Category: poetry

Flora Brovina (b. 1949) is a poet and women’s rights activist from Kosovo. She
also studied medicine and worked as a paediatrician in the Pristina General Hospital.

Before the Kosovo War, she ran a health
clinic which also served as a shelter for orphaned children. She was abducted
and imprisoned during the war, only released as a result of international
pressure. Among the prizes she has received are the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith
Freedom to Write Award and the Human Rights Award of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Margaret Walker (1915-1998) was an important representative of the Chicago Black
Renaissance, the African-American literary movement of the 30s and 40s. She
wrote poetry and fiction.

Her best-known novel is the 1966 Jubilee,
detailing the story of a slave family around the Civil War era. She was also a
literature professor at Jackson State University and the founder of the Institute
for the Study of History, Life and Culture of Black People, which today bears
her name.

Judith Wright (1915-2000) was a poet and environmentalist
from Australia. She was also a campaigner for Aboriginal land rights.

Her poetry deals
significantly with environmental topics, as well as the relationship between
man and the environment. She campaigned for the conservation of the Great
Barrier Reef and Fraser Island, and served as the President for the Wildlife
Preservation Society of Queensland. In 1994, she won the Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission Poetry Award.

Ama Ata Aidoo
(b.1942) is a
poet and playwright from Ghana. She has previously served as the Minister of
Education in her country.

Her first play, The Dilemma of a Ghost, was published in 1964, and made her the
first published African female dramatist. Her novels frequently feature strong
female characters who break common societal stereotypes. In 2000 she founded
the Mbaasem Foundation, which supports African women writers.

Lesya
Ukrainka
(1871-1913)
is one of the most significant writers in Ukrainian literature. She is known
for her poetry and plays, as well as for her feminist activism.

She was highly
educated from a young age and could speak ten languages. Her poetry had strong
political connotations, especially regarding Ukraine’s fight for independence
from the Russian Empire.

Rosalía de
Castro
(1837-1885)
is a significant figure in the Romantic Movement in her native Galicia. She
wrote in Galician in addition to Spanish, in a gesture of defiance against
stereotypes of the minority language.

She published numerous
volumes of poetry and is considered one of the most significant Spanish writers
of the nineteenth century. Her work focused heavily on Galician history,
society and language, fighting against the notion that it was a lesser tongue,
unfit for literature.

bell hooks (b. 1952) is an
author and social activist, focusing on issues of feminism, race and sexuality.
She writes fiction and non-fiction, having published her first book of poems in
1978.

Among her many works are the 1981 book Ain’t I A Woman?: Black women and feminism, and Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center,
published in 1984. She taught at several prestigious institutions, for example
Yale University as Professor of African-American Studies and English.

Sapphire (b. 1950) is the pen name of Ramona Lofton, a performance poet and author. She began as part of the Slam Poetry scene of New York.

In 1996 she released her first novel, Push, which sold hundreds of thousands of copies. This was the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-winning film Precious.

Rosario Castellanos (1925-1974) is considered one of the most important Mexican poets of the 20th century. She frequently incorporated feminist and cultural themes into her work.

After graduating with a degree in philosophy and literature, she began teaching at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and worked for the National Indigenous Institute. Through her poetry, she defended the rights of women and of the native people of Mexico.

Dr. Maya Angelou’s 90th Birthday:

If you’re into poetry like me, you’ll definitely want to check out Maya Angelou’s poetry! She’s one of my favorite all time poets no doubt! I still have “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. Happy Birthday, Dr. Angelou! I hope you are enjoying your day in heaven.

P.S. I just found the Google Doodle archive which shows women being honored in other countries that might not be shown in your own so I hope to share some of those in the future as well!