REBELLIOUS WOMEN IN POETRY

"Rebellious Women in Poetry" is a monthly column produced by Jessica Dyer and Susan Yount for Rebellious Magazine for Women. Each month, the column will feature a single poet/poem the columnists deem fits the theme of “rebellion.” The sole purpose is to share with a wider audience poetry that empowers women across all differences. As rebellious women, we seek to create and support a space where we can share poems—our small rebellions with big messages—with a wider audience. We find rebelles in poetic form, in rhyme or not, in content, in experiment; we find rebelles in the way they live their lives and the ideas they hold dear, in the activism they work toward. Modeled after former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” series, “Rebellious Women in Poetry” is made possible by rebellious women. All material is copy written by the authors.

Hafizah Geter's 'paula'

Karen Hawkins
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
As a somewhat curmudgeonly 28-year-old, I’m not sure if I’m a Millennial, a Gen X'er or Y'er, or just lost between them all. I am a child of the 1990s, though, and so is this poem. I first heard “paula” in a hot room full of cold poets, the winter night drained from the sky long before. Geter made this poem ache like the 1990s made me ache -- it’s truly a co  Read more 

Rachelle Cruz's 'The Mother: Confession I'

Karen Hawkins
Sunday, June 23, 2013
If ever there was a chapbook filled to the rim with lady rebellion it would be Rachelle Cruz’s Self-portrait as Rumor and Blood. Even the poem titles urge us toward rebellion: “Litany for Silence,” “Cross-Examination” and “How to Fight Back.” But what I like best about her work is how she exposes our vulnerability. The below poem is not a typical  Read more 

Y. Madrone's 'Tulip is the bravest flower, I mean bird'

Karen Hawkins
Monday, May 27, 2013
Sometimes, I love a poem so much I want to crawl inside it and live there in a very tangible way, but because poems are words, I’ll have to let them live inside me. If you’ve ever felt displaced, replaced, misplaced, unplaced, out-of-place ... then, well, you’ll feel this poem. Y. Madrone writes of the pigeon, the tulip: “Residing on every continent but unclaimed:  Read more 

Risa Denenberg’s 'Excess Light'

Karen Hawkins
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Risa Denenberg’s courage to write so boldly, plainly and master it with such brevity astounds me. Her honest, clear, and easy to read poetry goes against everything academia seems to put on a pedestal. I’m stunned by her frank language and stark energy. She writes poems straight-up and without ego. Even if you only read this one, I’m certain you’ll feel the rebell  Read more 

Jonterri Gadson’s Cardinal Sin

Karen Hawkins
Monday, March 11, 2013
The turning point in this poem, “It wasn’t my place / to teach other women’s children / about death” keeps me awake at night. That’s what good poems do—they resonate long after we’ve shut the book, turned out the light. Jonterri Gadson’s poem is full of lines that stick to the psyche, especially that first line, “I don’t love my  Read more 

Kayla Sargeson's 'Hellwave'

Karen Hawkins
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Dealing with the aftermath of trauma—emotional or physical—can shape a person forever. In Kayla Sargeson’s poem “Hellwave” the speaker—whose body has been previously traumatized, “cracked open like glass”—rebels against that pain by inflicting more pain upon her body, but on her own terms. By riding the hellwave, she wants to eliminat  Read more 

Kristine Ong Muslim's 'Self Portrait as Broken Home...'

Karen Hawkins
Sunday, January 06, 2013
Kristine Ong Muslim has been a great inspiration to me. For years, I’ve been following her poems and conversations in journals like Anobium Literary Magazine, Boxcar Poetry Review, Pank, Prick of the Spindle, Viral Cat and a hundred other amazing print and online journals. I’ve finally had a chance to read two of her recent books, Grim Series (Popcorn Press, 2012 (http:/  Read more 

'Aswang' by Barbara Jane Reyes

Karen Hawkins
Monday, November 26, 2012
In the movie Dolores Claiborne, Vera Donovan said, “Sometimes you have to be a high-riding bitch to survive. Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold onto.” Taken out of context, for me, this means that a women needs to dig deep into her bile to do the extraordinary work it takes to succeed and often, society views a woman’s extraordinary strength as,  Read more 

Stacey Waite's 'On the Occasion of Being Mistaken...'

Karen Hawkins
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Stacey Waite’s poetry rebels against and with identity, against and with the body. Waite’s poetry rebels against how outsiders perceive both as working together or against one another. This poem speaks to those moments of rebellion, and does it with humor and candor—an essential part of Waite’s poetic charm. Waite’s chapbook Love Poem to Androgyny contains a ser  Read more 

Marilyn Chin’s 'The Survivor'

Karen Hawkins
Sunday, September 23, 2012
I met Marilyn Chin at a week-long, Indiana University writing workshop in 2003. Not only did I find her poetry brutally direct, intensely honest and yes, confrontational—all qualities of a rebellious woman—I found that her personality and teaching style were also quite similar. I immediately adored her! I still do. In her courageous poem “How I Got That Name: An Essay o  Read more