Monday, March 28, 2016

Women's History Month

Happy Women’s History Women’s History! It is an honor to be a woman, and to write about the experiences of women, and to have connected with so many amazing women. My first time celebrating Women’s History Month was with my Global Feminisms class at Ohio University in 2011. The Ohio University Women’s Center, under the direction of Susanne Dietzel, developed several events and programs to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of women all over the world. At the main event, we sang, danced, and created art together. The sign I painted reads “CREATE” and still stands on my bookshelf. Along with many other accomplished scholars and artists, I had the opportunity to present original research as well as read poetry, which I dedicated to my sisters and my mother. This year, I will be attending the events hosted by the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity at the University of Kansas. Click here for the list of programming:

I have dedicated my life and my graduate studies in Literature and Creative Writing to exploring and writing about the lives of women. My very first poem was about growing up with my mother, and since her death, I have continued to explore her relationship to her body and her body’s relationship to the world. My scholarship and art examines the ways in which racist, sexists ideologies affect black women specifically. And I am interested in researching the ways in which women writers of color take up discussion of gender, race, and class in their novels, essays, and poems. So, in honor of this Women’s History Month, I want to share a few titles from my current list of women writers of color that I read last year or am reading and/or reviewing this year:

Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night                     Morgan Parker

Citizen                                                                              Claudia Rankine

A Swarm of Bees in High Court                                           Tonya Foster

Bloodroot                                                                          Khadijah Queen

Fearful Beloved                                                                Khadijah Queen

Merciful Impulses                                                             Camille Rankine

Slow Dance with Trip Wire                                                  Camille Rankine

Diary of a K-Drama Villain                                                 Min K. Kang

Teaching my Mother How to Give Birth                              Warsan Shire

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body                                        Roxane Gay

Houses                                                                           Nikki Wallschlaeger

Life on Mars                                                                    Tracy K Smith

Duende                                                                            Tracy K. Smith

I just finished The Sing That Like Dove Song workshop with Winter Tangerine. It was such a wonderful, spirit-affirming experience, and I got the opportunity to work with three amazing writers: Mick Powell, Alexis Smithers, and Pages D. Matam. Please go and read their work!

Lastly, most of the poems that I have published speak to my life as a black female scholar and a black woman author in predominately white spaces. I am thankful for the journals that support women and feminist writing.

Please find me on social media where you will find links to my published poems:


[By Simone Savannah]

Simone Savannah is a PhD student in the department of English at the University of Kansas.

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