While visiting my family in New Hampshire, I went to the local and still thriving bookstore in my hometown and found this book on the shelf. I was so excited to see it. I bought it immediately and it has not disappointed. What a delectable and varied assortment of Nasty Women Poets speaking on all kinds of subjects freely and without censure or apology in this Nasty collection. They let Nasty rip.
The poems are grouped into subjects:
Sweet Inspiration: Nasty Women Poets on Foremothers & Role Models
In this section I read a poem titled “Milk” by Carol Barrett about microbiologist Alice Catherine Evans, which inspired me to write about her for our NWW site. Read that post here.
Twenty-three years I have been telling you
how we become ill. You stand by,
animals nuzzling your waist,
dying of a disease I can name,
chide me as a witch(8).
You Don’t Own Me: Nasty Women Poets on Talking Back to Men
Wherein poet Alice Friman writes of having a prominent male poet come read for a group of women in “The Poet”.
Reader, lest I sound
out of joint, I offer up only
what memory shakes out,
and if memory shakes out bitter,
be assured it remains clear-eyed(182).
What’s Love Got To Do With It? Nasty Women Poets on Sex, Love & Lust
Sarah Brown Weitzman’s poem, “A Poem Should Be Like Great Sex” begins with:
A poem that doesn’t plunge right in hard
but takes it slow at first
until it makes you turn over
the page because you can’t wait
for what’s coming next(134).
So many more categories, so many more poems!
Poets included are a full representation of Nasty Women, nearing 250 of them. So many Nasty Women Poets to listen to, read through, read aloud to friends and other Nasty Women, learn from, feel with, laugh with, rage with.
In the introduction, the editors, Bauer and Kane, speak of that moment in the 2016 presidential debate when Hillary Rodham Clinton was called “such a nasty woman,” by the opposing candidate.
“You may also—like us, like many women and men—have felt an immediate sense of outrage, because you knew in your bones that in that candidate’s mind, the epithet applied not just to his opponent on stage, but to any woman who had the audacity to stand up to him, contradict him, call him out in any way”(i).
And then they put out the call:
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL NASTY WOMEN POETS TO COME TO THE AID OF THEIR COUNTRY
Thus this nasty book was born.
Get it. Read it. Have fun with it but most of all: Listen to it.
Nasty Women Poets is overflowing with #Nasty Women Writers.
©Theresa C. Dintino 2019