Synopsis: A Mad Woman’s Voice is just over 40 pages, and filled with the work of over 2 years of writing. This volume explores the act of finding one’s voice and realizing the ability to speak one’s truth. From coming out to exploring the death of loved ones, A Mad Woman’s Voice is a tiny peek into my life.
My friend Abi has just released a new collection of poetry, and I did say I’d be more sensible today. So. Here I am. In the interest of fair disclosure, I received a free copy in exchange for honest review. In the interest of full disclosure, we work together on Cauldron Anthology.
Firstly, I’m not one for judging my reads by their covers, but I’m really liking this one. Look. Just look a minute:
It’s not a collection you can read quickly – better to linger slowly, mosey over each poem as it unspools before you. Having read it earlier, I find that there are still pieces that stick with me, a feeling which comes back as I read it again. I’m reading and pausing, typing, reading again. Abi speaks boldly, unabashed, on a number of themes, which is a delight. My first delight in reading this was the wide range of themes; my second, the variety of styles and formats. I’m a strange reader, I have a half-dozen books on the go at any given time. Having different pieces in different formats appeals to a curiosity, a sense of magic in poetry.
And of course, this is not to mention the wide range of themes. Abi talks about loss and love, sexuality, exploring religion and being a woman, being feminine, body acceptance and more. Every poem spans more than one theme, and I said earlier that Abi speaks boldly, not shying away from language to make a point or underline something.
One of my goals once (still is) is to make poetry be art forms, not just column-straight lines of text. Abi does this so well, playing with content and word lines and subject in a way that you sort of have to read a bit slower, really catch on the meaning. I’m especially loving “Stop” on this count, both in subject matter and format.
I love this collection, because there’s absolutely no chance of being bored, and the theme of feminine is running throughout, tying it all in nicely. You’d wonder if the varying themes would be jarring, but I think there’s a good flow from one to another – perhaps the work of the underlying feminine theme.
My favourites, in no particular order:
- Where’s My Voice?
- Tape Day.
- Behind the Piano Keys.
- Mother Baking Bread
- I Shout.
- Little Girl.
- Grow and Die.
My rating: 3.8 stars out of 5.