Lisa Russ Spaar, Aracelis Girmay and Daisy Fried (pictured above) tackle the issue of gender in poetry in a candid, thought-provoking exchange, Here's a moment I like, from Fried:
Like any poet writing in any mode, I make hundreds of formal choices in every poem. Syntax, lineation, tone, pacing, voice, deployment of image: these are all formal choices. They’re all opportunities for thinking in certain ways and at certain rates. Likewise, traditional form is an opportunity, not a vessel to be filled up. I can’t imagine considering any of this in terms of gender. I really can’t get my brain around that concept. I realize there’s theory about female ways of thinking and male ways of thinking, female language and male language. If they’re true—I’m skeptical—I’m politically opposed to acting as if they’re true. The minute you start assigning gender to certain formal choices or gestures or tics, you have to start pointing out the million exceptions.