Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, as well as a day of awareness and activism with the aim of accelerating gender parity worldwide. Fittingly included within our national celebration of Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day seeks to not just celebrate women and encourage awareness of gender inequality on the national scale, but also inspire a global conversation and renew efforts to challenge biases against women.
In particular, we take this time to think of the women poets who have influenced American literature in the past and continue to influence it today—because or despite of whatever socio-political or cultural challenges they faced in their respective times. From Sappho to Emily Dickinson, from Gertrude Stein to Anne Sexton, from H. D. to Lucille Clifton, Marilyn Hacker, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Adrienne Rich, there are countless women who have been innovators in their speech, content, form, etc., making their mark in the cultural consciousness of American literature.
Celebrate International Women’s Day—as well as the rest of Women’s History Month, and beyond—by visiting our Women’s History Month page, featuring a curated collection of poems, videos, audio, essays, lesson plans, and ephemera from and about women poets, and check back in Stanza this month for more coverage.