A Reading List for Women’s History Month 2022

For Women’s History Month, observed annually during the month of March, we asked our members—independent presses, literary journals, and others—to share with us some of the books and magazines they recommend reading in celebration.




Handful of Salt by Kajal Ahmad

Translated from the Kurdish by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse, Mewan Nahro Said Sofi, Darya Abdul-Karim Ali Najm, and Barbara Goldberg

The Word Works | 2016

According to Eve Ensler, these poems are “intoxications, sensual rumblings from the core of a woman’s fire, burning through homeland and body, casting off time and space, sense and structure, unveiling, opening a new landscape, a new territory beyond logic or right and wrong.”




Mother Country by Elana Bell

BOA Editions | 2020

This poetry collection “examines the intricacies of mother–daughter relationships: what we inherit from our mothers, what we let go, what we hold, and what we pass on to our own children, both the visible and invisible.”




What We Ask of Flesh by Remica L. Bingham

Etruscan Press | 2013

In this poetry collection, which was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry, Bingham “tells of women through time, their spirits borne through broken flesh, through wombs and memories.”




The Adjacent Possible by Julie Phillips Brown

Green Writers Press | 2021

This book-length sequence of linked poems “centers on problems of consciousness, inter-subjective relation, theories of emergence, and Buddhist philosophy.”




If This Makes You Nervous by Elena Karina Byrne

Omnidawn | 2021

Byrne’s fourth collection of poems “offers what she describes as an homage to her art-immersed upbringing with poems that challenge perception as they create a dialogue between the speaker and sixty-six artists.”




One Daughter Is Worth Ten Sons by Jiwon Choi

Hanging Loose Press | 2017

According to Joan Larkin, “Pissed-off, stripped down, and deadly serious these poems spare no one.”




Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex, Blood, Loss & Selfies by Margaret Christakos

Book*hug Press | 2016

This intergenre poetry collection is “formed of ten intimate études that move from considerations of mothering, sex and photography to settler bloodlines, erasure and divorce.”




Living as a Lesbian by Cheryl Clarke

Sinister Wisdom | 2014

“Filled with sounds from her childhood in Washington, DC, the riffs of jazz musicians, and bluesy incantations,” this poetry collection is “Clarke’s paean to lesbian life.”




Liar by Jessica Cuello

Barrow Street Press | 2021 

According to Dorianne Laux, this poetry collection is “filled with fire and violence, mystery and magic, the loneliness of laundromats, rented houses, suicide, cornfields, hunger, and ultimately a naked raw survival.”




Haint by Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Gival Press | 2016

According to Cornelius Eady, this poetry collection “is a book of life. Not a book of survival, though the poet survives, not a book of reckoning, though the poet comes to terms with many things.”




I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World by Kendra DeColo

BOA Editions | 2021

The poems in this collection “interrogate patriarchal narratives about childbirth, postpartum healing, and motherhood through the lens of pop culture and the political zeitgeist.”



A Dangerous Place by Chelsea B. Desautels

Sarabande Books | 2021

This debut poetry collection “is the story of a woman with two swellings in her belly: a nascent baby, and a cancerous tumor.”




A God at the Door by Tishani Doshi

Copper Canyon Press | 2021

This poetry collection “interrupts the news cycle to pause in grief or delight, to restore power to language” and “invites the reader on a pilgrimage―one that leads us back to the sacred temple of ourselves.”




West : Fire : Archive by Iris Jamahl Dunkle

Center for Literary Publishing/Colorado Review | 2021

Dunkle’s poetry collection “challenges preconceived, androcentric ideas about biography, autobiography, and history fueled by the Western myth of progress presented in Frederick Jackson Turner’s ‘frontier thesis.’”




Kettle Bottom by Diane Gilliam

Perugia Press | 2004

Winner of the 2008 Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing, Kettle Bottom is “written in the voices of people living and working in the coal camps during the West Virginia coal mine wars of 1920–1921.”




Wound from the Mouth of a Wound by torrin a. greathouse

Milkweed Editions | 2020

Selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil as the winner of the 2020 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry, greathouse’s debut collection “challenges a canon that decides what shades of beauty deserve to live in a poem.”




The Lantern Room by Chloe Honum

Tupelo Press | 2022

According to Allison Titus, The Lantern Room “is stunning and harrowing, built of poems that interrogate the wound of grief, the wound of love, and insist on asking an impossible question.”




