These women are making poetry cool again
A new age renaissance is taking place right now within the world of fine arts. The resurgence of poetry is being brought back to the forefront of pop culture by female writers that are dominating the scene. As many professions were once ruled by patriarchy, these 11 women are creating lanes of their own in the literary world.
The face of the writing community has changed many times, but this may be the first time in history that so many young poets are being published and recognized for their work. While it may take time to reach the heights of Maya Angelou or Emily Dickinson these millennial queens are taking expression to the next level and making poetry great again.
This Malaysian-born underground writer released her first book only a few months after graduating college. Valley Deep Into You offers a nontraditional approach to haikus and lyrical prose with colorful pages and language that will leave you lost in thought. A true master of word economy, she has given a voice to all of us 20-somethings who are just trying to find our place in the world. Her poems are short and sweet, but leave you wanting more.
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You may have seen her quotes all over Instagram or heard about her controversial display of menstruation. Rupi is undoubtedly one of the most popular millennial poets out right now. A New York Times bestselling author for the second time around, the Canadian Indian author’s new book The Sun and Her Flowers mirrors her first novel in its soft tone. With poems and illustrations that are inspiring and relatable, the long awaited collection marks out a transformative journey that explores all facets of love.
Her name alone was enough to captivate me. This anonymous writer is only recognizable by her poignant words in the collection Sad Birds Still Sing. Her minimalist style leaves room for catharsis as she navigates through the spectrum of human emotions. She is not the first author to publish under an alias, but one of the most popular today. We may or may not ever get to see what she looks like, but her ability to activate the senses is undeniable.
Combining the titles activist, artist and poet, Cleo Wade finds time to write and change the world simultaneously. Actively involved in social causes, she uses her gift to uplift those near and far in her book Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life. Her can do attitude is infectious even by just looking at her Insta and reading a few of the handwritten notes she posts. She spreads positivity one page at a time.
Soft Thorns is a title that begs to be read and is an incredible reflection of how emotionally challenging heartbreak can be. From issues like sexual assault to love and sadness she takes on humanity in very simple, short poems. Her words may leave you deep in your feels, but she speaks to those looking for light in a dark place.
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Self love is the best love! It’s also a very hard lesson to learn, but in the best selling book I Love My Love, Reyna shares poetry that will require some deep reflection. She specializes in words that not only uplift, but heal the broken. And who doesn’t need a hopeful verse every now and then? She is changing the game with poetry that can be read or listened to with her spoken word tracks available on SoundCloud and Apple Music.
Rachel Lazatin Aquino
Both of her works The Art of Living and Pieces of Me (cue the Ashlee Simpson song) explore love and loss in a way that only modern poetry can. It is raw and real with profound moments of clarity. She is redefining the lines of poetry and drawing her own with illustrations and words that speak to the softest of hearts.
Is not just a writer, but an editor as well. She approaches the art in a way that is technical but freeing. Her book Unspeakable Poems is a unique expression of thoughts and feelings that are often left unsaid. The power she has over the control of her words is remarkable and not at all what you would expect if you’re used to reading classical sonnets.
Her dynamic personality and edginess with words is what makes Franny stand out in a crowd. She also does spoken word being a national finalist, and teaches writing workshops. Her chapbook Death by Sex Machine examines the world of cyborgs and humanlike robots that will make you question the reality of mankind’s possible future. It is a hybrid in more ways than one with manga influences throughout.
Mirtha Michelle Castro Mármol
A Latin bombshell and a fabulous poet Mirtha embodies what modern writing looks like. Allow yourself to become engulfed in the excitement and pain of loving and being loved. Letters To Women Like Me, among other of her books, is a collection of poetry and anecdotal essays that discuss the difficulties faced in romance on many levels, and how to move on and continue loving. It’s not only aesthetically pleasing with the gorgeously illustrated covers, but it appeals to a more mature outlook on life and vulnerability in a flawless pairing of verse and prose.
You may recognize her work from Beyoncé’s Lemonade feature film. The British born Warsan Shire is an award winning poet with Somali and Kenyan roots. Her chapbook Teaching my Mother How to Give Birth is a remarkable collection of poetry that lifts the curtain into the world of Islamic feminism. With very vivid descriptions and themes of war, immigration and sexuality she delves deeply into the psyche, and captured the freedom of contemporary poetry.
All of these women have varying styles of writing and each of them contribute something valuable to the art form. While some have found their niche others are still exploring the terrain, but it proves that poetry is alive and well! The future for poets is being transformed from what was once revered as a marking of aristocratic social stature to a medium of expression for all people. And while it helps to have academic training the formalities of poetry are far less important than the emotion that should emanate from it. We’re all looking to feel something, and these ladies are few of many that are forging the way to open up the floodgates.