Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga (March 23, 1814 – February 1, 1873), a Cuban-born Spanish writer, was considered one of the most romantic writers and greatest women poets of the 19th century.
Avellaneda was born in Santa Maria de Puerto Principe, currently known as Camagüey. Upon arriving in Cuba in 1905, her father, Manuel Gómez de Avellaneda y Gil de Taboada was a Spanish naval officer in charge of the port of Nuevitas.
Her mother, Francisca María del Rosario de Arteaga y Betancourt, was a criolla and a member of the wealthy Arteaga y Betancourt family, one of the most high-ranking families in Puerto Principe. Gertrudis was the first-born of the couple’s five children, but only she and her younger brother, Manuel, survived past childhood.
Eileen Chang, also known as Chang Ai-ling or Zhang Ailing (September 30, 1920 – September 8, 1995), was a Chinese essayist, novelist, and screenwriter. Although Chang’s somber love stories are widely recognized, her construction of an alternative wartime narrative is considered one of her most significant contributions.
Chang was born in Zhang Ying in Shanghai, China to a well-known family; her grandfather was a son-in-law to Qing court official Li Hongzhang. In 1922 when Chang was two, her family relocated to Tianjin. Soon after, her father introduced her to Tang poetry at the age of three. Her mother also introduced her to painting, piano, and English in her early years.
Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was a noted American marine biologist, conservationist, and writer whose holistic view of the natural world shaped today’s environmental science. Her writing as a popular scientist educated readers about how every entity interacts with the broader web of life.
This interconnectedness influenced her research into the indiscriminate use of chemical insecticides and the resulting book, Silent Spring (1962), her best known, raised questions and awareness that contributed to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Though Rachel Carson is regarded more as a scientist and environmentalist, there’s no question that her passion for literature fueled her graceful and impassioned writings. Read More→
Angelina Weld Grimké (February 27, 1880 – June 10, 1958) was an American playwright, poet, and educator. She rose to prominence as a figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, though most of her major works were created before that era.
As a writer and woman of color, she was deeply concerned about African-American issues and pervasive racism. Themes of race played a prominent role in her poetry and plays. Read More→
Mary Oliver (September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019) was an American poet whose work reflects a deeply rooted harmony with the natural world. No Voyage and Other Poems, her first collection, was published in 1963. Since then, books and numerous collections of her poems were published.
Born in Maple Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, Mary’s parents were Edward and Helen Oliver. Edward worked in the Cleveland public school system as an athletic coach and social studies teacher. Read More→