“We all move forward when

we recognize how resilient

and striking the women

around us are”

– Rupi Kaur

From Sappho to Xue Tao to Maya Angelou, women poets have used the art of poetry to record, express, and deconstruct the sexism and misogyny that blight and shape the lived experiences of women and girls. For centuries, as with women writers across other types of literature, the work of women poets remained private, often only published and appreciated posthumously.

As the Poetry Foundation notes in its editorial op-ed Poetry and Feminism: Tracing the fight for equality and women’s rights through poetry, “the idea that women and female experience were incompatible with poetry continued to hold sway […] until second-wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s brought a political and cultural watershed. Women fought for equal treatment and civil rights; meanwhile, women poets created structures to support one another while profoundly changing poetry itself.”

Indeed, as women poets such as Cynthia Pelayo, Rupi Kaur, and Amanda Gorman rose to prominence and gained popularity in the age of social media, poetry has become a powerful vehicle for raising awareness about sexism, misogyny, and violence against women.

The Pixel Project’s Read For Pixels campaign was first launched in September 2014 in recognition of the immense power of the writing arts and storytelling to shape cultural ideas and influence the direction of history. Since then, the campaign has gone from strength to strength. To date, almost 300 award-winning bestselling authors from genres as diverse as Science Fiction, Fantasy, Crime, Thrillers, Mystery, Romance, and Horror have participated in various Read For Pixels campaigns and initiatives, raising over $100,000 for the cause to end VAW to date.

In the 10th year of Read For Pixels, The Pixel Project officially marks the start of our inclusion of and collaboration with poets in the campaign with the release of Under Her Eye, a collection of original poems about violence against women. And so we honour 16 acclaimed poets who have crafted powerful poems for the collection. Many are award-winning poets while others are well-respected in their countries. Still others are up-and-coming stars who have decided to use their talents for good. It is the movement to end VAW that unites and inspires them and we hope that all of them will continue to work with the movement in years to come.

To learn more each poet, click on their name in the title of their section.

Introduction by Regina Yau; Written and compiled by Regina Yau

Inspired to support The Pixel Project’s anti-violence against women work? Make a donation to us today OR buy the audiobook edition of our 1st charity anthology, Giving The Devil His Due OR buy our 1st poetry collection, Under Her Eye. All donations and net proceeds from book sales go towards supporting our campaigns, programmes, and initiatives.

Poet Against VAW 1: Ai Jiang

Ai Jiang is a Chinese-Canadian writer, a Nebula, Locus, and Ignyte Award finalist, and an immigrant from Fujian. Her work can be found in F&SF, The Dark, and The Masters Review, among others. She is the author of Linghun and I AM AI. When asked about why she supports the cause to end VAW, she said: “Rather than the victims, women are often made to feel as though they are the ones at fault, fearing the very idea of speaking out against the toxic situations they are in, and sometimes having no choice but to remain in them.”


Poet Against VAW 2: Caitlin Marceau

Caitlin Marceau is a queer Canadian author and illustrator based in Montreal. Her work includes Femina, A Blackness Absolute, and her award-winning novella This Is Where We Talk Things Out. Her novella I’m Having Regrets and her debut novel It Wasn’t Supposed To Go Like This are set for publication in 2024. When asked why she supports ending VAW, she said: “I think it’s easy for people to forget that this is a problem that impacts everyone. Not just the women, families, and communities dealing with this brutality right now, but the generations to come who will grow up in a world that normalises this kind of gender-based violence.”


Poet Against VAW 3: Carina Bissett

Carina Bissett is an award-winning writer and editor working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and fabulism. Her fiction and poetry have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. Her debut collection Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations is forthcoming in 2024. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “Intimate partner abuse can happen to anyone. It happened to me, and I survived. But there are so many who do not. Instead of receiving the support we deserve, abused women are often subjected to dismissal and disbelief. This needs to stop. We deserve to have a voice, to be believed. We deserve to be safe in our own homes, to be protected. Only when the blame is shifted to the perpetrators, when our abusers are held accountable for their crimes, will we finally be free.”


