FOURSQUARE’s Last Issues

I’m wrapping up Foursquare, a project I started in 2006. As my obligations to other things expand and my desire to work on my own poetry grows, issues of 4SQ come out less frequently, such that the year of 2009 issues is now in its second year of production/distribution. In total, there have been three “years” of issues (36 issues, with 7 still to be released) as well as 9 Special Editions (there will be three more). The full list of contributors, poets and artists, can be found on the Foursquare blog.

The last few issues of Foursquare are still in development; I’m seeking work from women whose work has not previously been published in the magazine. Please familiarize yourself with the magazine before submitting work. I know every magazine says this, and it is indeed good practice (and simply polite), but with Foursquare it cannot be overstressed. The magazine does not look like other magazines. Although it is hard to find a physical copy of Foursquare unless you know someone who has been in it or have access to the SUNY Buffalo or U Wisc-Madison special collections, the first two volumes (24 issues) of Foursquare are online and you can look over them at the archive.

Once you know what you’re getting into, please send 3-4 poems in .doc, .jpg, .tiff, or .pdf format to me. Please do not include poems in the body of the email. Please accompany your submission with a brief bio.

Now, a little story about Foursquare:

When I started thinking about Foursquare in 2006, I sat down and brainstormed a list of all the female poets I could think of off the top of my head. Here is the list (I think some may be spelled wrong, but that’s what happens when you’re brainstorming):

Aase Berg
Alicia Cohen
Alli Warren
Amy King
Andrea Baker
Andrea Brady
Andrea Strudensky
Ange Mlinko
Angela Rawlings
Anna Bell
Anna Reckin
Anne Boyer
Aya Karpinska
Barbara Cole
Bernadette Mayer
Bonnie Jones
Brenda Iijima
Camille Martin
Camille Roy
Carla Billiteri
Carly Sachs
Carra Stratton
Catherine Daly
Catriona Strang
Cecilia Vicuna
Chris Turnbull
Cia Rinne
Cole Swenson
Corrine Fitzpatrick
Cynthia Sailers
Daisy Levy
Diane Ward
Eileen Tabios
Eleni Stecapolis
Elizabeth Robinson
Elizabeth Treadwell
Emily Critchley
Emily Lloyd
Erica van Horn
Geraldine Monk
Gina Franco
Holly Johnson
Jackie Milan
Jen Scappetone
Jen Tynes
Jena Osman
Jenni Russell
Joan Retallack
Joanne Kyger
Johanna Drucker
Jorie Graham
Joy Harjo
Joyce Carol Oates
Juliana Spahr
K. Lorraine Graham
Karen MacCormick
Katarina Frostensson
Katie Webb
Kristin Gallagher
Lauren Bender
Lauren Shufran
Linda V. Russo
Lisa Jarnot
Louise Erdrich
Louise Glück
Lyn Hejinian
Madeline Gins
Maria Damon
Marianne Monk
Marianne Morris
Mary Oliver
Maureen Thorson
Mel Nichols
Meredith Quartermain
Michelle Cross
Monica de la Torre
Myung Mi Kim
Nada Fader
Nada Gordon
Natalie Basinski
Natalie Illium
Natalie Stephens
Nicole Brossard
Olive Demetrius
Pam Lu
Phyllis Rosenzweig
Rachel Blau Du Plessis
Reb Livingston
Rebecca Stigge
Rita Dove
Robin Brox
Rosa Alcala
Rosmarie Waldrop
Sabrina Calle
Sandra Beasley
Sandra Guerreiro
Sandy Baldwin
Sarah Campbell
Sarah Veglan
Sasha Steensen
Shanna Compton
Sharon Olds
Sheila E. Murphy
Stephanie Young
Susan Howe
Susan Schultz
Suzanne Zelazo
T.A. Noonan
Tammy McGovern
Thalia Field
Tina Darragh
Wanda O’Connor
Wendy Kramer
Yoko Ono

