Who is, in short, Ana Sampson?
Why Poetry? You have edited six books of poetry anthologies, how was your journey to fall in love with it?
How would you convince people to read more poetry? Where should they start?
She is fierce is an (amazing!) collection of poems from different women through history. How did this project start?
What is feminism for you?
Which "everyday sexism" really bothers you?
There are more pressing issues facing us - from domestic violence to sexual harassment - but on an everyday level, women still do the majority of unpaid caring and domestic labour which is an enormous load to carry. I worry this pandemic will set career equality back as women are more likely to be furloughed or lose their jobs as they struggle to homeschool children too. We still have so far to go.
Do you remember when you start identifying as a Feminist and why?
I certainly already identified as a feminist at school in the 1990s - it feels as if it was always a given, to be honest. There was a time around a decade ago when I was shocked to hear younger female colleagues say they weren't feminists and I am absolutely delighted that there has been such a flourishing of feminism since then.
Who is your biggest feminist role model?
It's too hard to choose just one. I included biographies of each poet whose work appears in She is Fierce, because I discovered so many of these women had incredible stories, facing repressive regimes, critical scorn, mental and physical illness and prejudice but writing despite all this. Pauli Murray, California's first black District Attorney and Mary Leapor, a kitchen-maid who pursued her literary dreams are among the many women whose stories I found deeply inspiring.
What is your proud feminist victory?
I am very proud that She is Fierce has, I hope, brought the work of some ignored, undervalued and forgotten women to new readers. And - it's a work in progress - but I hope my young daughters grow up with a strong sense of their own value and the confidence to take up space in the world.
What is your feminist recommendation?
In non-fiction, Nell Frizzell's forthcoming The Panic Years (now publishing February 2021) helped me make sense of a mad time in my life. She says so many important, infuriating things about the ways our world traps women and what needs to change. Also, The Mother of All Jobs: How to have children and a career and stay sane(ish) by Christine Armstrong is a book I wish I'd read before getting pregnant - wise, hilarious and essential.
In fiction, I loved Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner and if you liked that, look out for Love Orange by Natasha Randall (published in October) - disclaimer, I am working on the publicity but it is every bit as smart, darkly funny and furious.
- TV show
At the moment I'm watching Ozark - it has some brilliant roles for women, stunningly played - and, for light relief, Working Moms.
I just watched Greta Gerwig's Little Women with my six-year-old and had to try and explain why I was weeping about copyright!
What is your feminist call of action to whoever is reading?
Read diversely! We need to hear the voices of women, and we need to hear the voices of women who live different lives to our own.