Thanks to Afshan D’souza-Lodhi at The Common Sense Network for publishing my short piece, New Oldish Poets Society – which you can read here – detailing twelve women poets who’ve recently published their first pamphlet or collection in their late 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. I’ve read a few articles recently charting the rise in poetry’s popularity yet nothing that I’ve seen mentions the rather wonderful phenomenon of more and more older women being published for the first time.
You can decide for yourself why it is that older women are increasingly making a space for themselves in the poetry world – in my article I suggest it’s to do with networking, education and publishing opportunities made available by the internet, as well as changed and changing attitudes towards women in general and a reassessment of what is considered ‘good’ poetry, along with different types of people making editorial decisions.
And you can draw your own conclusions about the reasons for the absence of older women in articles celebrating the current #poetryboom…
I am sorry that I didn’t include more poets in my piece. The article would’ve been enormously long if I’d included all of the women recommended to me who fitted into the demographic of ‘first published over the age of 45 in the past 10-15 years’. I tried to include names that might not be well-known in the mainstream world (or even in the poetry world, wherever that is) and I wanted to mention a range of publishers and small presses.
The poets I’ve mentioned are:
- Kadija Sesay published by Peepal Tree Press
- Carole Bromley published by Smith|Doorstop
- Jessica Mookherjee published by Nine Arches Press
- Judy Brown published by Seren Books
- Deborah Alma published by Nine Arches Press
- Kathy Pimlott published by The Emma Press
- L Kiew published by Offord Road Books
- Robbie Burton published by HappenStance Press
- Pey Pey Oh published by Flarestack Poets
- Jane Clarke published by Bloodaxe Books and Smith|Doorstop
- Panya Banjoko published by Burning Eye Books
- Susannah Hart published by Live Canon
Do, please, leave names and links to books in the comment section below, or, even better, write your own piece about the same topic. Happy International Women’s Day.