It’s the time of year when poets of all backgrounds come together and are celebrated for their work. National Poetry Month was created in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, in the hopes of uplifting and showcasing work capable of capturing the imaginations of the general public. And in that same spirit, here are some amazing women writers who speak to the soul and will make you want to tap into your highest self.
1. Amanda Gorman
There's no question that Amanda Gorman should be first on the list. She has had such an impactful year, and it’s only April. Becoming the youngest poet to perform at President Biden’s inauguration and the first-ever poet to be on the cover of Vogue magazine, Gorman is living proof that it doesn't matter how young you may be, you have the power to break barriers.
Her most notable work: “The Hill We Climb”
2. Rupi Kaur
From self-publishing her iconic debut poetry collection, milk and honey, at 21 to performing her first-ever one-woman show (out April 30), Rupi Kaur is a literary powerhouse in the poetry community. Kaur’s work speaks to all women about femininity, loss, breaking generational cycles, and more.
Her most notable work: “Timeless”
3. Ebony Stewart
Touring poet, performance artist, coach, mentor, sexual health activist, and playwright, Ebony Stewart is a woman with a purpose. Described as one of the most “decorated poets in Texas” according to her website, this Woman of the World Poetry Slam champion will leave you feeling empowered and seen.
Her most notable work: “Box”
4. Jae Nichelle
Performing in poetry slams since she was a teenager, Jae Nichelle’s contributions to spoken word have been making waves over the past few years. With work featured in Refinery29, Best New Poets 2020, and ColorBloq Magazine, Nichelle is an accomplished poet and author and writes articles centered around mental health within the Black community.
Her most notable work: “Friends with Benefits”
5. Emi Mahmoud
“She has debated with presidents, been confronted by the Dalai Lama, and been called one of the world’s most inspiring women, ” The Guardian writes about poet and activist Emtithal Mahmoud. Mahmoud focuses on advocacy and triumph while expressing her insights on the pain and beauty that come from living in Sudan. Her vulnerability will leave your heart wrenched and your spine tingling.
Her most notable work: “For Anyone Who Feels Alone Out There”
Top Photo: Screenshot of Jae Nichelle - "Friends with Benefits" via YouTube
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Sydney Jackson is an editorial intern for BUST magazine and also writes for The Pop Topic and Consonancie. An aspiring author and content creator, Sydney is passionate about writing on various topics regarding culture, media, and all things women-focused. You can find her on all platforms @sydthecrybaby.