You Don’t Have to Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves is an inclusive anthology for teen girls, released by Workman Publishing on March 30, 2021. Editor Diana Whitney has collected the voices she wishes she’d heard when she was a teen, from luminaries like Maya Angelou and Mary Oliver to icons like Amanda Gorman, as well as emerging poets and spoken-word stars. The poems in this collection speak candidly about depression, rage, desire, shame, identity, body image, sexual violence, queer love, self-love, and much more.
In this conversation, Whitney joins Safia Elhillo and Michelle Tea to read their poems and talk about the ways poetry has been a path for self-discovery, self-acceptance and empathy. They’ll share their own writing practices and discuss how poetry can offer solace in times of emotional need, expanding our world and helping us feel less alone.