Hypercritic celebrated World Poetry Day, on March 21, 2021, with a reading marathon from the works of 88 women poets, from both past and present: Hypercritic Poethon 2021, #88poetstochangetheworld.
The number is arbitrary yet symbolic: The International Astronomical Union estimates there are 88 constellations, similar to the number of keys on a piano, and like the infinity symbol. In the week ending March 21, Hypercritic has created a digital firmament of women poets who have helped transform the world in a more egalitarian direction by their examples and by their words.
Our magazine has become the voice for the dream of Cristina Campo, who in the 1950s planned a collection – never realized – of 80 poems written by women. And so, we’re adopting her idea to celebrate women in the way we know best: by spreading the art and beauty of their words.
A celebration of women
We’re hoping that in a way we can perhaps symbolically rebalance some of today’s news that we see and hear around us, of women ending up in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons. Their lack of representation in government and politics, the numbers of women losing their jobs due to the pandemic, the appalling number of women who have been victims of femicide. Hypercritic wants to react to violence with beauty, telling the stories and narrating the words of women who have struggled to express themselves in this world.
Amanda Gorman is the young American poet who demonstrated that words can be a unifying tool. She read out her words at the inauguration ceremony of U.S President Joe Biden, with her poem The Hill We Climb, a paean to help heal America’s wounds. Along with the words of Wisława Szymborska, Louise Glück, Emily Dickinson, and many others, Gorman’s poems were a part of the Hypercritic Poethon 2021.
Among the readers who gave voice to the 88 women poets were Nicola Lagioia with a poem by Amelia Rossetti, and the director of the Egyptian Museum of Turin Christian Greco, who read verses in hieroglyphic celebrating the female figure.
Other readers were Beatrice Venezi (Margaret Atwood), Giovanni Caccamo (Alda Merini), Emiliano Poddi (Wisława Szymborska), Antonella Lattanzi (Patrizia Cavalli), Tania Cagnootto (Emily Dickinson), Federica Manzon, Serena Danna, Maurina Capuano, Ezio Mauro, David Frati, Mario De Santis, Ilaria Gaspari, Andrea Tarabbia (Anna Achmatova), Nicola Campogrande, Giulia Caminito, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Camilla Ronzullo, Paolo Maria Noseda (Patti Smith) and, at the end of the poetry marathon, Alessandro Baricco who read Sappho in ancient Greek.
88 women Poets, 40 Countries, 23 languages
Sunday, March 21, was the highlight of Hypercritic Poethon 2021: friends and followers shared a heartfelt poem, in the form of a reading, accompanied by an image or simply by publishing only the text, adding the hashtag #postapoem, and tagging Hypercritic.