A-Gender was formed in 2010, initially as a Google discussion group, as a result of perceived gender bias on the UK literature scene, by a group of female poets. It was observed that significantly more women than men attend creative writing classes, and are published in ‘starting out’ publications such as The New Writer, but that the higher up one travels into the upper echelons of literature – the prize short lists, and the publications with the highest kudos (the LRB, the TLS), the less women are apparent. A-Gender might be described as a loosely affiliated conglomerate of female writers (currently mostly poets) who are interested in the reasons for gender imbalance on the literature scene and wonder whether what, if anything, might be done so that the sexes are more evenly represented. This website, and the database of female poets it houses, was set up by Ros Barber and Jackie Wills in response to the figures published in early 2011 by a similar US organisation, VIDA. The profiles are contributed by volunteers and we are completely unfunded.
If you would like to join our online discussion group, volunteer your time, write articles for the main website, add poets’ profiles, or make a small donation towards the website’s running costs, we would – of course – love to hear from you!