Essentially, contemporary female poets challenge the historically accepted masculine control of the canon by creating poetry. Given that a canon is a body of work (in this case poetry) which is defined as being of significant literary merit, women are pushing the classical acceptance of the canon given they are no longer afraid to create poetry.
Not only are women unafraid, they are creating poetry which speaks about the issues women face. While some may disregard contemporary female poets as being part of a modern canon, their work is shown, but,unfortunately, limited. As seen in the 1974 Norton Anthology, the works of eight women were added to the canon. In the Norton Anthology of Poetry (Fifth Edition-2004), the number of female poets increased to over twenty. Based upon this increase, one can readily assume that female poets have challenged the poetic canon and are making strides.