This year marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, which became official when ratified by a thirty-sixth state on August 18, 1920. The occasion offers our country an opportunity to celebrate this democratic milestone, to revisit the complexities of the women’s suffrage movement, and to draw attention to the equal rights issues of today. The amendment's anniversary is also important in the history of American poetry, as the campaign for women’s voting rights was heralded and promoted by the poems written and published by suffrage activists themselves. 

Classic Poems from the Suffrage Movement

A Suggested Campaign Song” by Alice Duer Miller
We are waging—can you doubt it?

We As Women” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
There's a cry in the air about us... 

To the Others” by Lola Ridge
I see you, refulgent ones, 

Alice Paul” by Katharine Rolston Fisher
I watched a river of women...

To Susan B. Anthony on her eightieth birthday” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton
My honored friend, I’ll ne’er forget...

The Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Julia Ward Howe
‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord...

Aunt Chloe's Politics” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Of course, I don't know very much... 

The Women's Litany” by Margaret Widdemer
Let us in through the guarded gate...


Poems from the Project 19 Initiative 

Launched in February 2020, Project 19 is the single largest women-only commissioning initiative in history. As part of the project, the Academy of American Poets has partnered with the New York Philharmonic to commission nineteen new poems by award-winning poets Elizabeth AlexanderEllen BassMarilyn ChinNatalie DiazRita DoveJoy LadinAda Limón, and more. 

Read more, plus poems.