This is the third entry in the creative writing series FIXATIONS, which is dedicated to the scholars’ writing. It is engaging to me to see how the same authors came to study girlhood(s) from two positions: as academics and poets. Today I talked to Stephanie Louise Anderson about her poem that explores sisterhood.

Q: In the poem “Sisterhood,” you appeal to your sister but also to yourself, saying “we”. Did you write it to show to your addressee or just to yourself?

A: Originally, my inspiration for this poem was my sister’s birthday. I wanted to write her something that communicated my appreciation for her and our relationship. So in my mind, I was going to show her the piece and the spotlight was going to be on her. 

It was really only when I actually got into the flow of writing and the poem spilled out of me that it turned into a “we”. I realised it was heavily focused on my perception of our shared childhood experiences and truly personal to me. Honestly, I had a moment when I was writing the last verse where I thought of never showing anyone the poem and just keeping it to myself (not even my sister). But then I read the whole poem again and loved it so much I wanted to share it. 

Q: “Sisterhood” ends with the line “a silent reminder of home.” It hit me after living in three different countries while studying for an Erasmus degree. How do you define home?

A: I think this is a lovely question as this is really what my poem is all about at its core. My home is my loved ones – my family, my partner and close friends. Going through the same Erasmus Master’s degree, living in such varying cultural contexts and among an astounding amount of different individuals, has really just emphasised for me that you can make a home anywhere you feel comfortable and can build that kind of support in your day-to-day life. It just goes to show that you can have multiple different kinds of home. For me, one of the most important will always be my sister and close family. 

Q: What is some new thing about girlhood that you learned from CLMC? 

A: Most of all, I think the CLMC course has taught me to critically reflect on how I view childhood and, specifically, girlhood. The study of other women’s stories and their inspirations made me reevaluate my own experience of girlhood and how I developed into the person I am today. 

It especially struck me how the construction of girlhood is ever-present and restricts girls in their sense of self. Girls, and the bond within the community of women, are still underestimated and underappreciated even though they are spectacular and should have the opportunity to grow and thrive.


We walk hand in hand down the street 
Like we did when we were kids
our hands connecting us more or less 
whichever way the tide of people on the sidewalk pushes us 

We walk hand in hand down the street
Like we have all our lives 
bound to each other by more than blood 
or people telling us we look alike 

We walk hand in hand down the street 
Like we always will
even if distance separates us 
or the argument doesn’t go the way we want it to 

We walk hand in hand down the street 
For whatever may come 
in tune without words 
a silent reminder of home

-Stephanie Louise Anderson

Glafira Soldatova
-Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc

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