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And Everything Will Be Glad To See You: Anthology of Writers Selected by Ella Risbridger

Female poets are incredible. They bring a warmth, a strength and a poignancy to their poetry that is just a joy to read. In this anthology, Poems by Women and Girls take centre stage in celebration of the beautiful presentation of language and structure to celebrate, lament, uplift and support. In creating And Everything Will be Glad to See You, Ella Risbridger has called upon writers traditional and new, young and old - and everything in between - to create a beautiful curated collection of female poems.

The collection features all styles of poems, ballads and sonnets, lyric and narrative as well as some of the more modern free verse and creative constructions that really push the boundaries of modern poetry.

Highlights include some of the linguistic dexterity of Christina Rosetti (a personal favourite) and the offerings from Maya Angelou, Carol Ann Duffy and Grace Nichols. But it is really the overall message of strength and beauty that really thread throughout the collection.

And staying inside the lines

Is fine, but . . .

I like it when stuff leaks -

When the blue bird and the blue sky

Are just one blur of blue blue flying,

And the feeling of the feathers in the air

And the wind along the blade of wind

Is a long gash of smudgy colour.

I like it when the flowers and the sunshine

Puddle red and yellow into orange,

The way the hot sun on my back

Lulls me - muddles me - sleeping

In the scented garden,

Makes me part of the picture . . .

Part of the place.

(“Colouring In” by Jan Dean)

Spending an afternoon whiling away with the magic and rhythm of this collection really is a worthwhile endeavour. Beautifully illustrated by Anna Shepeta, there is a vibrancy and a power to the writings.

Overall, the collection demonstrates such a wonderful selection of poems from some of the best writers of poetry in the history of the medium - even Sappho gets a poem or two! - and deserves recognition for its beauty, and its production.

The more that we can introduce poetry to our young people, particularly girls to continue this wonderful tradition, the better. In the immortal words from the And Everything Will Be Glad To See You collection, from Michaela Morgan, “That’s what has scared them - / A girl, with a book.” Long may this continue!

Reviewer: Chris Reed

Nosy Crow


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