Poetry News

Announcing the 2017 VIDA Count

By Harriet Staff
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The 2017 VIDA Count is here: "In this current political climate, amid the #MeToo era, we must ask if abuse and bigotry are anything but the norm in the world of American arts and letters," write VIDA editors Amy King and Sarah Clark. The report is broken down into seven parts: 

  1. Introduction
  2. Highlights & Observations
  3. Infographics: The 2017 VIDA Count Overview
  4. Infographics: The 2017 VIDA Count (Gender)
  5. Infographics: The 2017 Larger Literary Landscape VIDA Count (Gender)
  6. Infographics: The 2017 VIDA Count (Intersectional Survey)
  7. Credits & Acknowledgements

For the main VIDA Count, the editors write, "we’ve looked at 15 major print publications over the course of 2017, analyzing how many women and gender minorities are represented. For the purposes of the VIDA Count, we do not differentiate between cis men and binary trans men, so as not to invalidate binary trans men’s identities, and with the understanding that many men experience oppression across various axes that impact their experiences of and access to male privilege." They also do not count online publications.

Some overall observations for this past year in publishing:

Unfortunately, the undeniable majority, 8 out of 15 publications, failed to publish enough women writers to make up even 40% of their publication’s run in 2017: Boston Review (37.8%), London Review of Books (26.9%), The New Yorker (39.7%), The Atlantic(36.5%), The Nation (36.5%), The Threepenny Review (32.7%), and The Times Literary Supplement (35.9%).

The New York Review of Books had the most pronounced gender disparity of 2017’s VIDA Count, with only 23.3% of published writers who are women. Previously, the London Review of Books had exhibited the worst gender disparity, at 21.9% in 2016, with comparable numbers in prior years (23% in 2015, 22% in 2014, 21% in 2013). In 2016, The New York Review of Books successfully strove toward gender parity, with women as 46.9% of their contributors. However, they’ve historically exhibited lows of 21% (2015), 26% (2014), and 21% (2013).

This is a good reminder that achieving gender parity is not a one-time goal.

Find the full 2017 VIDA Count, and accompanying graphics, here

Originally Published: June 18th, 2018
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