“For the first time in my life, I felt allergic to poetry. A radical, rogue Supreme Court decided Americans with uteruses no longer have the human right to control our own bodies but are subject to the whims of our state. I couldn’t bear to read a poem. … Then came Independence Day. The painful irony of a July 4 on the heels of such profound loss of liberty left me suddenly hungry for words. I needed poems the way some need scripture.”
Welcome back to Ms. Muse, a discovery place for riotous, righteous and resonant feminist poetry that nourishes and gives voice to a rising tide of female resistance.
Poet Laureate of Fresno, Calif., since 2019, Marisol Baca is the first woman, the first woman of color, and the first Chicano/Latinx poet to hold this appointment.
Descended from lifetimes of being forced to forget, Chicana/Latinx poet Marisol Baca works to remember what was lost long ago, writing stories that she grew up hearing from the women in her family.
As a systems change consultant, Shah has asked tough questions about domestic violence against women—and the relationships between structural, state, community and interpersonal violence—and then provided transformative research and strategies. Shah’s poetry asks hard questions, too.
Please spread the word to feminist poets: If you’re writing about what you’re witnessing, what you’re living and what haunts you, we invite you to send your work to Ms. Muse for consideration.
In this edition of Ms. Muse, four feminist poets write and talk about queerness, happiness, genderless sex and imagining change—personally and politically.
“I don’t think I can isolate what I need as a writer from what I need as a Black woman, mother, wife—which is to live… And to know that my children have a future. And to know that my husband will not be hunted down.”
“If the idea of the human is to be truly re-made, then women will do the making.” In this installment of Ms. Muse, acclaimed poet Patricia Spears Jones opens up about growing up in the segregated South, the literary world’s ageism and Eve’s resistance—and shares three new poems.
For this installment of Ms. Muse, award-winning poet and author and VIDA co-founder Amy King opens up about learning to speak up and step up—and shares three previously unpublished poems with Ms. readers.
The fact that this master poet, in the last decade of her life, felt inspired by other women writers to be “braver”—and worked to write those new poems—suggests that Mary Oliver finally exited the building that had once sucked all the air out of her body, and escaped that “broken house” of her childhood once and for all.