Poet Against VAW 4: Cassondra Windwalker

Cassondra Windwalker is a poet, essayist, and novelist presently writing full-time from the southern Alaskan coast. Her novels and full-length poetry collections are available in bookstores and online. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “Women are like lodgepole pines. Alone, we may be felled by wind or ice, but standing together, we are a forest of strength and power and life. I never want another woman to face the wind alone.”


Poet Against VAW 5: Donna Lynch

Donna Lynch is horror and dark fiction author, singer, lyricist, spoken word artist, and three-time Bram Stoker AwardⓇ-nominated and LOHF award-winning poet. She has published eight poetry collections, two novels and a novella. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “At various times in my life, I found myself in volatile living situations. I vowed to never be in that place again, and that I’d acknowledge the privilege I had to be able to leave, thinking of all the women who can’t. We owe it to them to fight for change to societal standards and systems.”


Poet Against VAW 6: Emily Ruth Verona

Emily Ruth Verona is a Pinch Literary Award winner and a Bram Stoker AwardsⓇ nominee with work featured in numerous anthologies and magazines. Her debut thriller Midnight on Beacon Street is expected from Harper Perennial in 2024. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “Women shouldn’t have to be more cautious in the way we live our lives just because we are women, but that is what society expects from us. The onus is put on those at risk, but everyone needs to get involved.”


Poet Against VAW 7: EV Knight

EV Knight is the author of the Bram Stoker AwardⓇ winning debut novel The Fourth Whore. She has also written the novel Children of Demeter as well as several novellas: Dead Eyes, Partum, and her most recent release, the autofictional Three Days in the Pink Tower. You can find her numerous short stories in horror anthologies as well. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “Violence that originates from someone who professes to love you or who you look to as your support can absolutely destroy someone physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It affects every aspect of your wellbeing and your ability to function in daily life. When all of your energy must be focused on staying invisible in order to survive, you lose your life long before your natural death. The world needs women, needs mothers and sisters and granddaughters.”


Poet Against VAW 8: Geneve Flynn

Geneve Flynn is a multi-award-winning editor, author, and poet. Co-editor of Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women and collaborator for Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken, she is a two-time Bram Stoker AwardⓇ winner, winner of the Shirley Jackson and Aurealis awards and recipient of a 2022 Queensland Writers Fellowship. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “How we talk about violence against women shapes who the responsibility lands on and how we address the issue. Media reports often frame it as an individual rather than systemic problem, with perpetrators sometimes portrayed as victims of circumstance, rationalising the abuse and reinforcing damaging gender norms. As writers, we can use our stories and poems to challenge these distortions.”


Poet Against VAW 9:  L. Marie Wood

L. Marie Wood is the recipient of the Golden Stake Award, a MICO Award-winning screenwriter, a two-time Bram Stoker AwardsⓇ finalist, a Rhysling nominated poet, and an accomplished essayist. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “Violence against women perpetuates dominance, disrespect, and hate. It breaks down the very fabric of what it means to be human. To practise it is to hate oneself, which most assuredly signals the end of integrity, of respect for life, of civilisation as we know it.”


Poet Against VAW 10: L. E. Daniels

A New Englander living in Australia, Lauren Elise Daniels is an awarded editor and poet, bestselling author, and writing mentor. She has worked in publishing since 1992, has established the Brisbane Writing Workshop, and is a member of the HWA and AHWA. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “When we overcome the silence surrounding violence against women through poetry, we gather strength in ourselves and our sisters. All of us are in this together.”


Poet Against VAW 11: Mercedes M. Yardley

Mercedes M. Yardley is a whimsical dark fantasist. She wrote Darling, the Stabby Award-winning Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu, Pretty Little Dead Girls, and Beautiful Sorrows. She won the Bram Stoker AwardⓇ for her stories Little Dead Red and Fracture. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “It’s sad that violence against women is a default. It’s tragic that roughly half of the entire population are women or female-identifying, and we still need conversations about why it’s important to stop violence against women.”


