Rising Stars: New Young Voices in Poetry by Pop Up Projects

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Rising Stars: New Young Voices in Poetry by Pop Up Projects

Category: Anthologies
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sean Barrs
Reviewed by Sean Barrs
Summary: Five writers come together to celebrate life, love and youth in this engaging collection of poetry.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: October 2017
Publisher: Otter-Barry Books
ISBN: 978-1910959374

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This collection brings together five emerging voices in poetry. And despite what the publisher says, I wouldn't personally impose an age restriction on the writing here. Each poet uses words that will appeal to many readers. I found this particularly so with Jay Hulme's poetry.

His poem Peas is by far my favourite piece of writing in the collection because it is so universal; it recognises the individuality of each and every person along with the uniqueness of everybody's experience. It certainly has an important message to share, one that even adults (who display far more discrimination than children) will benefit from hearing. It's a simple reminder but nevertheless a pertinent one. I enjoyed his other poems too, though I would love to read more poems of his that raised similar themes that Peas brought forth. As a transgender performance poet, I think he has much more to share in the written form too.

The poets play around with different forms and styles. I always appreciate a good haiku. Amina Jama's haiku on spring is well balanced and creative, and, like all good haikus, it is rich in visual imagery and movement. Ruth Awolola's writing felt very much like spoken word, much more so than the other poets, and as such I could really feel the raw emotions in her voice. I actually read some of them aloud myself which is always fun to do if you really want to immerse yourself in the feel of a poem. As such the collection is varied and well balanced.

Abigail Cook addresses issues surrounding body image in the poem My Body. By combining natural imagery with descriptions of the human body, Cooke demonstrates the significance of accepting the body we each have. Central to this is learning to love oneself, which is a massive precursor for developing confidence. Love is a theme Victoria Adukwei Bulley also writes on. Indeed, she captures the body's uncontrollable response to love, to someone special, to someone who has a power over us we cannot stand against. Her poem titled Love is a very effective piece of writing.

Not all of the poems in this collection were as strong and developed as the ones I mentioned, but each writer demonstrates much in the way of promise. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing their voices and I don't hesitate to suggest that every last one of them could develop much further if they put the time and effort into honing their skills. Overall though, this is a great starting point for any young writer and a fun collection to read.

If you're interested in reading more poetry then it's always worth checking out A Poem for Every Day of the Year by Allie Esiri or The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write by Sabrina Mahfouz if you're interested in multi-culturalism.

Buy Rising Stars: New Young Voices in Poetry by Pop Up Projects at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rising Stars: New Young Voices in Poetry by Pop Up Projects at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Rising Stars: New Young Voices in Poetry by Pop Up Projects at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rising Stars: New Young Voices in Poetry by Pop Up Projects at Amazon.com.


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