First warning: names, verses, styles, accents, traditions and languages are missing from this anthology. And bodies – bodies are missing too along with forms, tonalities, other ways of using a pen – if there is even anyone still writing with a pen today, and yes, of course there is, what else, what a good sign.

Second warning: I can justify the selection on any basis – or as many bases – as you like. I could say age, and I could say diversity in terms of origin if it wasn’t for the fact that wherever possible we should avoid talking about people’s origins. If required, I could talk about each poet’s history and explain that they have been included on theoretical grounds that their verses and their poetic trajectory bear out. I could do all that and could also explain that we always select – you do too – for reasons that are to do with us, to do with the moment the selection is made – it’s not the same to choose poems in the summer as to do it in the middle of February – reasons to do with our own personal experience and what we have read. So this selection is me. Or rather: it’s the me that I was when I made the selection, a few months ago. Today it could well be that the threads and associations that then distilled to 14 poets would take me to other places, because there are lots of them: places, possibilities. Let’s celebrate them, particularly the ones that are there, with thanks.

Third warning: in this anthology each poet speaks for herself. I’m not going to do what is so often done and end the text by drawing out the defining characteristics of feminist poetry, or rather poetry written today by poets who consider themselves feminists. I’m not going to do it precisely because if there is one call that is repeated it is the wish – if not the imperative – to make poetry a space that questions not just who we are but also the very words that we use when we say who we are.

Fourth warning: the selected poems challenge not only gender roles and stereotypes but most people’s conception of what poems that challenge gender roles and stereotypes are like. Here you will find dissident irreverence, desires that celebrate plurality and demand the markswomanship of an arrow, outpourings that make ladders of vulnerability, failures that put motherhood and wombs the other way round, broken mirrors whose thousand and one shards kaleidoscope what they reflect and, in all of them, a fearless irony that could as well make you laugh as wound you.

Fifth warning: this text, like poetry, is full to the brim with tricks, but the fact is that no text that introduces an anthology is free from tricks. None at all: that’s one of the lessons of feminism.

Happy reading, or rather, happy fall.

Mireia Calafell


Mireia Calafell

Mireia Calafell i Obiol is a writer, poet and cultural manager. She is the co-director of the Barcelona Poesia festival, and carries out various cultural and educational projects in La Sullivan. She is also as an independent researcher. Her poetry has been translated into English, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese, among others. In 2015 she received the prize Lletra d'Or for the best book published in Catalan for her work Tantes Mudes (Perifèric, 2014). She has coordinated the IDEES magazine's issue 47 about feminism(s).


Afshan D’souza-Lodhi

Afshan D’souza-Lodhi is the Editor in Chief of The Common Sense Network. She is an award-winning writer of plays and poetry, and was recently commissioned to write and direct a short film for Channel 4. She has completed residencies at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester Literature Festival and has worked with Tamasha Theatre Company and Paul Burston’s Polari. Afshan also has an essay featured in the bestseller collection Its Not About The Burqa. As well as her own writing, Afshan is keen to develop other younger and emerging artists and sits on the boards of Manchester Literature Festival and Brighter Sound.


Berta García Faet

Berta García Faet (Valencia, 1988) is the author of The Fluorescent Psalms (Los salmos fosforitos, La Bella Varsovia, 2017), winner of the 2018 'Miguel Hernández' National Young Person's Poetry Award; The Eligible Age (La edad de merecer, La Bella Varsovia, 2015), translated to English by Kelsi Vanada and published by Songbridge Press in 2018; and four more poetry collections compiled in Traditional Heart: Poetry 2008-2011 (Corazón Tradicionalista: Poesía 2008-2011, La Bella Varsovia, 2017).  


Danae Sioziou

Danae Sioziou is a Greek-German poet. She studied English Philology, Cultural Management and European History. She was co-editor of the literary journal Teflon. Her first book Useful Children Games was awarded the Jiannis Varveris Prize for Young Writers and the State Prize for New Writers. Her poems have been translated into ten languages and she has taken part in several poetry festivals. Oceans of Lemonade, her second book, was launched by Antipodes in October 2019.


Estíbaliz Espinosa Río

She was born curious. She tries to earn a living without sacrificing her life of literature, scientific dissemination (especially astronomy), and music as a mezzo-soprano. She has published seven poetry books. Some of the books focus on the third culture, among them Curiosity (Curiosidade), The Sister Neurones (As neuronas irmás), and Paper at the Ready (Papel a punto). She has also published essays, a children’s record, translations and stories including Dream Capsules (Cápsulas de son), about female scientists. She is a literary contributor to the Planetarium in A Coruña, the Cuaderno de Cultura Científica of Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), ZigZag Diario (TVG) and the Galician Symphonic Orchestra (Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia). She graduated in Sociology and Hispanic Studies. Some of her poetry has been translated to Japanese, Hebrew, Catalan, Farsi, English and Italian.