Note that only a few of these 114 women have been in Foursquare. Here is the list of 124 women who have been in (or accepted to) Foursquare so far:
Aby Cooperman
Ada Limon
Alixandra Bamford
Amelia Harman
Amy Berkowitz
Amy King
Ana Božičević-Bowling
Angela Szczepaniak
Angela Veronica Wong
Anne Boyer
Aya Karpinska
Becca Klaver
Bonnie Roy
Brandi Homan
Brenda Iijima
Bronwen Tate
Catherine Daly
Cathy Eisenhower
Christine Hamm
Claire Hero
Cynthia Arrieu-King
Danielle Pafunda
Deborah Poe
Diana Hamilton
Dianne Timblin
Dorothea Lasky
Eileen Tabios
Elisa Gabbert
Elizabeth Treadwell
Ellen Baxt
Erica Kaufman
Erin M. Bertram
Esther Lee
Evie Shockley
Farrah Field
Gillian Devereux
Grace Vajda
Hanna Andrews
Helen White
Hossannah Asuncion
Ivy Alvarez
Jane Sprague
Janna Plant
Jeannine Hall-Gailey
Jen Tynes
Jenn McCreary
Jenna Cardinale
Jennifer Chang
Jennifer Scappettone
Jenny Boully
Jenny Sampirisi
Jess Rowan
Jessea Perry
Jessica Barrett
Jessica Bozek
Jessica Smith
Jill Alexander Essbaum
Jo Cook
Judith S. Askew
Julia Drescher
Juliana Spahr
Julie Strand
K. Lorraine Graham
Kate Greenstreet
Kate Middleton
Kate Schapira
Kathleen Rooney
kathryn l. pringle
Katie Kemple
Kerri French
Kristen Orser
Kristy Bowen
Laura Elrick
Laura Goldstein
Laura Jaramillo
Lauren Shufran
Lee Ann Brown & Miranda Lee Torn
Linda Russo
Lindsay Tipping
Lisa Forrest
Magdalena Zurawski
Marci Nelligan
Marie Buck
Maureen Thorson
Megan Kaminski
Mel Nichols
Melissa Severin
Michaela Gabriel
Michalle Gould
Michelle Detorie
Michelle Morgan
Michelle Naka Pierce
Michelle Taransky
Mischa Erikson
Natalie Zina Walschots
Nava Fader
Nicole Zdeb
o. hunt
Pattie McCarthy
Phoebe Wayne
Reb Livingston
Rebecca Loudon
Robyn Art
Rona Luo
Sandra Beasley
Sandra Simonds
Sarah Campbell
Shanna Compton
Shannon Smith
Sharon Harris et al.
Sheila Murphy
Soham Patel
Stephanie Young
Sue Hammond West
Susana Gardner
Suzanne Frischkorn
Suzanne Stein
Suzanne Zelazo
T.A. Noonan
Tessa Joseph Nicholas
Tina Darragh
Wanda O’Connor
Wanda Phipps

(At some point, I will merge these lists with a couple of other lists of female poets and they will be easily locatable all in one place so that no one but Lacan has to bemoan the “lack” of female poets.)

In contrast to the first list, many of the poets in the second list are not poets I’d ever met before working on Foursquare. Most are young and were, at the time of publication, “emerging” — many now have multiple chapbooks, books, and awards to their credit. Foursquare, like all periodicals, is a slice of time. And like most small periodicals, since calls for work are mostly viral, Foursquare shows who knew who and who was working with whom during this slice of time. There are poets I simply never knew about– who I still don’t know about, might never know about– because I don’t run in every poetry circle.

What Foursquare further demonstrates is how many female poets are working today. Foursquare mostly publishes poets of the “experimental” persuasion and tends to favor visual poetry over narrative poetry (if those two things can be– not “opposed” but “contrasted”). The list above is not a list of everyone who ever submitted work to Foursquare or all the poets who ever could. I’m retiring as the editor of Foursquare, but there is still a great need for magazines who are willing to go out of their way to publish women and there are still hundreds of women who were not published in Foursquare (who never submitted, never heard of it, didn’t fit with an issue) who should be published. I do not mean that all magazines should be women-only like Foursquare is, but with such a plethora of female writers (and with this list and this older list of female vispoets) before you, there is no excuse for magazines to only publish men because they can’t find any women, or even to have disparity between the sexes in a table of contents. There are so many female poets working today, and many of them are amazing writers– you just have to open your eyes and see what’s right in front of you.

Please use the comment box to tell me about female poets you love and/or link to other lists of female poets. I’d like to gather all the lists and merge them (here’s a start).


About Jessica Smith
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12 Responses to FOURSQUARE’s Last Issues

  1. yesisaidyesiwillyes says:

    I haven’t read but a tiny portion of them (I think I am going to try and change that), but it’s both exciting and intimidating every time I look at the “back-list” and current year offerings out of Dancing Girl Press. Exciting to think about all that work (poetry) I don’t know and intimidating because with all those titles — dozens of different women poets — where the heck do I start?!

