REVIEW: Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism, Edited by Danielle Barnhart & Iris Mahan

Wednesday, 18 April 2018


A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality. Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new authority. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets—to be released as a handbound chapbook—has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with a portion of proceeds supporting Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights. Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker.

Although I adored the intent of this collection, and the fact that a portion of the money gained from its sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood and the Centre for Reproductive Rights, the content of Women of Resistance went completely over my head. This book gives a voice to so many different, powerful, mind-blowingly amazing women but the fact of the matter is that the things that they finally had the chance to say, completely missed me. I think it’s the format, no I know that it is, it just seems as though if things are not spelled out in drawn-out, novel-like detail, then my brain just can’t grasp the themes that the pieces are trying to extoll. Poetry excels because it often focusses on the abstracts and unfortunately, that is something that completely escapes me.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Head on over to http://bit.ly/2y7JSWV for this book, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

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