Juana Adcock

Juana Adcock (Mexico 1982) is a poet and translator. Her texts have been included in publications like Magma Poetry, Shearsman, Gutter, the Glasgow Review of Books, Asymptote and Words Without Borders. Her first collection of poems, Wanting (Manca, Tierra Adentro, 2014; Argonáutica 2019), explores the anatomy of violence in Mexico and was named as one of the best poetry books published in the country in 2014. In 2016 she was nominated as one of the ‘Ten New Voices of Europe’ by the Literature Across Frontiers organisation. She has participated in several international festivals, and her work has been translated into more than ten languages. She lives in Glasgow, where she also plays music with the groups Las Mitras and The Raptors.  


Laura Wittner

Laura Wittner was born in 1967, in Buenos Aires. A graduate in literature from the University of Buenos Aires, she coordinates poetry and translation workshops as well as working as a translator for different publishing houses. She has published eleven poetry books, the most recent being The Height (La altura, Buenos Aires, Bajo la Luna, 2016), Why Do We Still Insist on Travelling? (Por qué insistimos con los viajes, Torrequemada, Spain, Ediciones Liliputienses, 2012/2017) and Places Where One is Not - Poems 1996-2016 (Lugares donde una no está – Poemas 1996-2016,Buenos Aires, Gog y Magog, 2017).  She has also published children’s books, the most recent being Tell Me How you Fly (Dime cómo vuelas, Buenos Aires, Tres en Línea, 2019) and The Enthusiasms (Los entusiasmos, Buenos Aires, Del Naranjo, 2019).  


Lebo Mashile

Despite being born in the United States as a result of her parents’ exile, Lebo Mashile has become a household name in the field of oral poetry in her home country, South Africa. She is also a presenter, actress and a committed to supporting human rights, diversity and feminism. She wrote and produced the documentary series The Attitude (L’Attitude) and the children’s television programme Great Expectations. She made her acting début in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda and, alongside choreographer Sylvia Glasser, wrote and starred in Threads, a fusion of poetry, music and dance widely regarded as a driving cultural force in South Africa. In February 2018 she made her theatre début with a piece about Saartjie Baartman, an African woman she uses to explain racism in twenty-first-century Europe. Her first book of poems In a Ribbon of Rhythm (2005) received a NOMA, one of the most highly-regarded awards in African literature. She is also known for her poetry book Flying Above The Sky (2008) and the albums Lebo Mashile Live! and Moya (2016), produced in collaboration with the singer and composer Majola.         


Leire Bilbao

Leire Bilbao is a poet and writer. She was born in Ondarroa (Basque Country) in 1978, and has published Ezkatak (Susa, 2006), Scanner (Susa, 2011) and Entre escamas (Marisma, 2018). Some of her poems have been translated into more than a dozen of languages and have been assembled in anthologies such as Forked Tongues, El poder del cuerpo, Traslúcidas, Las aguas tranquilas o Sombras diversas. Several basque artists have also used Bilbao's poems for their music. In 2017 she was awarded with the Euskadi Prize for her children's book Xomorropoemak ("Bugpoems", Kalandraka, 2019), which is published in spanish, galician and catalan.


Maria Isern

Maria Isern is a poet, writer and researcher into contemporary literature and forms of narrative. She graduated in Literary Studies at the University of Barcelona and has a Master’s Degree in the Representation of Cultural Identities from the Sapienza University of Rome. She authored Sostre de Carn (laBreu edicions, 2017), which is the fruit of her exploration, while straddling the academic and non-academic worlds, into the fantasy of an infinite expansion of the body and the pleasures of frustrating the experiment. She won the 2017 Francesc Garriga Award. She is currently writing a thesis on the relationship between the eye and the peep-hole in contemporary narratives.


Maria Sevilla

Badalona, 1990. She thrived on bias and living on the periphery of the outskirts. She spent her teenage years listening to punk, grunge and trash while discovering the comforting warmth of literature. She studied Catalan Studies at the University of Barcelona. When finished, she began her PhD thesis (ongoing) on The Passion According to Rennée Vivien (La passió segons Renée Vivien) by Maria-Mercè Marçal. In 2015, she published her first collection of poems, Teeth of Pulp (Dents de polpa, AdiA) followed by Kalashnikov (Kalàixnikov, Món de Llibres)in 2017.Since January 2019 she has been one of the three programmers of l’Horiginal.

Yolanda Castaño

Yolanda Castaño

Following a 25-year literary career, texts translated into more than 30 languages and books published in Italy, France, the UK, Armenia, Macedonia and Serbia, Yolanda Castaño (Santiago de Compostela, 1977) is one of the most internationally recognised Galician poets. A finalist for the National Poetry Prize, her six published poetry collections (published bilingually by Visor Libros) have been recognised by awards such as Spanish National Radio (RNE)’s Critic’s View (Ojo Criítico) award and the Spanish Critic’s Choice award. As well as managing her own writers retreat in Galicia, since 2009 she has been working as a cultural promoter involved in various ongoing projects with both Galician and international poets, including an annual festival, a monthly reading agenda and a poetry translation workshop.