A successful failure

Yesterday afternoon I made a giant list of almost 300 contemporary female poets compiled from three lists I’d previously made. And I asked for more.

By 11pm there were over 400. By midnight there were over 500. I woke up this morning to over 200 more.

I know there are poets who aren’t on the list yet, who are on Pussipo or Wompo or in editors’ TOCs or catalogs. I know there are poets writing in English who are not American (this list is heavily American with a smattering of Canadians so far). I know there are poets who are so famous we don’t even think about them anymore, like I didn’t think about pouring my coffee this morning.  Is the goal to collect everybody?  Is that even possible? … Of course it’s not possible. There are just too many women writing poetry for a list of them, even a long list, to represent all of them.  The moral of this story is that women in poetry are ubiquitous. There are so many women writing poetry today, in English, and publishing it, that it’s impossible to record them all.

I will continue to take names because I know there are people who do not believe me.  There are people who think that there aren’t many women writing poetry.  But there are a lot of them. Or who think that female poets are hard to find.  But they are not hard to find.  Whatever blindness, ignorance, or simple innocence one has regarding the sheer massive numbers of women currently writing poetry can be cured by clicking here.


About Jessica Smith

This entry was posted in Contemporary Poetry, gender. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A successful failure

  1. I wish I was a woahman

  2. Kelli R A says:

    I admire you for taking this on. I think it’s important.

    All best,

  3. Shae says:

    I write poems under the pen name C. E. Laine.

  4. I just went into the master document and added about 40 more poets from France and Canada (listed on the websites of POL Éditeur, L’Hexagone, Coach House and BookThug). More to come.

  5. You’re awesome, François (as always).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s