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PBS' 100 WOMEN POETS TO READ NOW

Posted on March 09 2018

To mark International Women's Day and 100 years of women's votes, we launched a major social media campaign to find the world's favourite 100 Women Poets. The response was incredible with hundreds of nominations via @PoetryBookSoc #100WomenPoets. The votes from our official poll have now been counted and verified and we're delighted to reveal the 10 Women Poets (with some wonderful tied places!) who received the most votes from our social media followers.

1. Emily Dickinson
2. Sylvia Plath
3. Elizabeth Bishop
4. Elizabeth Barrett Browning & Christina Rossetti
5. Alice Oswald
6. Carol Ann Duffy & Sappho
7. Eavan Boland & Anne Carson
8. Maya Angelou & Helen Mort
9. Louise Gluck & Sharon Olds
10. Liz Berry, Gillian Clarke, H.D. & Anne Sexton

The PBS' 100 Women Poets celebrates the diverse range of poetry written by women worldwide across the ages and the power of the female voice. We're championing poetry by women, discovering unheard voices and inspiring people to read more books by women and more poetry in general on International Women's Day and beyond.

We're proud to showcase the best new contemporary poetry quarterly, regardless of gender, but we're equally proud that our expert PBS Book Selectors have recently chosen a wide range of powerful female poets as the PBS Choice. The PBS Summer 2017 Choice, Sinead Morrissey's On Balance, celebrated the first female pilot Lilian Bland; the Autumn 2017 Choice, Pascale Petit's Mama Amazonica, explored the poet's mother's rape and the PBS Winter Choice, Joy by Sasha Dugdale, gave voice to Blake's wife Catherine. Our current Spring 2018 Choice Who is Mary Sue? by Sophie Collins explores the role of women, selfhood, shame and guilt. We're also delighted to reveal that the PBS Summer 2018 Choice will be Vahni Capildeo's Venus as a Bear (Carcanet) and our first-ever Wild Card Choice will be Amy Key's Isn't Forever (Bloodaxe). With #100WomenPoets we've given our readers the chance to vote for their PBS Choice(s!) and a chance to highlight the great women poets we might have missed.

Here is the official PBS A to Z guide of 100 Women Poets to Read Now, as voted for by our social media followers:

Fleur Adcock
Kim Addonizio
Gillian Allnutt
Maya Angelou
Rae Armantrout
Tusiata Avia
Ingeborg Bachmann
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Tara Bergin
Liz Berry
Emily Berry
Sujata Bhatts
Caroline Bird
Hera Lyndsay Bird
Elizabeth Bishop
Eavan Boland
Jenny Bornholdt
Andrea Brady
Zoe Brigley
Lucie Brock-Broido
Emily Bronte
Gwendolyn Brooks
Colette Bryce
Anne Carson
V Chang
Kate Clanchy
Gillian Clarke
Sophie Collins
Wendy Cope
H. D.
Ailbhe Darcy
Imtiaz Dharkar
Emily Dickinson
Rita Dove
Carol Ann Duffy
Sasha Dugdale
Helen Dunmore
Ruth Fainlight
Vicki Feaver
Leontia Flynn
Caroline Forché
Louise Glück
Jorie Graham
Lavinia Greenlaw
Vona Groarke
Marilyn Hacker
Jen Hadfield
Selima Hill
Sarah Howe
Frieda Hughes
Kathleen Jamie
Jenny Joseph
Jackie Kay
Jane Kenyon
Vanessa Kisuule
Melissa Lee-Houghton
Denise Levertov
Liz Lochhead
Carola Luther
Hollie McNish
Paula Meehan
Charlotte Mew
Kim Moore
Marianne Moore
Sinéad Morrissey
Helen Mort
Eileen Myles
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Sharon Olds
Mary Oliver
Alice Oswald
Jan Owen
Dorothy Parker
Rebecca Perry
Pascale Petit
Sylvia Plath
Dorothy Porter
Maya Catherine Popa
Sheenagh Pugh
Claudia Rankine
Adrienne Rich
Denise Riley
Christina Rossetti
Mary Ruefle
Muriel Rukeyser
Carol Rumens
Jacqueline Saphra
Sappho
Gjertrud Schnackenberg
Anne Sexton
Warsan Shire
Penelope Shuttle
Karen Solie
Jean Sprackland
A E Stallings
Anne Stevenson
Wisława Szymborska
Kate Tempest
Rosemary Tonks
Marina Tsvetaeva

 

Thanks for all your votes! We do hope this survey has inspired you to discover new voices and read more poetry. You can find the latest books by almost all of these poets on our website, if you'd like to find out more. We're also offering a FREE SIGNED copy of Carol Ann Duffy's feisty feminist classic The World's Wife to all new PBS Charter members in celebration of Women's History Month. Find out more about joining the Poetry Book Society here. Happy reading!

 Who would be in your 100 Women Poets reading list? The debate continues @poetrybooksoc #100WomenPoets. Keep sharing your favourites!

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