I thought it would be nice if we all had this information to easily share on our Facebook Pages and our blogs and so forth. I took some time to collect the information. Nonetheless, I’m sure I’ve left some worthy organizations out. If anyone knows of an organization that should be included, please leave it in the comments section and I’ll keep track for an update sometime in the future. Meanwhile, you can also check on a charity’s track record at: Charity Navigator. So please do download this and feel free to share anywhere you feel it’s warranted or would be welcome, maybe even on employee, union and/or church affiliated sites. Thank you!
Inspired by my long-distance poetry friends at London-based Second Light Network of Women Poets (SLN), which is dedicated to encouraging and promoting women poets and women’s poetry, I’ve decided to feature one American woman poet each week on Thursday. I hope you’ll join me for these short tidbits by way of celebration.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Second Light Network of Women Poets publishes well-regarded anthologies and the biannual magazine ARTEMISpoetry, which feature the works of both contemporary well-known A-list women poets as well as talented emerging voices. Membership and publication is not limited to the UK but there are demographic restrictions: age and gender. Associate memberships are available for women under 40. Recommended.
I had eight birds hatched in one nest,
Four Cocks there were, and Hens the rest.
Note: I recognize that more correctly Anne Bradstreet would be considered an English poet. I have decided for my purposes here, I’d include her as “American.”
The illustration above is Anne Bradstreet on the cover of The Works of Anne Bradstreet published by The John Harvard Library . The book’s introduction is by contemporary American Poet, Adrienne Rich. Some say she (Bradstreet) was the first serious woman poet in colonial America. It could be though that she was the first to be taken seriously and published while other talents plied their art in the women’s-work ghetto of obscurity
From the publisher:
“Anne Bradstreet was one of our earliest feminists and the first true poet in the American colonies. This collection of her extant poetry and prose, scrupulously edited by Jeannine Hensley, has long been the standard edition of Bradstreet’s work. Hensley’s introduction sketches the poet’s life, and Adrienne Rich’s foreword offers a sensitive critique of Bradstreet as a person and as a writer. The John Harvard Library edition includes a chronology of Bradstreet’s life and an updated bibliography.”
This is telling of the times:
Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are
Men have precedency and still excell,
It is but vain unjustly to wage warre;
Men can do best, and women know it well
Preheminence in all and each is yours;
Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours.
And yet, Anne Bradstreet did have confidence in her gender as we can see in this portrait of Queen Elizabeth:
Who was so good, so just, so learned so wise,
From all the Kings on earth she won the prize.
Nor say I more then duly is her due,
Millions will testifie that this is true.
She has wip’d off th’ aspersion of her Sex,
That women wisdome lack to play the Rex
•The Works of Anne Bradstreet
•Anne Bradstreet, The Poetry Foundation
•Anne Bradstreet poems, Poem Hunter
•Wendy Martin, “Anne Bradstreet’s Poetry: a Study in Subversive Poetry,” in Shakespeare’s Sisters, edited by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979)
DEFIANCE IN THE FACE OF EXPREME REPRESSION: “The PEN World series showcases the important work of the more than 140 centers that form PEN International. Each PEN center sets its own priorities, but they are united by their commitment to advocate for imperiled writers, promote literature from all cultures and in all languages, and advance the right of every individual to speak freely. In this series, PEN America interviews the leaders of different PEN centers from the global network to offer a window into the literary accomplishments and free expression challenges of their respective countries. – See more at: http://pen.org/topic/pen-world” They’re posting one interview a month. So far they’ve covered Belarus, South Africa and Eritrea.
Not in my name,
my woman’s name,
not one drop of blood be shed for oil
that makes some billionaires
and sets the Middle East aflame
But in my name,
in every woman’s name, send home great armies
of the black and dispossessed,
warships and frigates turn around.
Peace in my name!
– Joan Williams
Joan Williams (1916-2008) was an Australian poet (a.k.a. Justina Williams) and communist. I believe her poetry would come under this category:
“Proletarian poetry is a genre of political poetry developed in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s that endeavored to portray class-conscious perspectives of the working-class. Connected through their mutual political message that may be either explicitly Marxist or at least socialist, the poems are often aesthetically disparate. As a literature that emphasized working-class voices, the poetic form of works could range from emulating African-American slave work songs to contemporary modernist poetry. Major poets of the movement include Langston Hughes, Kenneth Fearing, Edwin Rolfe, Horace Gregory, and Mike Gold.” MORE Wikipedia
Thanks to Susanne Harford for reminding of this poem and this poet.
© 2016, photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved