Newman, Jessica R., Editor. From The Web – A Global Anthology of Women´s Political Poetry. Radical Poetry Collective. Denver, CO, USA.

I have a poem in this book, otherwise I would not know of it. So I am glad my poem was printed here so I could read and appreciate the writers of a vast collection of poetry on subjects including war, cultural identity, political art and privilege – a book that the editor said she produced because it was the kind of poetry she wanted to read. I think it is a book many women – and men – would want to read. I read it cover to cover when it arrived and was amazed by the scope and breadth of the poems included. Let´s hope it gets well advertised, reviewed and read because it fills a need and an open space.

The poets are old and young and from many parts of the world – Nigeria, South Africa, Malaysia, Europe and India, Australia & a few more in between with many from the USA & a few Canadians. The range is great, reflecting creative experience and powerful experiences. The illustrations by Brenda Cleary connect the diverse themes and enhance the written word with clear and bold images. I mention only a few of the poems that moved me.

In “Pink” by Jane Eaton Hamilton a pink sweet pea becomes an unforgettable symbol of torture in a few short lines. “Do you believe flowers ask for it?”

Jackie Joice describes the rarely reported murders of Mexican women in “Not Too Far From Here (for the women of Juarez) in brief vivid words where, ”Not too far from here an uneasy/silence/covers unmentionable deaths/ Brujas blancas are working overtime calling on/the Virgen for assistance Not too far from here we/can hear whispers of restless souls/crying for peace crying for/ justice.

And I loved “Dialogue of Breasts” by Liza Ezzard who would have women claim their own bodies with joy and independence. She writes, “My breasts have defied bondage/they rarely need support. They are doubly independent mirror images of a self–made women.”/

This is a book to savour, poems of pain and horror, yes; but also words of joy, humour and empowerment.

(Radical Poetry Collective Website: www.womenspoliticalpoetry.org)

Filed under Book Reviews, Jessica R. Newman