Poet Against VAW 12: Stephanie M. Wytovich

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous magazines and anthologies such as Weird Tales, Nightmare Magazine, Southwest Review, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8 & 15, as well as many others. Her latest poetry collection, On the Subject of Blackberries, is available now. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “Everyone deserves to feel safe. It’s crucial that we fight for women’s rights and safety in a world where they are constantly at risk. When we use our words and our art to advocate for this and promote the act of radial peace and stability, we not only fight for love but for what the world could and can be.”


Poet Against VAW 13: Tiffany Meuret

Tiffany Meuret writes weird novels and poetry. She is the author of novels A Flood Of Posies and Little Bird, as well as the forthcoming Cataclysm coming in April 2024.When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “One of the most insidious judgements made to domestic abuse survivors is, ‘Why didn’t you just leave?’ If the act of leaving was as simple as people suggest, then that is exactly what would happen. Leaving even a more typical relationship can tear people and families apart, but an abusive relationship, which is built on control and dominance, takes astonishing strength and resolve to leave. We need organisations like The Pixel Project to help educate everyone on the insidious nature of domestic violence so harsh judgements like this stop, and we can all open our hearts to those who need us.”


Poet Against VAW 14: V.C. McCabe

V.C. McCabe is an Appalachian poet and the author of Ophelia (Femme Salvé Books, 2023) and Give the Bard a Tetanus Shot (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2019). She edited for Barren Magazine, Ice Floe Press, and Frontier Poetry. Her work appears in journals such as EPOCH, Poet Lore, and Prairie Schooner. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “Violence against anyone, especially vulnerable women and children, is abhorrent. As a child of a domestically violent household, I know all too well how traumatising it is for the victim and their loved ones for the rest of their lives.”


Poet Against VAW 15: Vanessa Jae

Vanessa Jae writes horrifically beautiful anarchies, reads stories for Apex Magazine, and is poetry editor at Strange Horizons. She also collects black hoodies and bruises in mosh pits on Tuesday nights. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “Depictions of violence against women are often exploited for entertainment purposes and glorified in the process. I believe women deserve the right to reclaim how their suffering is portrayed and to heal exploring retribution in media.”


Poet Against VAW 16: Vivian Kasley

Vivian Kasley is a writer of fiction and poetry. Her words haunt places such as Cemetery Gates Media, Brigids Gate Press, Vastarien, Ghost Orchid Press, Death’s Head Press, and Black Spot Books’ women in horror poetry showcase: Under Her Skin and Under Her Eye. She has more in the works, including her first collection coming in 2025 from Brigids Gate Press. When asked why she supports stopping VAW, she said: “I’ve lived it. I’ve been the young woman who was abused and afraid to speak out. But not anymore, and never again. It’s my hope that Under Her Eye, and any work of art that supports those who have suffered abuse, will help someone else. You are seen, and you matter. I need you to know, it is never your fault.”

Photo Credits

  1. Ai Jiang – Courtesy of Ai Jiang
  2. Caitlin Marceau – Courtesy of Caitlin Marceau
  3. Carina Bissett – Courtesy of Carina Bissett
  4. Cassondra Windwalker – Courtesy of Cassondra Windwalker
  5. Donna Lynch – Courtesy of Donna Lynch
  6. Emily Ruth Verona – Courtesy of Emily Ruth Verona
  7. EV Knight – Courtesy of EV Knight
  8. Geneve Flynn – Courtesy of Geneve Flynn
  9. L. Marie Wood – Courtesy of L. Marie Wood
  10. L.E. Daniels – Courtesy of L. E. Daniels
  11. Mercedes M. Yardley – Courtesy of Mercedes M. Yardley
  12. Stephanie M. Wytovich – Courtesy of Stephanie M. Wytovich
  13. Tiffany Meuret – Courtesy of Tiffany Meuret
  14. V.C. McCabe – Courtesy of V.C. McCabe
  15. Vanessa Jae – Courtesy of Vanessa Jae
  16. Vivian Kasley – Courtesy of Vivian Kasley