Bianca Stone talking with poet Diana Whitney about her new anthology “You Don’t Have To Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves”
(Trigger warning, discussions of sexual assault)
Stone and Whitney discuss the complexities of teenage trauma, love, friendship, sexuality, independence, the necessity of poetry and self-expression, and look closely at a few poems from the anthology.
Diana Whitney writes across genres with a focus on feminism, motherhood, and sexuality. Her first book, Wanting It, became an indie bestseller in poetry. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, the Washington Post, and many more. A feminist activist in her Vermont hometown and beyond, Diana works as an editor and a yoga teacher. diana-whitney.com
From Workman Press Site:
Poems to Turn to Again and Again – from Amanda Gorman, Sharon Olds, Kate Baer, and More
Created and compiled just for young women, You Don’t Have to Be Everything is filled with works by a wide range of poets who are honest, unafraid, and skilled at addressing the complex feelings of coming-of-age, from loneliness to joy, longing to solace, attitude to humor. These unintimidating poems offer girls a message of self-acceptance and strength, giving them permission to let go of shame and perfectionism.
The cast of 68 poets is extraordinary: Amanda Gorman, the first National Youth Poet Laureate, who read at Joe Biden’s inauguration; bestselling authors like Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Acevedo, Sharon Olds, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Mary Oliver; Instagram-famous poets including Kate Baer, Melody Lee, and Andrea Gibson; poets who are LGBTQ, poets of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, poets who sing of human experience in ways that are free from conventional ideas of femininity. Illustrated in full color with work by three diverse artists, this book is an inspired gift for daughters and granddaughters—and anyone on the path to becoming themselves.
No matter how old you are,
it helps to be young
when you’re coming to life,
to be unfinished, a mysterious statement,
a journey from star to star.
—Joy Ladin, excerpt from “Survival Guide”