3 Incredible Female Poets who are also Mental Health Advocates
May is Mental Health Awareness month, making it a great time for us to spotlight the discussion surrounding mental health in the poetry community. There are so many talented poets who are bravely using their words to bring awareness to the topic of mental health and the daily struggles many of us face on our journeys to being okay. Poetry gives people a common ground for powerful discussions about anxiety, depression, trauma, and more. Poets provide the words that so many feel but aren’t sure how to express. Here are just a few incredible female poets who are starting the dialogue and creating space for deeper and more intentional discussions on mental health.
1. Aija Mayrock
Aija Mayrock is an author, poet, and spoken word performer who creates beautiful and meaningful art that brings to light the topics of bullying and mental health. Mayrock, who was bullied in her youth, writes about her experiences and advocates for others through promoting awareness and encouraging compassion and change. Her poetry is vulnerable and honest as she seeks to create a safe space for others to share about their struggles and fight for what they believe in. Mayrock’s work challenges readers to engage in tough conversations about the realities of bullying, the painful and often isolating experience of mental illness, and why empathy matters. Her debut poetry book, Dear Girl, is reflective and relatable poetry that will help inspire others on their own journeys to keep fighting forward.
2. Alicia Cook
Alicia Cook is a strong voice in the poetry world who boldly speaks out about mental health and the heartbreaking effects of addiction on families. She has written extensively on the pain of losing a loved one to a drug overdose, and her words have helped raise awareness about how addiction’s impact reverberates through our communities. Cook’s poetry also gives words to the hardships many people face as they battle mental illness, painting an honest and vulnerable depiction of her personal yet profoundly relatable experiences. Cook’s book Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back and its titular poem have widely resonated with readers desperate to feel seen in their circumstances. Her words are a powerful and much-needed reminder that none of us are struggling alone and that there are people who understand and see us in our pain. For more by Alicia Cook, be sure to check out her other poetry collections, I Hope My Voice Doesn’t Skip and Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately.
K.Y. Robinson is the immensely talented author of Submerge and The Chaos Of Longing. She is on a mission with her poetry to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Robinson realizes that negative sentiments of the mental health conversation often serve as a barrier preventing people from getting help. Her goal in her writing is to ensure that people don’t have to feel alone in what they’re experiencing. Our feelings are valid and our mental health matters. Her words are a soothing source of comfort for every hurting heart and a beautiful and eloquent reminder that pain is part of the human experience, but we don’t have to suffer in silence. Her voice joins together with other mental health advocates to encourage others to seek the help they need and find support along the way.
Mental health is a subject that matters deeply and a conversation always worth having. Luckily for us, this article just scratches the surface of all of the mental health advocates speaking out through their art and poetry.
Do you have another favorite poet who is a mental health advocate? Share with us in the comments. The more we highlight poets speaking out about mental health, the more intentional conversations we can have surrounding the topic with our friends and family. Let us know your favorites below, and I hope that this can serve as a reminder that you’re never alone in this world.