Recent posts

“PrOtEsT” – Poet Activists Throughout the Years

 

In the days since Trump's inauguration, we’ve witnessed an increase in protesting and grass roots activism. And while it’s an immediate and important part of the democratic process, we’re also consciously looking to the activists who came before us. Here are seven of our favorite poet-activists and the causes that they hold dear. Whether you’re educating yourself on the movements of the past, searching for a line of poetry ...

Sonia Sanchez Poems

 

Sonia Sanchez is an African-American writer of poetry, children’s books, plays and critical essays.  She also spent many years as a school teacher and university professor of English.  During her 30s and 40s, she was heavily involved in the significant cultural revolution called the Black Arts Movement that swept the country, showcasing and encouraging black artists and writers.  Now an octogenarian, she has ...

9 Poets to Remember during Women’s History Month

 

It’s Women’s History Month and here at My Poetic Side we couldn’t be happier. To commemorate the month, we’re celebrating innovative poets of the past and radical poets of the present while maintaining that the future is indeed female. So, dive into the work of these activists, feminists, abolitionists, anarchists, and, above all, poets. Because we can guarantee each and every one of them has something to teach today’s poetry ...

Elizabeth Margaret Chandler Poems

 

The American poet Elizabeth Margaret Chandler lived a very short life during the early part of the 19th century but made a name for herself championing the cause of the abolitionists of slavery through her poetry.  No other female writer had done so before her. She was born on the 24th December 1807 in the town of Centre, Delaware to Quaker parents.  The whole ...

Frances Dana Barker Gage Poems

 

Frances Dana Barker Gage was a 19th century American writer of poetry and hymns, often known as Fannie D. Gage for this work, and also as Aunty Fanny when writing her children’s poetry and stories.  Besides her literary output she was, perhaps, even better known as a staunch campaigner on behalf of women’s rights in particular and the rights of all citizens ...

Charlotte Forten Grimké Poems

 

Charlotte Forten Grimké was an  anti-slavery activist, African-American poet and school teacher who devoted much time during the Civil War to former black slaves in SC, USA, making sure that they had at least a rudimentary education.  She felt it necessary to record the details of her life in diary form and these were eventually published many times over.  These journals are acknowledged as being ...

Mitsuye Yamada Poems

 

Mitsuye Yamada is a Japanese/American writer now in her nineties who spent many years as a English professor in California.  She has been a keen activist during her lifetime, having had the misfortune to be incarcerated during the Second World War when all those thought a threat to the US government were rounded up and put into camps.  She wrote extensively about this experience. She ...

Martha Wadsworth Brewster Poems

 

Martha Wadsworth Brewster holds a unique place in the records of 18th century US born poets in that she published her work using her own name, rather than a pseudonym which was more common among female writers.  Additionally she was one of a select band of colonial women, numbering only four, who wrote poetry in pre-Revolutionary days. Her life is little documented but it is ...

Reed Whittemore Poems

 

Reed Whittemore was a US poet who had the unusual honour of serving as his country’s Poet Laureate on two separate occasions, the first being in 1964, then also in 1984.  He was also a literary journalist and critic, biographer and college professor. He was born Edward Reed Whittemore, Jr on the 11th September 1919 in Connecticut.  Early education was provided by the Phillips ...

Stephen Spender Poems

 

The English poet who eventually became known as Sir Stephen Spender, CBE was a writer whose main themes concerned social problems and the class struggles found in both Europe and America.  He also wrote novels and essays and became Poet Laureate to the United States in 1965. He was born Stephen Harold Spender on the 28th February 1909 in Kensington, West London.  His father ...