise Levertov's scathing Vietnam poem “Life at War”

History vs. the Past”: Eavan Boland on Poetry Day

Life Will Never Be the Same”: On poetry and motherhood 

Confessional Poetry Off the Shelf”: CAConrad talks about Anne Sexton’s landscapes of grief.

June Jordan”: A profile of her legacy and rap's place in poetry

How It Is”: Celebrating the life and poetry of Maxine Kumin

History’s Lost and Found”: Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey reads from and discusses her work

Complete Original: Eleanor Ross Taylor”: Jean Valentine talks about the 2010 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize winner

A Radical Poet's Radical Poet”: Lola Ridge's poetry of social protest



Adrienne Rich

Lucille Clifton

Mona Van Duyn

Denise Levertov

Sharon Olds

Anne Sexton

Linda Gregg

Maxine Kumin

Gwendolyn Brooks

Jean Valentine




Margaret Rhee: Body Maps: A (digital/real) Asian American Feminist Poetics” by Barbara Jane Reyes

Women of Color and Body Politics” by Barbara Jane Reyes


Call and Response: The Gifts of Women Poets: Part 1” by Amy King

Call and Response: The Gifts of Women Poets: Part 2” by Amy King

Women Poets & Mentorship” by Annie Finch

Gender & Poetry (Part 1): ‘Why Don’t More Women Do Blog-Oriented Writing?’” by Craig Santos Perez

Gender, (Race), & Poetry (Part 2): Numbers & Unnumbered Trouble” by Craig Santos Perez

What a New Feminist Consciousness Looked Like for Montréal” by Harriet Staff

ADFEMPO: Advancing Feminist Poetics & Activism” by Tonya Foster

Gender, publishing, and Poetry magazine” by Christian Wiman




Poem Sampler

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Poems, articles, podcasts, and blog posts that explore women’s history and women’s rights.

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