Why We Need Poetry Written by Women

mezzo-cammin-winter-2017Kim Bridgford, the founder of the online magazine Mezzo Cammin: A Journal of Formalist Poetry by Womenis the best kind of revolutionary: one whose actions make space for the actions of others, one whose compassion expands with knowledge, one whose own art challenges the status quo with power, grace, and accessibility.

Bridgford brought Mezzo Cammin to life in 2006, when I was a formalist poet looking for places to publish my work. At that time, believe it or not, many poets were suspicious of online publication; print was what mattered. Today, many poets realize that online publication means their poems have a wider audience, and some of the most admired literary journals publish only online.

When I first submitted work to Mezzo Cammin, Kim took the time to make revision suggestions, and later published my work in issues that came out in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2015, and now, in the current Winter 2017 issue. Those poems cover subjects from domestic violence to addiction to poverty to the stigma of disease. As an editor, Bridgford has been open to all subjects, no matter how “unpoetic” those subjects may seem to others. The world needs poetry written by women: to make our experiences and our visions accessible to others, to give young women poets hope, to help keep women’s voices alive.

20100327-mezzo-cammin_0491-1In addition to publishing new work by contemporary women poets working in form, Bridgford also initiated the Timeline Project, a database of women poets throughout the world. Articles for this timeline are researched and written by contributors. This important work of preserving women’s history continues — check out the Timeline if you’d like to write an article about a particular woman poet.

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