Women With Something To Say: Julia Copus

Women With Something To Say: Julia Copus

Charlotte Prichard, 12 November 2013

It's day two of Women With Something to Say, our new campaign with Faber & Faber to celebrate creative female voices. We're very excited to reveal today's guest blogger to be Faber poet and playwright Julia Copus! Did we mention her poetry collection, 'The World's Two Smallest Humans' is at the top of the Tatty Devine reading list?

Take five minutes out of your day to sit quietly and read her uplifting and insightful piece, 'Skywards':

Most people are familiar with the phrase ‘glass ceiling’: you can climb just so high and no further. When it was first coined, the term applied specifically to women – those countless women who, regardless of ability, seemed unable to advance beyond their middle-management positions. Growing up, I might have expected it to apply to me – educated at a comprehensive school that had low expectations of its pupils, brought up on a dead-end road with a huge chemical factory at the end of it... The curious thing was, though, that I never felt limited.

For me, words happened to be my thing: stories, poems. I was the kid who'd stay in during lunch-breaks at primary school to write twenty pages instead of the required two. The other thing that pulled me through was a sense of humour. As a youngster, in spite of the bad things that happened, most of the time the world seemed intrinsically funny! I found an old school report the other day: written by my (male) form teacher, it begins, ‘Julia is a real character, who will even argue black is white, given half the chance.’ There's another phrase about what lies above us, which conjures up an inverse image to that of the glass ceiling: ‘the sky's the limit’ – meaning, of course, that there is no limit. Barriers do still exist for women in certain walks of life, but one by one they are slowly being eroded. A refusal to see what shouldn't be there will take us a very long way. Thank you, Julia! How have you overcome barriers in your life? Join in the conversation in the comments below or tweet us using the hashtag #WWSTS. We can't wait to hear what you have to say!
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