Using Poetry to Celebrate Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month shines a spotlight on the contributions women have made to society throughout history, highlighting both progress we’ve made as a global society as well as how far we must still go to achieve a more just, egalitarian world. As poetry lovers, we can use poetry to celebrate, support, and make space for both women in our lives as well as women writers.
Write a poem to a woman you admire
Show a woman you’re close to—whether she’s a mother figure, friend, or sister—your appreciation by writing and gifting her a poem. Women must constantly navigate an oppressive world filled with obstacles, so you shouldn’t underestimate the impact this small but heartfelt act of kindness can have on a loved one. In your poem, explore a challenge you both overcame together, a helpful piece of advice she gave you, or a quality she possesses that you admire.
Purchase a poetry collection by a self-published woman writer
Sharing one’s story is a courageous act, especially for writers with marginalized identities. This Women’s History Month, support a woman writer by purchasing her self-published poetry book. To find a collection you’ll love, consider browsing Read Poetry’s Instagram account, which regularly shares up-and-coming writers’ poems. Give these poets a follow and be sure to add a collection or two to your cart!
Donate women-penned poetry books to your local thrift or consignment shop
If you’re an avid poetry reader, it’s likely you have stacks of read and re-read poetry books sitting on your shelf. Take an inventory of your collection—which works are you ready to bid adieu to? Encourage others to read women’s work by donating and exchanging your copies of female poets’ collections to your local thrift store or consignment book shop.
Start a women’s poetry book club
Gather a few of your friends to form a women’s poetry book club, serving as an opportunity to build sisterhood while expanding your poetry collection and broadening your perspective. Make a list of poetry books written by women and commit to meeting frequently—at least once a month, for example. From classic to modern poetry, be sure to read a wide variety of works. Create a diverse, inclusive TBR, choosing women poets with intersectional identities. For inspiration, check out this piece on 12 female poets who changed poetry for the better.
Share women’s work on social media
Social media is one of the most effective tools for supporting creators, including poets. If you’re active on Instagram, be sure to share women poets’ work on your stories throughout the month, using the hashtag #womenshistorymonth. Also, consider subscribing to and following female spoken word poets on YouTube and TikTok.
Whether you choose one or more of the activities listed above, hopefully you feel inspired to intentionally uplift women during Women’s History Month. Poetry serves as a dynamic vehicle to accomplish this important goal, creating opportunities to help women feel seen and know their inherent worth.