Sunday, January 20, 2008

Any Thoughts?

From Jilly at Poetry Hut:

So what’s the deal? Why do the mainstream media hardly ever do articles or reviews about women poets? It is often hard to find ANY article to link to.

Are there more men poets than women poets? (When I got my MFA, the poetry students were mostly women.) Are men poets simply better poets than women poets? More interesting? Better at self-promotion maybe? Do articles in which the subject has a penis make for increased sales or something? Are men poets more likely to get published by a large press? What? Is? The? Deal? Here?

My response ... I have no clue. And like Jilly, most of the poets in my MFA program (at NYU) were women. What is it about the pobiz that is resistant to change? Maybe we should start more journals and online projects, write more reviews, and broker better publishing deals, because if things are going to change, it has to happen from the inside out.

Conversely, in 2007, four major poetry awards were given to African American women.

Thanks to Jilly for posting about the topic.


~ said...

It is so funny to see this as I was thinking about this as I went to Poetry Daily's News section today. I thought "where are all the women?" (In fact, I thought it would be part of my Tuesday confession -what I think every time I read poetry daily news!)

Anyway, it bugs me honestly. I'm interested in what others think about it.

Catherine said...

Well - in New Zealand the mainstream media don't do many articles about poets, period.
The death of Hone Tuwhare (a male poet) attracted media attention in the past week - but the last poet before that whose death attracted as much attention was Lauris Edmond (a woman). And there was mention of Michele Leggott's appointment as New Zealand's poet laureate (another woman). So, I would say the rather slim coverage of poetry is fairly distributed among the sexes here.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

we as a people are often neglected..nice blog, chk me out one day, and if u can let me know what u think of my recent post of MLK called THANK WE FREE ill b back

susan said...

I'm a firm believer in not only pointing out the problem, but providing a solution. If we don't think women are getting enough press, respect and opportunities, then we, women need to create it.

In late 2005, I did just that. I went to an organization that serves girls, and I pitched my idea for a women's literature study group about girls, specifically women of color.

To support our group, I took over the library. I purged it and refilled the shelves with books by and about women. Not to brag, but we have a collection quite a few women studies students and academics would be impressed with (roughly 3000 titles). We focus on: women, women of color, multiculturalism.

Damn just complaining, I took action. We will eventually publish an ezine. At the moment we run an online forum at Shelfari and we have our own blog: We meet weekly.

And I read what I preach. Hell, I have to remember to read a man. lol Don't get me wrong, I'm not a man hate, have one I love very much, but I'm sho nuf, don't get it twisted, serious about women.

Whew, may have to repost this on my own space. And by the way, to see who and what we read (small sample) check out my Shelfari book shelf. My personal library: women and a few men who are worthy of our company. ;-)

Great topic!

January said...

Susan, I will definitely get over to see your project. You definitely practice what you preach.

polkadotwitch said...

susan and i have created a blog where we can direct each other to poetry collections by women writers ... here.


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