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Inspiring poets and their influential work

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As it is National Poetry Day, what better way to celebrate than to share with you some inspiring poets by non-binary and female writers.

Grab a cuppa, get comfy and join us as we share some of the most influential poets of our time and some of their incredible work.

femalefirst.co.uk

Kae Tempest (They/Them)

Kae Tempest is an English spoken word performer, poet, recording artist, novelist and playwright. At the age of 16, they were accepted into the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon. In 2013, they won the Ted Hughes Award for their work ‘Brand New Ancients’.

Kae Tempest has made a name for them-self through their intense and urgent live performances. Their poetry holds up a mirror to contemporary life in a voice like no other. 

Must Read: ‘Hold your own’

“Taking things for granted is a terrible disease. We should all be checking ourselves regularly for signs of it.”

– Kate TempestHold Your Own

list.co.uk

Hollie McNish (She/Her)

Hollie McNish is a poet and spoken word artist and was UK Slam poetry champion in 2009. She has released two spoken word albums and a poetry collection. Films of her poems have repeatedly gone viral, some receiving over one million YouTube views in just over a week.

Hollie is an incredibly inspiring poet who never shies away from those topics that society has deemed taboo and reaches many readers through topics such as parenting, feminism, sex, and race.

Must read: ‘Slug and other things I’ve been told to hate’

“The fact that foreplay is called foreplay is all the evidence i need to be certain that our language was not forged by equal tongues”

Hollie Mcnish, slug
leftlion.co.uk

Andrea Gibson (They/Them)

Andrea Gibson is one of the best spoken word poets of our time and a very influential activist.

Their poetry focuses on gender norms, politics, social reform, and the struggles LGBTQ+ people face in today’s society.

In all of their work we are transformed to a whole other universe – their poetry is raw, emotional and astoundingly powerful.

Although many of their poems will make you cry – it’s definitely worth the emotional rollercoaster.

Must read: ‘Lord of the butterflies’

Must watch: ‘Orlando’

"Do you remember the first record
where we didnt have to change 
the pronouns to sing alone? We'de gone
so many years without music
that knew us. Music that knew you
could arch your back and I'd have proof
that the earth was round"
- Andrea Gibson
Lord of the butterflies

Maya Angelou (She/Her)

An acclaimed American poet, storyteller, activist, and autobiographer, Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri.

Maya Angelou had a broad career as a singer, dancer, actress, composer, and was Hollywood’s first female black director, but became most famous as a writer, editor, and poet. 

This woman faced adversity her whole life – suffered a horrific trauma that caused her to not speak for a period of time and shared her experiences with the world which had a huge impact on so many women.

Must read: ‘I know why the caged bird sings’

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

maya angelou

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.”

maya angelou

“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”

maya angelou
Credit: Laura Aziz

Rupi Kaur (She/Her)

As a 21-year-old university student, Rupi wrote, illustrated and self-published her first poetry collection, ‘Milk and honey. Next came its artistic sibling, ‘The sun and her flowers. These collections have sold over eight million copies and have been translated into over 42 languages. Her most recent book, ‘home body‘, debuted number one on bestsellers lists across the world. 

Rupi’s work delves into love, loss, trauma, feminism, and migration.

Must read: ‘Milk and honey

“It was when i stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself, i found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and a body that have decided to be whole”

Rupi kaur

Happy National Poetry Day!

Featured Image Credit: andreagibson.org

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