Truthtellers of the Times brings together the voices of fifteen of our most compelling contemporary poets and surveys a broad continuum of American literary culture. The voices are diverse in age, ethnicity, race, and sexuality, and together provide a mosaic portrait of the state of contemporary poetry by women. The women are social activists as well as poets and their appeal as individuals and artists resonates far beyond the academic setting. The poets represented are Robin Becker, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Lucha Corpi, Rita Dove, Joy Harjo, Josephine Jacobsen, June Jordan, Janice Mirikitani, Alicia Ostriker, Linda Pastan, Minnie Bruce Pratt, May Miller Sullivan, and Karen Swenson.The interviews have been culled from the pages of Belles Lettres: A Review of Books by Women, a pioneering journal that for twelve years has brought to light the best of women's writing. The subjects covered are consistently engaging, and as varied as the poets themselves. The common concerns of women's story telling, oral tradition, and daily habit emerge from these conversations, giving the collection an energizing unity even as it explores an astonishing range of experiences.In each case, we see how the keen desire of each woman to be a poet triumphed over obstacles and constrictions, race prejudice and misogyny, the troubles and banalities of the everyday. The poets' frankness and humor, their obvious dedication to improving the world through the sharing of their gifts, and their hard won wisdom make this book an invaluable forum on creativity and accomplishment.Janet Palmer Mullaney is founding editor and publisher of Belles Lettres: A Review of Books by Women.