Interventions for Women by Angela Hume

Omnidawn | 2021

In this poetry collection, Hume “writes directly about the experience of womanhood, addressing the boundaries and pressures imposed from childhood on.”




The Animal Indoors by Carly Inghram

Autumn House Press | 2021

Inghram’s poems “explore the day-to-day experiences of a Black queer woman who is ceaselessly bombarded with images of mass-consumerism, white supremacy, and sexism, and who is forced, often reluctantly, back indoors and away from this outside chaos.”




Eleanor by Gray Jacobik

CavanKerry Press | 2020

In this poetry collection Jacobik presents 58 poems in Eleanor Roosevelt’s voice, “told against the backdrop of many of the major national and international events of the 20th century.”




The Essential June Jordan

Copper Canyon Press | 2021

Collected in this definitive volume, Jordan’s poems “are at once of their era and tragically current, with subject matter including racist police brutality, violence against women, and the opportunity for global solidarity amongst people who are marginalized or outside of the norm.”




His Feathers Were Chains by Denise K. Lajimodiere

North Dakota State University Press | 2020

The third volume in the Contemporary Voices of Indigenous Peoples Series, this poetry collection is an “overt criticism of settler society… subtle, approachable, and grounded in Ojibwe knowledge and customs.”




speculation, n. by Shayla Lawz

Autumn House Press | 2021

This debut poetry collection “brings together poetry, sound, and performance to challenge our spectatorship and the reproduction of the Black body.”




Aerial Concave Without Cloud by Sueyeun Juliette Lee

Nightboat Books | 2022

Aerial Concave Without Cloud is a collection of poetry “steeped in the bluest apocalypse light of solar collapse and the pale, ghostly light of personal devastation and grief.”




Ladies’ Abecedary by Arden Levine

Small Harbor Publishing | 2021

This poetry collection is an “alphabetic parade” in which “portraits of women’s lives flash past our eyes.”




A Mouthful of Sky by Anu Mahadev

Get Fresh Books Publishing | 2022

In Mahadev’s poetry collection, “sensual and sexual pleasures, joys, and freedoms are woven together with gendered inequities, misogyny, and cruelty.”




Ten Thousand Selves by Chloe Martinez

The Word Works | 2021

According to Adrian Matejka, this poetry collection “immerses us in a complicated poetic in which the geographies of the self are transposed and transformed by the geographies of the external world.”




Some Girls Walk Into the Country They Are From by Sawako Nakayasu

Wave Books | 2020

In this poetry collection, “an unsettling diaspora of ‘girls’ is deployed as poetic form, as reclamation of diminutive pseudo-slur.”




July by Kathleen Ossip

Sarabande Books | 2021

In this poetry collection, Ossip “meditates on our various responses to our country—whether ironic, infantile, righteous, or defeated.”




Daughters of Harriet by Cynthia Parker-Ohene

Center for Literary Publishing/Colorado Review | 2022

According to Taylor Johnson, this poetry collection forthcoming in March 2022 is “an anatemporal cistern for pleasure, irreverence, and memory that invites the reader to enter into the wild lineage of those who walked on water, whose crossing meant a rupture in language.”




Girldom by Megan Peak

Perugia Press | 2018

This debut poetry collection “chronicles coming of age as a woman: the violence of discovery, the evolution of sexuality, and the demanding yet necessary acts of self-preservation and resistance.”




Old Women Talking by Wilderness Sarchild

Passager Books | 2017

According to Marge Piercy, Sarchild “wrestles honestly with wrinkles, fear of dementia, the loss of friends and loved ones and demands of herself that she say yes to aging and yes to the fact of her own eventual death.”




Uses of My Body by Simone Savannah

Barrow Street Press | 2020

This poetry collection is “a bold first book about womanhood, daughterhood, and physical intimacy, and about how we experience these states only in larger communities of knowing.”




Yearning for the Sea by Esther Seligson

Translated from the Spanish by Selma Marks

Frayed Edge Press | 2021

This feminist retelling of Homer’s Odyssey “centers Penelope and her feelings of loss and desire.”




Para las duras: Una fenomonologia lesbiana / For the Hard Ones: A Lesbian Phenomenology by tatiana de la tierra 

Sinister Wisdom | 2018

Originally published in 2002, this bilingual poetry collection exists “from and beyond the boundaries of language, sexuality, and genre” and is “overlaid with the sexual character, experimental prose, and levity.”




