Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ain't I a Woman!” as Want to Read:
Ain't I a Woman!
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ain't I a Woman!

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  367 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Spanning the centuries from Sappho's Greece to modern South Africa, the voices of these women poets express themes of love, motherhood, injustice, loss, and racial and sexual oppression. The sequence of the poems moves from youth to old age, and they bear witness to the triumphs as well as the pain and frustration of women in many times and in many places. Among the poets ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by McGraw-Hill (first published 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ain't I a Woman!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ain't I a Woman!

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 17, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
This started with such promise.
This is a collection of poetry by women from around the world. It was originally compiled for theatrical performance by the editor with the poems doing a 'call and answer' bit. With this in mind, I decided to read it straight through. Amongst the great and good there was also enough muck to take the pleasure of the poetry out of it for me.
This will remain unfinished.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can I get more than five stars, please? This book is so good I want to frame every page and put it on the wall so I can read it again and again. The poems are by women from every country, young, old and deceased. Many are translated from other languages. But are so dead-on about women's lives and so powerful. The book isn't new, and the page are yellow in my used copy, but I still want to give it at least 12 stars.
Michal Mahgerefteh
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-books
This is one of my favorite poetry collections about women collected from all backgrounds, cultues, religions. Most reflect on the struggles of women within family and community. I go back to this collection often.
Sincerae Smith
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A collection of poems not only written by women from around the world but by women from different eras. The title comes from a speech of the ex-slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth.
Carol Waters
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I used one of these poems at my daughter's funeral.
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Each time I pick this book up, different poems speak to me. It's the best thing to keep by your bed for sleepless nights!
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Getting in touch with my sisters and sistahs! The creativity is refreshing as is the outpouring of emotion! And I'm only halfway through the collection!
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unique exchange between women of many races, affirming their differences and what they have in common... I was moved beyond belief,in many different directions.
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Most people who are going to find this book probably have at least a cursory background in women/race/class studies, and I don't think this book's poems offers many new perspectives from those fields. However, what this book does offer is a plethora of wonderful voices and words from around the world expressing ideas about those fields in particular relation to the "woman experience." Originally created for a one-woman-show (and I think useful to stage performers), the poems, over 150 of them, a ...more
Charlane Brady
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful poetry encompassing all emotions from women of all ages and throughout the world. Absolutely magical. I love giving this book as a gift.

I wish I could speak with each and every woman to listen to their story of life.

Here are a few short ones I love:

GRAND JETEE by Mary Mackey, USA

some rhythms must remain unbroken

like a dancer in an
some women cannot carry
a child
in their arms

some come to salvation
drawn by the hands of small children

some can only make their leaps


Nov 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, women
Jenny Joseph – warning (1)
Cheryl Clarke – If you black get back (5)
Chirlane McCray – I used to think (23)
Nilene O.A.Foxworth – Sho nuff (28)
Maureen burge – Disillusion (43)
Invitation – grace Nichols (54)
Eva toth – the creation of the world (59)
Maya Angelou – they went home (66)
Mary Mackey – grand Jetee (90)
Moira O’Neill – Her Sister (91)
Jean Lipkin – Father (102)
Margaret Reckord – the Journey (102)
Frances W. Harper – Vashti (110)
Michelle T. Clinton - Anti Apart hate Art (121)
Marsha Prescod – Ant
Cathleen Ash
From Maya Angelous to Sappho, from Yolando Ulloa (Cuba) to Suniti Namjoshi (India), this book contains powerful writings by women and about women, both within the home, within the cultures, within the world. This book has its roots in the theatre, and in Sojourner Truth's famous speech of 1852. A love letter to Samson from Delila (by Carole Gregory) epitomizes the tone of this book: strong, daring, and finding humor where one can. Poetry readers will love it, young adult women will enjoy it!
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, feminism
Turns out a love/sex/angst poem written by a Cuban woman is no different to one written by a Japanese woman, nor American woman. The romanticiztion of anything is utter tripe, so I really don't know what I expected. There were decent, fragmented poems here and there that did incite me to keep turning the page. However, I was largely unaffected by the anthology, save for Margaret Atwood's visceral, biting poem, titled, "A Woman's Issue."
Sep 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
A very cultural diverse collection. What I'm most pleased about is I saw a display of Page Poetry at the Leonardo Museum the week before, where you create your own Poetry from whatever words hidden in the text speak to you. I pulled several pages from this book and have already started creating my poetry art. It was the perfect book to do this with.
Verna Edwards
I usually read these books a bit each month. a start in january and take as long as necessary to finish. love being able to pick and choose the poems that fit my mood when i pick up the book once again.
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book of poetry turns out fine!
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was fine.
I'm not that into poetry; but there were several poems that I thought were very good.
Dec 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students doing Mr. Wood's anthology project
This anthology has many poems to fill the women author requirement for the students doing Mr. Wood's anthology project.
Marilyn Burch
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some great poetry about the stages and seasons of a woman's life. I liked the variety from around the world and through time.
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the poems from different people and in a wide span of years. Great insight! I recommend it.
A wonderful collection of poems written by women through the ages, in many different countries and experiencing different walks of life.
Well this book was a collection of poems from women around the world basically telling their stories, their personal opinions, and grievances with the world.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I like this collection - I would love to see it on stage. Some of my favorite poems/poets are represented here.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was difficult for me to decide on a star-rating for this collection of poetry. For me, it was a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some poems made me cry or touched my heart and soul, some poetry thoughts I did not agree with but I tried to see it from the perspective of the poet, some poems did not affect me in any way (which was disappointing). Because the good poems in this collection are truly great, I gave it four stars (despite the boring or disappointing poems).

All in all, I
This collection of poems is a worthwhile read. I gave it only a 3 star rating because so many of the poems were dark and disheartening. As a woman, I have experienced the dark days but life is also full of good times. I felt the collection could have better reflected life as a whole for women.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good poetry put together so weirdly, i liked the stuff but wish there was some organizational structure
Mary-Mariah Hopper
rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2011
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You: A Book of Her Poems  His Poems Collected in Pairs
  • Fooling with Words: A Celebration of Poets and Their Craft
  • Revolutionary Petunias
  • Verses That Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets
  • Final Harvest: Emily Dickinson's Poems
  • My Mother's Body: Poems
  • The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry
  • The Black Poets
  • Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980
  • Why Things Burn
  • Love Poems
  • Poems from the Women's Movement (American Poets Project)
  • Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds
  • The Continuous Life
  • A Book of Women Poets: From Antiquity to Now
  • Rain in the Trees
  • No More Masks: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Women Poets
  • Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts

Share This Book