5 feminist poets to empower you on World Poetry Day


World Poetry Day is the perfect time to celebrate female poets speaking out against sexism and empowering women through their words.

Today is World Poetry Day, an annual holiday intended to recognize poets everywhere, and to promote the reading and writing of poetry worldwide. There are so many poets to celebrate, from the classic writers most of us are forced to read in high school to more modern poets who use Instagram as the major platform to spread their words.

And while plenty of people will be raising a glass to the classic poets today, it’s equally as important to give some love to more modern writers.

We think World Poetry Day is the perfect day to celebrate female poets who are using their platforms to speak out against sexism and empower other women through their words. Here are 5 feminist poets you should definitely check out today.

Rupi Kaur

Most readers have at least heard of Rupi Kaur, especially after her debut Milk and Honey hit shelves back in 2014. Kaur writes about femininity, covering every topic from abuse to sexuality to love and loss. Kaur takes her own experiences and makes them relatable to female readers everywhere. And she continues to do this in her second collection, The Sun and Her Flowers

Some of Kaur’s most powerful pieces focus on the female body and the ways it’s often objectified. She turns the notion that we cannot love our bodies on its head, and she teaches her readers that they don’t need to be defined by the things they’ve been taught about themselves. In a world that’s constantly pushing expectations on women, especially when it comes to their bodies, Kaur’s words are a necessity.

Amanda Lovelace

Amanda Lovelace’s Women Are Some Kind of Magic series is about as feminist as modern poetry gets. It’s comprised of three books so far: The Princess Saves Herself in This One, The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This Oneand The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One. The story told through these three collections is one of growth and empowerment.

During The Princess Saves Herself in This One, Lovelace takes the typical fairytale structure and upends it, explaining to her readers that you don’t need someone else to save you. Her second collection, The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One, is far more fiery and serves as a reminder of everything women have been forced to endure—and are still expected to endure today. And her latest release, The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One, reminds women that they do have a voice and that it’s important to use it.

Nikita Gill

Nikita Gill is well known as an Instagram poet, but she’s published many collections of her poetry over the years, beginning with Your Soul Is a River in 2012. Throughout her career, she’s also been part of several collaborative poetry collections, and her more recent releases include Wild Embers: Poems of Rebellion, Fire, and Beauty and Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul.

So many of Gill’s poems focus on how powerful women can become if they’re willing to accept themselves as they are, and she’s a strong proponent of women supporting one another. Her poetry is perfect for any reader looking for some feminist inspiration.

K.Y. Robinson

K.Y. Robinson is another name you’ll hear often throughout the Instagram poetry community. A survivor of trauma and mental illness, Robinson uses her struggles to fuel her work and to inspire those who have gone through similar experiences. She’s best known for her 2016 debut, The Chaos of Longing, which explores what it means to experience desire.

Robinson is also releasing another poetry collection this October, entitled Submerge. Through this book, she tackles how to “achieve wholeness and let go.” Her work defies the notion that women need something or someone outside of themselves to feel whole, and they serve as a testament to the strength of survivors.

Kim Guerra

Kim Guerra is an activist and poet, and she’s the CEO of Brown Badass Bonita, a clothing brand that empowers Latina women and women of color. She uses her clothing designs as a means of “healing and celebrating [her culture],” and she takes that same spirit and puts it into her poetry, pushing all women to rise up against oppression.

Her poetry collection Mariposa was published last year, and it’s full of stunning pieces that tackle both sexism and racism head-on. Her words are unapologetic, and they create a much-needed space for intersectionality in the world of modern poetry.

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Which poetry collection will you be picking up in honor of World Poetry Day?