Elizabeth Bishop

Life as an Open Book: Memoirs by (and about) Poets

Photo Credit: Underwood by dvs/Doug ShickWriters as a species might be the most abject creatures ever to slink down a blind alley of evolution, but for that anomalous little glitch in our programming that demands that we be heard--that claims not just a voice but a voice made concrete--set in type, if not necessarily in stone.

"A Writer First, A Woman After" --Katherine Mansfield

Honestly, I do not know what possessed me to attempt to tackle this topic, but here it is: there is no essential difference between male and female poets. In fact, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that in a blind taste test, it would be nearly impossible to accurately guess the gender of any given poet by the poem alone.*** The range of approaches and poetic concerns within each gender grouping are just too vast; in other words the category "women poets" is so broad as to be nearly meaningless.

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