Wednesday, April 06, 2011

NaPoMo QOTD A Good Woman Poet is Apparently Hard to Find

"Where what breathes, breathes
The restless wind of the inlets,
And what drinks, drinks
The incoming tide"
 - Night by Louise Bogan* (PoLau '45-'46)

Let me preface this by saying I have had the pleasure of reading some wonderful poetry by women and the privilege of taking classes from them, as well. So, when I say a good woman poet is hard to find, I mean that must be the case according to the Librarians of Congress. Louise Bogan was the woman behind the Library's massive project to record twentieth century poetry. (Most PoLaus have continued this project through their terms, adding to the collection.) She was the first of her kind. A woman Consultant in Poetry.

Of 43 Poets Laureate, there have only been 10 women. Seriously, what's up with that? We constitute more than half the population of America. So why do we represent less than 25% of the PoLaus. It's ridiculous.

Dear Future Librarian of Congress,
 Please amend this mathematically stupid situation at your earliest convenience.
Thank You,
 Women and Poetry

*from The Poets Laureate Anthology, published by W.W. Norton in association with the Library of Congress. Poem copyright Louise Bogan.


Kathryn Paterson said...

It's not just poetry--women's novels are taken much less seriously as a whole and are less likely to be considered "literary." There's been a whole brouhaha about this over at the VIDA (Women in the Literary Arts) website, and I think their research has been interesting.

We've come a long way, but race and gender are still unfortunate and unfair determinants.

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