10 Female Poets You Need to Read

April is National Poetry Month! To celebrate, here are the names and samples of 10 incredible female poets who you should take a look at this month.

1. Kinsale Hueston

Quote from “Red Wrists”

Red is the color of the setting sun,

an unadulterated deity pulling her needle

backwards through black wool. She leaves blushing

pinpricks oozing ghosts over the left horizon.

Dying winter filters in through smoky trees that whistle

with youth and charity. She crouches, pensive, a tendril

of sweet-smelling mist laps up the hue with her hungry eyes.

Red wrists, red mind, red lips.  

 

2. Rowan Blanchard

“Selfie”

I am the Mona Lisa

Staring at myself in my magic

And I laugh

Cause you get so frightened by my Perfection

And you should be

This being can move mountains

This being can start wars

And Being is a war

And I know it

And no one is allowed to know?

Well, too late

Now don't touch the art  

 

3. Nayyirah Waheed

Poem from her book “Salt”

sometimes the night wakes in the

middle of me.

and I can do nothing

but

become the moon.  

 

4. Lang Leav

"Strength"

Don't let them tell you that your pain should be

confined to the past, that it bears no relevance to the present.

Your pain is part of who you are.

They don't know how strong that makes you.

 

5. Cleo Wade

“A love note to my body”

a love note to my body:

first of all,

I want to say

thank you.

for the heart you kept beating

even when it was broken

for every answer you gave me in my gut

for loving me back

even when I didn't know how to love you

for every time you recovered when I pushed you past our limits

for today,

for waking up

6. Caroline Kaufman

Untitled.

they all want to see me burn, their hands are full of matches

my fingertips are catching sparks – but there will be no ashes

even if you scorch my skin, a fire will remain

the sticks and stones you throw are only kindling my flame

 

7. Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Quotes from “Invitation”

Can you believe there are humans who don’t value

the feel of a good bite and embrace at least once a day?

Underneath you, narwhals spin upside down

while their singular tooth needles you

like a compass pointed towards home. If you dive

deep enough where imperial volutes and hatchet fish

swim, you will find all the colors humans have not yet

named, and wide caves of black coral and clamshell…

…Who knows what will happen next? And if you still want

to look up, I hope you see the dark sky as oceanic —

boundless, limitless — like all the shades of blue in a glacier.

Listen how this planet spins with so much fin, wing, and fur.

 

8. Warsan Shire

Quote from “For Women who are Difficult to Love”

and you tried to change didn’t you?

closed your mouth more

tried to be softer

prettier

less volatile, less awake

but even when sleeping you could feel

him travelling away from you in his dreams

so what did you want to do love

split his head open?

you can’t make homes out of human beings

someone should have already told you that

and if he wants to leave

then let him leave

you are terrifying

and strange and beautiful

something not everyone knows how to love.

 

9. Jamila Woods

Quote from “Blk Girl Art”

Poems are bullshit unless they are eyeglasses, honey

tea with lemon, hot water bottles on tummies. I want

poems my grandma wants to tell the ladies at church

about. I want orange potato words soaking in the pot

til their skins fall off, words you burn your tongue on,

words on sale two for one, words that keep my feet dry.

 

10. Jenny Zhang

Quote from “Everyone’s Girlfriend”

I want to be brilliant

like tiny worms that live

inside your head are brilliant

like your head was brilliant

when you told me to have at least

some reason to exist

and I do exist for some reason

for some reason I am not everyone