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Perhaps she is not as well-known as Rupi Kaur, but this Insta poet is also up there amongst my favourites.
I feel very few poets out there manage to express the struggles women face in today’s world as directly, simply, and as well as Amanda Lovelace does.
Amanda’s poetry provides a safe space for women to unite, and for men to (hopefully) become more aware of some of the issues women face today. Perhaps her most well-known poetry collection is The Princess Saves Herself In This One. (I absolutely love this title.)
At the start of this collection, Amanda explains that as a young woman she experienced sexual assault, child abuse, queer-phobia, self-harm, relationship abuse, and much more. This is sadly a common reality for many women today. A common theme amongst Amanda’s poems is that of women not silencing themselves and standing up for themselves no matter what.
In one of her interviews, Amanda says:
“Poetry is essential right now, especially for women writers. We are absolutely shining there and saying so many things that often get ignored in conversation and media for the sake of male comfort. But when we make entire books of our thoughts, passions, and concerns, we’re no longer so easily pushed off to the side.
Poetry used to be dominated by white/cis/straight male writers, but Rupi Kaur now dominates all the lists with her book milk and honey, a highly female-centric and political book. And you can see the hostility about her success everywhere you go, which means she’s done something revolutionary for the genre.
People hate change, especially when it’s done at the hands of a woman, and even more so when it’s a woman of colour. Poetry is the means by which the pain of women can finally be shown for what it is—normalized, male-created ugliness.”
Here are six of my favourite poems from a variety of her collections:
i didn’t come here to be civil
i didn’t come here to sit you down
with a mug of tea and a blueberry muffin
to coddle you as i try to convince you
that respecting my existence is essential.
you’ve had plenty of chances
& you took a hard pass every time,
so I came here
to watch your anger overtake
until you finally
c o m b u s t.
– i’ll use your light to read.
“your hips will try to burst through your skin.
your thighs will try to grow together like a mermaid’s tail.
a soft garden will try to sprout on your legs.
(& between your legs, on your upper lip, on your armpits, etc.)
no, you are not just here to be sexy for him.
the world begins & ends when you say so.
– what they don’t want you to know”
to be seen
bodies crafted for
so we set the
clouds ablaze to sway them
to show them how
wonderfully we could
they chose to take it
as a threat
have never fully
the portion of the sky
that was always rightfully
– when the glass sky is the limit.
He tells her that she doesn’t need to wear makeup, in a manner of speaking, she agrees with him: she doesn’t need to wear it, but she does want to wear it.
– that should make all the difference.
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there is nothing
about the girl
the ball gown
& the prince.
there is everything
who try to
shame her for
– break your glass slippers.
“if i ever
let her feel
guilty for using
⎻”no” is short for “fuck off.”
― Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in This One
Yay to female power!!!
P.S.: her Instagram account name is ladybookmad for those who wish to explore her more.
If you know any other poets who explore feminism, please let me know in the comments section!