Selections from Female Poets

Byron, Shakespeare, Poe.

Whitman, Frost, Tennyson.

These names are often thought of in regards to remarkable poetry, and while these men are incredible poets, the works of comparable female writers are left to the side.

There are many female poets known for their poetry as well: Plath, Sexton, and Dickinson, to name a few. Today, there is a new generation of poets continuing the legacy of female poetry.

Sierra DeMulder

Minneapolis-based poet Sierra DeMulder is one making waves in her field. Her work includes “The Bones Below,” “New Shoes on a Dead Horse,” “We Slept Here” and, more recently, “Today Means Amen.”

DeMulder, like many of her contemporaries, writes on body image issues, rape, love and growing up.

She is also popular for her slam poetry, a competition in which poets share their original work to an audience and panel of judges.

DeMulder’s poetry is especially potent to those suffering from mental illness. Her poem “Ana” criticizes the culture of pro-anorexia. “We Made It” discusses depression. DeMulder has teamed with To Write Love on Her Arms, a nonprofit for the promotion of mental health awareness and treatment, to spread her message of hope and understanding to those suffering with the illness.

Her poems are incredibly insightful as she provides a voice for those struggling but without the courage to speak.

Clementine Von Radics

Like DeMulder, Clementine Von Radics writes her poems on feminism, rape culture and mental illness.

“Mouthful of Forevers” and “Dream Girl,” both by Von Radics, feature poetry commenting on Von Radics’ relationships, her love and heartbreak.

Von Radics has a strong voice that she uses to effectively share her thoughts and feelings. She is unafraid to discuss sexuality in females and ambition in young women. She remarks on the inequities faced by women not only in this century, but in previous generations as well.

Yet she is also delicate and romantic. Her poem “Mouthful of Forevers” is used by many couples around the country as wedding vows, and “What Brings Me Joy” is a simple, sweet declaration of love.

Von Radics has created a successful poetry publishing company based out of Portland, Oregon, called Where Are You Press, where she primarily focuses on publishing the works of females, people of color and marginalized people.

Michelle K

One of Von Radics’ authors is Michelle K, a college student who primarily spreads her poetry via a blog.

Michelle K’s debut anthology, “No Competition Between Flowers,” is comprised of her short and moving poetry.

Michelle K’s poetry is focused around growth, especially her own. She touches on her family, her personal battle with her mental illness and her loss and gains in love.

The beauty in Michelle K’s poetry is in its simplicity. Some of her poems are no longer than a sentence, making her first debut very fast and easy to read. Yet each of her poems, however short, are very powerful. The lack of context and superfluous text makes her poetry very relatable to all readers, no matter their backgrounds.

DeMulder, Von Radics and Michelle K are not the only female poets out there writing and creating amazing work. Lang Leav, Raquel de Alderete (known as R.I.D.) and Sarah Kay are others with similar passion and poetry.

Plath, Sexton and Dickinson have handed the baton on to the next generation female poets. Let’s celebrate that.

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