The Siren Six: Female Poets Who Write the Body
A revolution of advocacy, writing the body is a bold embodiment of truth. Women who write in this fearless way give voice to topics, perspectives, and experiences that reflect realities beyond the airy, gift-wrapped narratives that sustain oppression.
Through their courageous expressions of feminism, these poets connect us to our physical and emotional bodies. They guide self-exploration and inspire us to recognize and embrace the totality of our stories. The following poets unapologetically write the body with an unwavering commitment to truth.
Fire for the soul, Shire writes the body using poetic pointillism that mirrors the emotional and anatomical pointillism of living within the female body. Specifically, she writes about women, trauma, and the immigrant experience. Start with her chapbook collection, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth. In a collection written for Beyoncé’s video, Lemonade Shire’s poems reflect relatable experiences on the betrayal and redemption of love.
Activism as love and rebellion is prevalent in the powerful words of Honré's profound poetic expression. Abundant in reflections on the harsh and hateful realities of being anything other than cis-white male, her words require a pause to digest their magnitude. Explore her words on bodies, relationships, social justice, and love in her collection, Fist and Fire.
Julia de Burgos
Injustice, colonialism, and oppression intertwined with the feminist voice of Burgos inspire wonder for the writer whose voice in the early 1900s still rings true today. Burgos traversed from her native Puerto Rico to live in New York; the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in Harlem is one of her many namesakes. Read her complete collection in Song of the Simple Truths.
Mothering a mixed-race son, love, and humanity are the focus of Chang’s nourishing and inspiring poetry. Chang is the first named woman Poet Laureate from Brooklyn, author of three poetry collections, and teaches writing throughout the world. Read her third poetry collection, Hybrida.
Declarations of feminism, societal shame, and sexual pleasure in Robinson's work express universal themes of living as a woman in her distinct, personal narratives. Her work is available in books, video content, and various publications. Start with her first book, This Is For The Women Who Don’t Give A Fuck. for a raw and open dialogue on women's ongoing societal judgment and the right to resist suppression of female autonomy.
In exploring human connections to nature and animals, Smith writes about relationships with sharp turns that tumble out of preconceived notions about a woman's place in the world. Although her poetry expands beyond this scope, it is here where her voice as a woman resonates in unapologetic ways. Smith destroys the tools of verbal oppression by using the words of the oppressor. Start with her poem, "Pretty" in the book, Best Poems. The word is used sixty times in the poem and is anything other than what society defines as pretty.
Laura Phoenix Power is an author, poet, intuitive writing mentor, and creative designer who helps women powerfully connect with introspection and self-expression. She writes about reclaiming self-worth after trauma, relationships, and communication. Owning her truth, Laura shares personal narratives on healing and the rhythms of self-acceptance. Using her intuitive and empathic gifts, Laura delivers insights for women to activate more profound self-understanding and reveal distinctive emotional capacities to build their desired relationships with themselves and others. Currently, in Atlanta, Georgia, Laura is working on her new poetry collection and relishing the wonders of connectedness with her daughters, family, and friends. Her work is currently featured in Venus Rising: Musings & Lore from Women Writers.
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