Sapphic Poets Throughout History

Sappho: "Sweet mother, I cannot weave - slender Aphrodite has overcome me
with longing for a girl.
Discover some lesbian poets you should know about

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Sapphic Poets

Im not a poet, and, I know it! Therefore, and sorry this list of lesbian poets throughout history is short.

Bravo to the historical lesbian poets who wrote prose and who won amazing accolades for their work such as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, considered one of the greatest Mexican poets, an early advocate of women's rights, Anna de Noailles the first woman to become a Commander of the Legion of Honor, Elizabeth Bishop won Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and Carol Ann Duffy who is the first known LGBT+ poet to hold the position of Poet Laureate in the UK.

Sapphic Poets: Sappho


As we all know Sappho was a Greek poet from the island of Lesbos who was widely regarded as one of the greatest lyric poets of her time. She primarily wrote love poetry which... more

Greek Poet: c. 630 – c. 570 BCE

Sapphic Poets: Laudomia Forteguerri

Laudomia Forteguerri

A member of one of the most powerful families in the 16th century Republic of Siena, Laudomia Forteguerri, was an accomplished Italian poet and is considered by some historians... more

Italian Poet: 1515 – 1555

Sapphic Poets: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is considered one of the greatest Mexican poets, an early advocate of women’s rights, and some say, Mexico’s first lesbian feminist writer... more

Mexican Poet: 1648 - 1695

Sapphic Poets: Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

While Dickinson was extremely prolific as a poet and regularly enclosed poems in letters to friends, she was not publicly recognized during her lifetime. The first volume... more

American Poet: 1830 - 1886

Sapphic Poets: Annie Adams Fields

Annie Adams Fields

Annie Adams Fields was an an accomplished author and poet. Her publications include several volumes of poetry including: The Singing Shepherd, and Other Poems (1895)... more

American Poet and Writer: 1834 - 1915

Sapphic Poets: Sarah Orne Jewett

Sarah Orne Jewett

Sarah Orne Jewett was an American novelist, short story writer and poet who became a prominent literary figure of her time. Much of her work portrays life in Maine’s declining... more

American Poet and Writer: 1849 - 1909

Sapphic Poets: Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein was an American novelist, poet and art collector who moved from California to Paris in 1903, and made France her home. One of her notable books is... more

American Jew Poet and Writer: 1874 - 1946

Sapphic Poets: Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell

At 28 years old Amy Lowell turned to poetry after being inspired by a performance of Italian actress Eleonora Duse in Europe. During her life Lowell wrote and published over... more

American Poet: 1874 - 1925

Sapphic Poets: Natalie Clifford Barney

Natalie Clifford Barney

Natalie Clifford Barney was an American expatriate who lived, wrote and most famously hosted a literary salon in Paris... more

American Poet: 1876 - 1972

Sapphic Poets: Anna de Noailles

Anna de Noailles

Born a princess, Anna de Noailles was a Romanian-French poet and writer. She wrote three novels, an autobiography, and many volumes of poems including:... more

Romanian-French Poet: 1876 – 1933

Sapphic Poets: Renee Vivien

Renee Vivien

Renée Vivien was a high-profile lesbian port in the Paris during La Belle Époque when the arts the arts flourished. Her major works are Cendres et poussières ("Ashes and Dust", 1902);... more

English French Poet: 1877 - 1909

Sapphic Poets: Sophia Parnok

Sophia Parnok

Sophia Parnok was one of the first out lesbian poets in Russia. Because she chose to live openly and wrote about her relationships with several women, dedicating... more

Russian Jew Poet: 1885 - 1933

Sapphic Poets: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Millay was one of the most skillful writers of sonnets in the twentieth century. In 1923 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, for The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver and she is... more

American Poet: 1892 - 1950

Sapphic Poets: Elsa Gidlow

Elsa Gidlow

Elsa Gidlow published the first openly lesbian poetry in North America, titled On A Grey Thread (1923) and Elsa, I Come with My Songs (1986) is the first lesbian... more

British-Canadian Poet: 1898 - 1986

Sapphic Poets: Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

Larry Rohter in the New York Times, referred to Elizabeth Bishop as "one of the most important American poets" of the 20th century. Elizabeth Bishop was an award-wining... more

American Poet: 1911 - 1979

Sapphic Poets: Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich first collection of poetry, A Change of World (1951), was selected by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. Rich went on to receive a... more

Poet: 1929 - 2012

Sapphic Poets: Pat Parker

Pat Parker

Pat Parker's poetry and her activism drew from her experiences as an African-American lesbian feminist. She was the author of five collections of poetry:... more

African-American Poet: 1944 - 1989

Sapphic Poets: Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan

From 2008 to 2010 Kay Ryan was the United States Poet Laureate, serves as the official poet of the United States and she has served as a Chancellor of The Academy of... more

American poet: 1945

Sapphic Poets: Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy

From 2009 to 2019, Carol Ann Duffy was the first known LGBT poet to hold the position of Poet Laureate (an honorary position which used to be appointed by... more

Scottish Poet: 1955