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Women and Poetry in the Social Media Age

  • Women in Poetry

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate the achievements and extraordinary contributions of women all over the world. As part of Intercultural Week, the IC is showcasing different female poets inspiring a new generation of young women with their writing.

Poetry is often seen as an art form firmly anchored in the past: it’s old, boring, and on the decline. However, in recent years, poetry is experiencing a resurgence particularly with young women. Following the results of the controversial 2016 US election, Differences of Opinion, a poem by Wendy Cope originally published in 2006, went viral online when life coach and writer Felicity Morse tweeted the poem to her more than 10,000 followers.

Now more than ever, poetry is accessible to a younger, wider audience on popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This has led to an increase in poetry book sales, with an annual growth rate of 21% since 2015, making it one of the fastest growing categories in publishing (Graham, 2018). 

Today’s generation of female poets are pop-culture savvy, politically engaged and unapologetically raw and honest. They have huge followings on Instagram, and collections such as Milk and Honey by Indo-Canadian poet Rupi Kaur have sold well over a million copies, and spent over 100 weeks on the New York Time’s Best Sellers List (Morris et al., 2018)

These “Insta-poets” are helping to redefine both contemporary poetry and female empowerment, by tackling universal themes such as love, gender inequality, and womanhood. Their words offer us a way to connect with experiences different from our own and provide a voice for those who are traditionally underrepresented in our communities.

Here’s a selection of poems from some inspirational women

  1. Shrinking Women, Lily Myers
  2. the sun and her flowers, Rupi Kaur
  3. from War, Warsan Shire

Interested in attending the Intercultural Centre’s International Women’s Day event? Stay tuned for more details on student eNews and myCampus, or email intercultural@bowvalleycollege.ca. Read up on more female poets by visiting the Intercultural Centre’s showcase, 3rd floor North Campus.

References:

Graham, L. (2018, April 5). April is National Poetry Month in bookstores – and on social media, too. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/2018/instapoets-r…

Morris, H., Honeyman, G., Kwan, K., Kaur, R., Greer, A. S., Pekkanen, G. H., . . . Ware, R. (2018, December 16). Paperback Trade Fiction Books - Best Sellers. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/trade-fiction-paperback/

 

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