LADY POETS WHO INSPIRE ME ✨

Inspired by @nantea
  1. SANDRA CISNEROS
    Sandra Cisneros is a Latina writer. She wrote The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek and so much of her work dwells on her identity as a Mexican American and her words are so stormy and full of fire and ocean water and unabashedly exultant of her body and experiences.
  2. "Bay Poem from Berkeley," my favorite poem from her collection Loose Woman. I murmur this one to myself sometimes when I'm lonely.
  3. She also has a poem in Loose Woman called "I Am So In Love I Grow a New Hymen" and one I love called "Full Moon and You're Not Here"
  4. NAYYIRAH WAHEED
    Nayyirah Waheed is an incredible poet whose short poems are filled with so much beauty and meaning and rage and hope. Follow her on insta and Twitter! She is amazing.
  5. MAGGIE NELSON
    Maggie Nelson writes fiction, memoir, poetry, nonfiction . . . She is so multitalented but my favorite book of hers is Bluets. It's an entire volume filled with short pieces about how she fell in love with the color blue and it's easily one of the best books I've read in the last 5 years. My copy is so full of underlined passages because so much of it is worth underlining. If you need something breathtaking in your life, read this.
  6. MELISSA LOZADA-OLIVA
    Melissa is a friend of mine and her poetry constantly amazes me. Much of her work is about Latinx identity and policing women's voices and when boys don't text you back. She has a few chapbooks published and my favorite is Rude Girl is Lonely Girl, a collection of poems inspired by Jessica Jones (yes! Really!)
  7. Also, Twitter is her favorite poetic form so do yourself a solid and go follow her rn! @ellomelissa on Twitter and insta
  8. Do yourself another favor and watch her perform her poem "Like Totally Whatever" at the National Poetry Slam: http://youtu.be/me4_QwmaNoQ
  9. She was also accepted into VONA (Voices of Our Nation), a workshop for writers of color, and has almost raised enough to fund her tuition. Consider being as incredible as @ijeoma and @sarahgorman and donating!! If you give $13 she will write you a haiku about Britney Spears: https://www.gofundme.com/getmlo2VONA
  10. YRSA DALEY-WARD
    Yrsa Daley-Ward is another amazing poet whose work is vaguely similar to Nayyirah Waheed's in that it is often short and always powerful. She is of mixed Jamaican and Nigerian heritage and I recommend following her on Twitter & insta because she often posts her work and her words are so, so thoughtful.
  11. MARY OLIVER
    Mary Oliver has been writing poetry for decades. Her work focuses often on her faith, and I don't read those poems quite as much, but ever since I heard "The Uses of Sorrow" two years ago I repeat it around and around in my mind. She wrote this poem when her partner of 40 years died, and I don't know how she put such an enormous expression of grief and contemplation and hope into so few words.
  12. PORSHA OLAYIWOLA
    Porsha is a Boston-based poet who was on the slam team House Slam with Melissa L-O when they won the National Poetry Slam in 2015!
  13. You should really, really, really look up her poem "Rekia Boyd" on YouTube, which is about the too-absent rage & grief over black female lives lost to police violence. Here are a few gifs of that performance. Watch the whole thing here: http://youtu.be/MNP7H6TxO7s
  14. RUPI KAUR
    @ijeoma recently told me about Rupi Kaur, an Indian writer who lives in Canada. I walked into Harvard Book Store yesterday and found her collection Milk and Honey on their store bestseller shelf. I'm so into the way female poets have been using Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr to share their work and spread their voices, and I think Rupi Kaur is a shining example of this.
  15. MARGARET ATWOOD
    Margaret Atwood is so well known for her novels but everytime I remember she has also written poetry I get so excited to reread "Variation on the Word SLEEP." The entire poem is a thing of beauty but that ending always really gets me. How she's put into words that strange desire to be as important as breathing. Here it is (forgive the overlap):
  16. AUDRE LORDE
    Audre Lorde was a Caribbean-American writer and feminist who never hesitated to express her anger at injustice and inequality. When she was little she had a hard time communicating and if someone asked her how she was feeling, she would recite a poem, which I think is so interesting. Check out the collection of her essays and speeches called Sister Outsider.
  17. WARSAN SHIRE
    Warsan Shire is a Somalian writer and poet who lives in London. You may recognize her name as the poet whose work Beyoncé recently adapted in Lemonade! She focuses a lot on black womanhood and identity and her poem "Difficult Names" is so important
  18. SKILA BROWN
    Skila Brown writes middle grade and YA novels in verse. The poems here are from Caminar, inspired by Guatemala's civil war in 1981. She has a YA verse novel about the Donner Party called To Stay Alive coming out this fall.