  2. Thanks for this list Jessica, and for all your hard work with Foursquare!
    Some of my favorite women poets not already listed:
    Rachel Zucker, Matthea Harvey, Lesle Lewis, Denise Duhamel, Dorianne Laux, Beth Ann Fennelly, Natasha Moni, Kelli Russell Agodon, Annette Spaulding-Convey…there are more…

  3. yesisaidyesiwillyes says:

    switching to women poets I love reading (or in one case, and one case only, that I’m pretty certain I will love once I read her work) that are not already on your lists above:

    Rachel Loden, Laura Moriarty, Rae Armantrout, Mairead Byrne, Kate Durbin, Adeena Karasick, Caroline Bergvall, Janet Holmes, Patricia Smith, Meg Hamill, Katie Degentesh, Christine Hume, Lily Brown (haven’t read her because her chaps are impossible to find these days but someone I respect recommends her highly), Yedda Morrison, Pam Rehm, Shannon Tharp, Lisa Robertson, Vanessa Place, Elizabeth Willis, Karin Lessing, Lindsay Boldt, Susan Briante, Geraldine Monk, Lauren Levin, Claire Becker, and

    I’m sure there are others, as I am just looking around at the shelves and books I’ve read in the last few years / months / weeks, and did not do a diligent search or think-through. And you are limiting it to those who are alive, yes?

    And yes I know a list like this, especially since I’d also include many names from the lists you have in the main post, opens me up to the question: just how many (woman) poets do I love? The answer is I don’t know. I am a polyamorous poetry reader, and, if you must know, bi- as well, although I get that right now you’re just listing women.

  4. Alive, yes, and preferably publishing in English, although the mother tongue is of less concern.

    I would hope that everyone is a bi- reader, but this is more of an answer to questions like “why does Foursquare only publish women?” and editors who whine that they can’t find any female poets. Foursquare publishes women exclusively because other editors are blindly exclusive.

  5. Pamela Hart says:

    Jill Magi, Susan Tichy, Suzanne Gardinier, Janet Holmes, Kate Johnson, Stephanie Strickland, Brenda Hillman…some more for a list

  6. suzanne says:

    A few women poets from my bookshelf–
    Juliana Baggot, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Meg Kearney, Carolyn Guinzio, Mary Biddinger, Margot Schilpp, Sheryl Luna, Emmy Perez, Stacey Lynn Brown, Deborah Ager, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Sandy Longhorn, Robin Ekiss, Emma Trelles, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Cynthia Huntington, Jacqueline Marcus, Laurel Blossom, Ann Townsend, Natasha Tretheway, Susan Aizenberg, January O’Neil, Maureen Alsop, Jen Tynes.

  7. Mark Wallace says:

    Jessica, you probably have most or all of these names already, but just in case you don’t, I made my own (hardly complete) list back about a year ago of post-millenial U.S. feminist poets that I was interested in:

  8. Hi guys,

    Thanks for all the great suggestions. Because compiling a list has proved to be a giant undertaking and I, like every one else, do not actually have time to do it, I really need people to help out by not only offering names, but following the directions on the list page.. Simply put, they are as follows:
    Lists need to have one poet per line (not comma-delimited)
    Check your list against the list already there (checking for duplicates take a lot of time for me, but if you’re only adding a few names, use CTRL+F to see whether they’re already there).

    I still have two papers to write before the end of the semester, and I feel a little overwhelmed by how many names are coming my way. It’s great! But I need them to be easy to enter. Thanks!

  9. Pamela Hart says:

    Kate Knapp Johnson
    Victoria Redel
    Suzanne Gardinier
    Susan Tichy
    Pamela Hart
    Sandra Doller
    Cortney Davis
    Jan Heller Levi
    Christine Boyka Kluge
    Marie Ponsot
    Ann Lauterbach
    Barbara Guest
    Cate Marvin
    Monica Ferrell
    Maureen Gibbon
    A.E. Stallings

  10. yesisaidyesiwillyes says:

    On your list, the name Roberta Olsen should be changed to Roberta Olson.


  11. I can only consider changes/additions left as comments on the page itself. I cannot be responsible for gathering minor data from all over the internet. C’mon Steve! Follow directions!

  12. bhanu Kapil says:

    Melissa Buzzeo!

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