Diana May-Waldman is an award-winning journalist whose poetry and essays have appeared in numerous publications. She is the author of A Woman's Song, a poetry collection that portrays the many challenges of being a woman. She is also co-editor with her partner Mitchell Waldman of the anthology Wounds of War: Poets for Peace, Hip Poetry 2012 (Wind Publications), and is the Poetry Editor for Blue Lake Review. A strong women's and children's advocate, Diana grew up in Ohio and now lives in Rochester, New York.
We share some things in common, namely an interest in the lives and work of women and the cause of peace. How has the recent administration altered your perception regarding your key interests and focus as a woman and writer?
The new administration—I have not yet addressed them as President and the other titles—has changed my passion into anger at times. He’s blatant and insulting. I don’t want to be angry and come off as an “angry feminist,” yet I am so pissed off. I despise how these men want control over the bodies of women and how they use trickery and lies to get it. The lies they have told about Planned Parenthood are damaging. Only three-percent of what Planned Parenthood offers is abortion and they are NOT federally funded.
What are you working on now? How do you see it as influenced by the political climate?
I’m working on a new poetry book. I’m still, and probably always will be, writing about the challenges for women. The fact that we still don’t have the Equal Rights Amendment in all states after all these years disturbs me. The fact that a lot of women don’t even know what that is blows my mind. We are back to educating and fighting for rights that we already fought for.
What do you see as your greatest challenge as a writer moving forward?
It’s the old “two steps forward, one step back.” I saw on a post on social media where a young woman said, “fuck feminism!” I couldn’t help but remind her that she was born with the rights that she has and she should never take that for granted. Why?—because women before her fought for those rights. My generation and generations before me were NOT born with those rights. The greatest challenge right now is to educate younger women—to gather them, educate them, and keep talking to them, especially young women that will come of voting age.