Her Kind by Cindy Veach

CavanKerry Press | 2021

Set against the historical backdrop of the Salem Witch Trials, this poetry collection is “about women who are innocent and are used and/or disregarded by the culture: women viewed as witches, women making their own choices, women fighting for freedom.”




Butch Geography by Stacey Waite

Tupelo Press | 2013

According to Emily May Anderson, “Although gender is never simple in Waite’s book, this inclination to let it speak, in all of its various incarnations, gives the book a great strength and relevance.”




My Name Is Immigrant by Wang Ping

Hanging Loose Press | 2020

Wang’s latest poetry collection is a “song for the plight and pride of immigrants around the globe.”




bright news of gladiolas by July Westhale

Small Harbor Publishing | 2021

According to Rage Hezekiah, these poems “leave us simultaneously destabilized and riddled with hope, they emit haloes of something bigger than us.”






Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić
Translated from the Serbo-Croatian by the author
Restless Books | June 1, 2021

Winner of the 2020 European Union Prize for Literature, Bastašić’s debut novel is “a modern-day Alice in Wonderland set in post-war Bosnia, in which two young women plunge into the illusive landscape of their shared history.”




Three, Walking by Nikia Chaney

Bamboo Dart Press | 2021

The stories in this chapbook “explore three worlds in which three brave women push against the external structures of their strange worlds that almost work the same way as ours.”




Ann, Fran, and Mary Ann by Erin Courtney

53rd State Press | 2021

This drama is “a deeply reflective, reflecting, refracting play about trauma, God, patterns, and the way they live in our bodies, our minds, and acts of love.”




Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith

Hub City Press | 2019

Set in contemporary Louisville, this debut novel “surrounding the death of a police officer is a requiem for marriage, friendship and family.”




Divine Child by Tatjana Gromača

Translated by Will Firth

Sandorf Passage | 2021

This novel “speaks to the destinies of women in Balkan and Eastern European societies, rendering a new perspective on European post-communist literature: fragmentary as memory, uncanny as twilight, and strong as love.”




Call Me Esteban by Lejla Kalamujić

Translated by Jennifer Zoble

Sandorf Passage | 2021

This collection of linked stories “depicts pre- and post-war Sarajevo by charting a daughter coping with losing her mother, but discovering herself.”




Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag by Sibyl Kempson

53rd State Press | 2015

“Set in Alabama at the scene of James Agee and Walker Evans’s famous reporting,” this play “
“brings Kempson’s attention to the ethical snares of poetic journalism and what it means to work on the land.”




Moonbath by Yanick Lahens

Translated from the French by Emily Gogolak

Deep Vellum Publishing | 2017 

In this novel, “the narrative shifts between the voices of four women, their lives interwoven with magic and fraught equally with hope and despair.”




Right Guy, Wrong Time by Louise MacGregor

Frayed Edge Press | 2021

This “offbeat feminist romance moves beyond ‘girl meets guy,’ dealing empathetically with the challenges of dating in the aftermath of rape.”




Love Interrupted by Reneilwe Malatji

Catalyst Press | 2018

In her debut collection of short fiction, Malatji “invites us into the intimate lives of South African women—their whispered conversations, their love lives, their triumphs and heartbreaks.”




God’s Wife by Amanda Michalopoulou

Translated from the Greek by Patricia Felisa Barbeito 

Deep Vellum Publishing | 2019

This novel is “a love story, a philosophical treatise on the nature of faith and divinity, a self-conscious meditation on the nature of writing and creativity, and a feminist tract all rolled into one.”




Sleepovers by Ashleigh Bryant Phillips

Hub City Press | 2020

This short story collection features “a runaway teen, a mattress salesman, feral kittens, an elderly bachelorette wearing a horsehair locket, and a little girl named after Shania Twain.”




The Loss Detector by Meg Pokrass

Bamboo Dart Press | 2020

This novella is “a funny/sad portrait of teenage blues and of a small, transplanted family of non-conformists.”




Honey Mine: Collected Stories by Camille Roy

Nightboat Books | 2021

Edited by Lauren Levin and Eric Sneathen, this short story collection “explores what it takes to survive as a young sex and gender outlaw in the heart of America.”




The Philosophical Transactions of Maria van Leeuwenhoek, Antoni’s Dochter by Heather Tosteson

Wising Up Press | 2017

This novel set in 17th century Holland asks of its protagonist, “As a woman, as a daughter of marriageable age, where do her loyalty, her love, and her integrity lie? Who will carry her theories forward?”




