Largest database of women poets to be launched in Washington, D.C. on March 27


Image: Kim BridgfordThe Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project, designed to become the largest database of women poets in the world, will be launched in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 27, at 6:00 p.m. at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The project is an outgrowth of Mezzo Cammin, a web journal (www.mezzocammin.com) devoted to poetry by women that was founded four years ago by Dr. Kim Bridgford, professor of English at Fairfield University.

The event, which takes place during Women's History Month, is both a celebration of women's accomplishments and a fundraiser for the timeline and will feature poets Rhina Espaillat, Annie Finch, Marilyn Nelson, Alicia Ostriker, Molly Peacock, and Terri Witek. The featured visual artist is Alice Mizrachi.

A passionate ambassador for poetry, who has written several well-received books of poetry herself, Dr. Bridgford exudes a quiet confidence when she declares that the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project will be the largest database of women poets in the world. To that end she already has trips planned to other countries where she will meet with local poets to engage them in the project.

The Timeline Project is the natural extension of the Mezzo Cammin journal, published twice a year. A poetry group affiliated with the journal has included Elizabeth Alexander, President Barack Obama's inaugural poet, Katha Pollitt, Dolores Hayden, Ann Lauinger, Clare Rossini, and Kim Bridgford.

While the journal is intended to promote the work of contemporary women poets, it is also meant to expose readers to formal poetry by women poets who may once have been well-known, but whose writing may now be difficult to find due to its lack of inclusion in anthologies, books falling out of print, and the tendency that still persists in academia of choosing the work of male poets to define a given era or literary style. The Timeline Project expands this to include all women poets.

The March 27 event in Washington is open to the public.

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Posted on March 1, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 212