A preliminary list of female poets whose work is primarily, usually, or often visual, or who describe themselves as visual poets, or who have published one or more sustained/influential works of visual poetry even if their main body of work (quantitatively) isn’t “visual” or “poetry” (as if all poetry weren’t “visual”); who are alive, writing in English, have been published visual work in at least one poetry magazine (most of these women have chapbooks), self-describe as “poets” (although their self-descriptors may be in constant flux– many will say, as Katrina Rodabaugh says, simply “I make things” — poet as “maker” in the rawest sense), write substantive work (i.e. it is visual poetry, not just words put through Photoshop to look cool), and are on my radar. And who I haven’t inadvertently forgotten to mention. (Also… I haven’t yet broached the world of e-poetry… this is just a list of paper-based vispoets!)
Brenda Iijima – Michelle Detorie – K. Lorraine Graham – Anne Boyer – T.A. Noonan – Jess Rowan – Jessica Bozek – Sheila Murphy – Helen White – Susana Gardner – Jennifer Scappettone – Tina Darragh – Alixandra Bamford – a.rawlings – Sharon Harris – Robyn Art – Aya Karpinska – Angela Szczepaniak – Jo Cook – Michelle Naka Pierce - sandra guerreiro – Chris Turnbull – Jill Magi – Jen Bervin – Julie Patton – Johanna Drucker – Susan Howe – Jennifer Karmin - Kristy Bowen w/Lauren Levato – Catherine Daly – Julia Drescher – Christine Wertheim - Matina Stamatakis – Jenny Sampirisi – Marilyn R. Rosenberg – angela genusa – KS Ernst – Holly Johnson – C Mehrl Bennett – Andrea Baker - Marcia Arrieta – Thalia Field - Janis Butler Holm – Cecilia Vicuña – Joan Retallack – Suzan Sari – Aysegul Tozeren - Amanda Earl - Emily Goodden – Camille Martin – annie-claude généreux – Adeena Karasick – Maria Damon – Erica Van Horn – me (Jessica Smith) – cia rinne – Stacy Szymaszek – Wendy Collin Sorin – Donna Kuhn – Nancy Burr – Katrina Rodabaugh – Hazel Smith – Lisa Linn Kanae – Lisa Asagi – Gaye Chan – Meredith Quartermain – Anne Lesley Selcer – Julie Jefferies – Lisa Moren – Melissa McCarthy – Bernice Kew – Shin Yu Pai – Sharon Mesmer – Sophie Robinson – Marianne Morris – Frances Kruk – Alice Notley – Kaia Sand – Elizabeth Treadwell – Caroline Bergvall – Carol Watts – jen hofer – Nicole Mauro – Derya Vural – Maja Jantar – Moniek Darge – Ersi Sotiropoulos – Saskia van Herwijnen – Maggie O’Sullivan – Paula Claire – Stephanie Strickland – Ana Hatherly – Kristianne Meal – Oni Buchanan – Nance Van Winckel
Who says there aren’t women in visual poetry?
Many of these poets have been published in my magazine Foursquare and some were featured in my special section on women in visual poetry in last year’s Phoebe. Other good places to look for contemporary female visual poets are Ferrum Wheel, Light & Dust Anthology, UbuWeb, Fluxlist (UbuWeb and Fluxlist both demonstrating how awesome Fluxus was for female vispoets… I didn’t include Yoko Ono on this list because she self-describes as an artist, but of course her work is very influential for poets), zaoem, Plantarchy, Other Clutter, Otoliths, eratio, Essex, WOMB and Dusie. Important chap/book presses for women writing visual poetry include Womb/Hex, Dusie, Coach House Books, Tinfish, Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, Litmus (especially for vispo in translation) and Bookthug (who else? Don’t let me overlook anyone). Thanks to Michelle and Drew for thinking aloud with me.