We, Jane by Aimee Wall

Book*hug Press | 2021

This debut novel “about intergenerational female relationships and resistance found in the unlikeliest of places… explores the precarity of rural existence and the essential nature of abortion.”





Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod, the World’s First Female Sports Superstar by Sasha Abramsky

Akashic Books | August 2020

This latest biography from the Edge of Sports imprint follows Lottie Dod, “a truly extraordinary sports figure who blazed trails of glory in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”




But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies

Feminist Press | 1993

Edited by Akasha (Gloria T.) Hull, Patricia Bell-Scott, and Barbara Smith and originally published in 1982, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies is the first comprehensive collection of black feminist scholarship.




The Collected Essays by Mary Butts

McPherson & Company | 2021

The Collected Essays is “the latest addition to an ongoing project to bring almost all of Mary Butts’s writings into print,” featuring essays and literary reviews mostly written by Butts between 1932 and 1937.




Theory & Praxis by Genevieve Carminati

​Gival Press | 2019

Focused on women’s and gender studies at community colleges, this book “brings together voices from faculty, researchers, program administrators, and students to examine the promise and challenges that these programs have in higher education.”




throughsmoke by Jehanne Dubrow

New Rivers Press | 2019

According to Julie Marie Wade, throughsmoke is “a capacious lyric essay that distills many voices into one.”




By the Forces of Gravity: An Illustrated Memoir by Rebecca Fish Ewan

Books by Hippocampus | 2018

By the Forces of Gravity is “a coming-of-age memoir told through drawings and free verse and reflects on a childhood friendship cut short by tragedy.”




Square Octagon Circle by Ellie Ga

Siglio Press | 2018

In this “narrative of image and text,” an artist and an archaeologist consider the Lighthouse of Alexandria, “navigating the spaces between history, memory and mythology, translation and mistranslation, the uncovered and the overlooked.”




(Her)oics: Women’s Lived Experiences During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Regal House Publishing | 2021 

Edited by Amy Roost and Joanell Serra, this collection features “front-line responders and recovering patients; going out to work, staying home to work, and losing their jobs; living with multiple generations and living in isolation; women grieving loved ones and celebrating new love; women preparing to give birth and supporting the dying.”




And the Spirit Moved Them: The Lost Radical History of America’s First Feminists by Helen LaKelly Hunt

Feminist Press | 2017

This book explores how, “a decade prior to the Seneca Falls Convention, black and white women joined together at the 1837 Anti-Slavery Convention in the first instance of political organizing by American women, for American women.”




Finding Mr. Rightstein by Nancy Davidoff Kelton

Passager Books | 2016

This memoir explores “the often daunting but never dull world of dating as a divorced mom in Manhattan.”




Animal by Dorothea Lasky

Wave Books | 2019

In this essay collection, Lasky “explores the powers and complexities of the lyric, ‘metaphysical I,’ which she exposes as one of the central expressions of human wildness.”




Life Lines: Re-Writing Lives from Inside Out

Green Writers Press | 2019

In this collection, women incarcerated in Vermont “tell their first-person accounts of addiction and mental illness within the prison setting, thus highlighting the challenges these women face in moving forward with their lives.”




A Full Moon of Women: 29 Word Portraits of Notable Women from Different Times and Places, +1 Void of Course  by Ursule Molinaro

McPherson & Co. | 1993

This book features miniature biographies of Charlotte Corday, Joan of Arc, Lucy Goodale Thurston, Clara Schumann, Simone Weil, Alice Neel, Zenobia, Mu-Lan Hwa, Adele Hugo, and other “heroines whose rebellious daring shaped the meaning of the feminine experience.”




Pain Studies by Lisa Olstein

Bellevue Literary Press | 2020

In this extended lyric essay, Olstein “mines her lifelong experience with migraine to deliver a marvelously idiosyncratic cultural history of pain–how we experience, express, treat, and mistreat it.”




You May Have the Suitcase Now by Beaudelaine Pierre

New Rivers Press | 2021

According to Joëlle Vitiello, Pierre “offers a complex gaze on immigration in the Youwés (US) through the experience of a Haitian woman coming to grips with her history, with the unforgiving world of her new surroundings in the Twin Cities, with her hopes, despairs, and children’s future.”




