Sappho was the original female singer-songwriter, an Ancient Greek Carol King or Joni Mitchell, whose songs were so memorable that people were still writing about them and passing them on centuries later.
Today her name is synonymous with lesbianism – indeed the very word ‘Lesbian’ comes from the name of the island where Sappho lived, Lesbos – due to the many lines of her poetry where she expresses strong, and sometimes sexual, feelings for other women. But there was more to Sappho than just her interest in women. Continue reading Sappho
Aphra Behn (1640?-1689) was a 17th-century writer who challenged expectations of women at the time by writing plays, poetry and novels for profit. Her most famous texts include The Rover, Oroonoko, and The Fair Jilt. Some of her writing was notorious for its sexual themes, but she also got into trouble for writing about politics, a risk for any writer during this period but particularly for a woman. Behn’s prose writing is seen as playing an important part in the development of the novel.
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Born 7th April, 1889 was the Chilean poet, Gabriela Mistral.
Born Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, she published her poetry under the name Gabriela Mistral. In 1945 she became the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and remains the only Latin American woman to do so.
As well as a poet, Gabreila was an educator, a feminist, and was involved in politics throughout her life. She argued for the right to education for children, she spoke up for the rights of women and the poor, and believed strongly in peace and democracy. She defended those who were oppressed and used her essays, poetry and newspaper articles to draw attention to their plight.
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