Women of Resistance by Danielle Barnhart & Iris Mahan

I was sent this book through NetGalley and OR Books, thanks to them for sending me a copy!

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Title: Women of Resistance – Poems for a New Feminism

Author: Danielle Barnhart & Iris Mahan

Genre: Poetry, Feminism

Publisher: OR Books

Publication Date: 23rd March 2018

Plot Overview:

The struggles of womanhood as seen by 41 contemporary poets, both newcomers and veterans, who take a stand for civil and reproductive rights. A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality.

Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new administration. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets—to be released as a handbound chapbook—has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with proceeds supporting Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight to refute and resist racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jan Beatty, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Aracelis Girmay, Tyehiba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker.

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My Thoughts:

I loved the sound of this anthology from the moment I saw the title and synopsis, so I was so pleased when I read it and I found poems which really resonated with me.More than anything, I liked this collection for the message it stands for and the intention behind it. In the introduction, Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan, state:

‘This anthology does not have a singular purpose. It is part love letter, part manifesto, part confession, part wish….it is also a meditation on grief. We grieve for the women we have lost, the violence and oppression we endure and the children who will never make it to the terrifying and glorious world of womanhood’

I don’t know about you but this introduction alone, spoke to me and it was such a fitting and powerful start to this collection.

  • As with any collection of work, there were certain poems I enjoyed more than others. I always enjoy trying to find meanings in poems and even when I didn’t fully understand the poems, I could always appreciate their message and the fact that it offered a unique perspective on issues such as women’s reproductive rights, sexual harassment and assault as well as other important issues facing women.
  • It sounds rather obvious but if you’re not a huge fan of poetry and different forms of poetry then this might not be the book for you – however if you’re into reading Feminist literature you may still enjoy it even if poetry isn’t your usual read. There are various poetic forms, and each one is different than the next so there’s bound to be something any reader can enjoy.

Overall I’d really recommend this book to anyone, however you identify and wherever you stand on the political spectrum. There is a powerful message Women of Resistance delivers, which will leave a lasting impression.

★★★★ – 4 Star Rating

Does Women of Resistance sound like a book you’d read? Do you enjoy reading poetry or are novels more your thing? Would love to chat in the comments! 

Until next time,

Rumaanah x

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13 thoughts on “Women of Resistance by Danielle Barnhart & Iris Mahan

  1. Ooh poetry isn’t my normal thing but reading your comments makes it sound like this will be really enjoyable anyway. It sounds a really good anthology and quite powerful. Brilliant review!

  2. I’m not generally a poetry lover – on occasion I’ll find a poet who I really love but I wouldn’t seek out poetry to read unfortunately! This sounds great for those that do though 🙂 xxx

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