The Bear Woman by Karolina Ramqvist

Translated by Saskia Vogel

Coach House Books | 2022

Blending autofiction and essay, Ramqvist “explores what it means to write history, how women’s stories have been told, and wonders, in this time of narrative fatigue and a new wave feminism that the author does not quite relate to, where we have gotten ourselves to.”




What Is Now Known Was Once Only Imagined: An (Auto)biography of Niki de Saint Phalle by Nicole Rudick

Siglio Press | February 21, 2022

This “unconventional, illuminated biography, told in the first person in Saint Phalle’s voice and her own hand, dilates large and small moments in Saint Phalle’s remarkable life as an artist who pointedly challenged taboos.”




This All-at-Onceness by Julie Wittes Schlack

Regal House Publishing | 2019

This collection of linked essays is “a vivid, personal journey through the political and cultural movements that have shaped every generation from the Baby Boomers to the Parkland kids.”




The Poser: 38 Portraits Reimagined by Maya Stein

Toadhall Editions | 2021

“Part art book, part essay series, part something else entirely,” The Poser is a collection of contemporary portrait reenactments completed in the spring of 2020.




A Road Unforeseen by Meredith Tax

Bellevue Literary Press | 2016

A Road Unforeseen “recounts the dramatic, underreported history of the Rojava Kurds, whose all-women militia was instrumental in the perilous mountaintop rescue of tens of thousands of civilians besieged in Iraq.”




My Body Is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta

Red Hen Press | 2014

In Washuta’s debut memoir, “her crisis of American Indian identity bleeds into other areas of self-doubt; mental illness, sexual trauma, ethnic identity, and independence become intertwined.”




Nine Moons by Gabriela Wiener

Translated from the Spanish by Jessica Powell

Restless Books | 2020

Peruvian essayist Wiener’s latest book is “a fierce and funny exploration of sex, pregnancy, and motherhood that delves headlong into our fraught fascination with human reproduction.”



Literary Magazines


“Thirst” by Alia Ahmed

The Hudson Review | 2022

This story begins, “I flirt with the help. I do it everywhere I go. It’s a sickness.”




“Ameriki” by Eirené Archolekas

Arkana | Issue 10

This poem begins, “I am a captive of the American dream / in someone else’s head / I am the product of someone else’s choice….”




Speculative Fiction in Translation by Women

Anomaly | Issue 25

This special folio from 2017 highlights work by “some of the best female authors writing speculative fiction in languages other than English,” including artists from Italy, China, France, and beyond.




“The Art of Waiting” by Sara Cheikh

Evergreen Review

This excerpt from Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Insha-Allah begins, “Gali is in his thirties. He tells me he lived in Alicante, Spain, for five years and insists on speaking to me in rusty Spanish.”




The Common | Reading List: Women’s History Month

This roundup of work to read for Women’s History Month includes poetry by Raisa Tolchinsky, Allison Albino, and Eliane Marques; fiction by Shahla al-Ujayli and Latifa Baqa; nonfiction by Susan R. Troccolo and LaToya Faulk; and more.




CV2 | Lina Chartrand Award

Winners of the annual Lina Chartrand Award, given to a women poet for an outstanding poet published in CV2, include Francine Cunningham, Roxanna Bennett, and Renée Jackson-Harper.




“Black Womxn Are Violets” by Tatiana Johnson-Boria

Cincinnati Review | 2021

According to Lisa Low, Johnson-Boria’s poem “creates a complex portrait of Black womxnhood that’s simultaneously an ode and much more than one.”




kerning | Issue 1

The inaugural issue of this biannual compendium of writing “includes poetry, fiction, short stories, flash fiction, personal essays and creative nonfiction from women and gender diverse people.”




“Self Portrait as a Daughter, Learning” by Shelby Lynne

Arkana | Issue 7

This essay begins, “One week before my twenty-third birthday, I move out of my parents’ house.”




“Other Fires” by Chiseche Salome Mibenge

Evergreen Review

This essay begins, “I’m on my laptop watching the State funeral in Qunu. Zuma is singing Thina Sizwe. We, the Black nation, we are lamenting for our land, our land which was seized by the whites. Let them leave our land.”




A Public Space | Issue 23

This issue of A Public Space includes a portfolio of women writers over the age of 60, featuring work by Bette Howland, Friederike Mayröcker, and more.




“Dyke Litany” by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers

Cincinnati Review | 2022

According to Lily Meyer, in this flash essay “queer adolescent isolation transforms into a collective experience.”