6 Female Poets For National Poetry Month

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Read six female poets for National Poetry Month.

In the United States, April is National Poetry Month and like other celebrated history and literary months of recognition (Black History Month and Women’s History Month, for examples) it’s a time used to promote poetry, encourage poetic writing and recognize the works of poets past and present. In a proclamation issued on April 1, 1996, President Bill Clinton declared:

“National Poetry Month offers us a welcome opportunity to celebrate not only the unsurpassed body of literature produced by our poets in the past, but also the vitality and diversity of voices reflected in the works of today’s American poetry. Their creativity and wealth of language enrich our culture and inspire a new generation of Americans to learn the power of reading and writing at its best.”

Although there are many well-known poets that we’ve become familiar with through school, casual reading or conversation there are also a multitude of others who are virtually unknown. Below are six American female poets that you probably haven’t heard of, but should get to know.

Katharine Lee Bates

Fairy Gold

A graduate of Wellesley College, Bates went on to become a high school teacher and then university professor of English literature. A prolific author, Bates is best known for writing the words to America the Beautiful.

Emma Catherine Embury​ 

The Poems of Emma C. Embury

Born in New York, Embury was a regular contributor of junvenile verse to the New York Mirror and was also one of two female editors for a Philadelphia magazine.

Maria Gowen Brooks 

Zóphiël; or, The Bride of Seven

Brooks endured a series of tragedies beginning with the death of her father, her husband who was 30 years her senior and eventually her brother. Poetry was a mean of comfort and escape. Her talent caught the attention of Edgar Allan Poe and English Poet Laureate, Robert Southey, who both regarded her in high esteem.

Emily Chubbuck Judson

An Olio of Domestic Verses

Judson published most of her works under the pseudonym Fanny Forrester. Her life was fairly simple and quiet. She married, had two children, one of whom died on the day he was born, and shortly thereafter Judson passed away from consumption.

Eleanor C. Donnelly

A Tuscan Magdalen

The sister of the lawyer, author and lieutenant governor and Minnesota U.S. Congressman, Ignatius Loyola Donnelly, Eleanor Donnelly was highly regarded when it came to her craft. Known as the poet of the pure soul she published 30 novels, hundreds of poems many other pamphlets and collections of verse.

Julia Caroline Dorr

Poems

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Dorr spent most of her life in New York. She published several writings from the mid to late 1800s, but is better known for her volumes of verse at the beginning of the 20th century.

All works shared above are believed to be in the public domain.

Photo Credit: Pascal Maramis via CC

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Sarah Hartshorn is a marketing, public relations and social media professional with Vuze. She blogs about content, torrents, social media and a number of other tech topics. Sarah has been involved with traditional and digital marketing since 1998.