No Spider Harmed, is a wonderfully diverse anthology, with many different styles coming together to create a tremendously entertaining read, and yes I’ll admit, a new appreciation for our furry neighbours too.
What emerges from this collection of stories is a sense of the infinite variety of the city – fleeting, contradictory, transcendent, prosaic, intimate, familiar, surprising – full of people we’ll never really know, whose lives briefly touch our own.
And after reading this book, I moved differently through my own city – stopping to look and listen in new ways, and noticing things I might have overlooked. Story Citiescertainly lives up to its promise as a ‘guide for the imagination.’
Perhaps what resonates most from this collection is that whatever the subject matter, Wollstonecraft’s exhortation has been heeded throughout: ‘Women – endeavour to acquire/strength, both of mind and body,/ soft phrases, susceptibility/ of heart, delicacy of sentiment…’.
a compelling collection… captivating prosody… sharp irony … fresh, thought-provoking… clear riveting lines… The poems collected in the anthology form an absorbing analysis condensing some major issues in the vindication of women’s rights since Mary Wollstonecraft. They are a tribute commemorating women’s past sufferings and perseverance, and they point to present commitment to an ongoing fight.
A couple of pictures from last week’s launch of A Gift of Rivers at Waterstones in Amsterdam.
Kate kept everyone engaged despite feeling a bit below par, and Tim says he sold lots of books (Kate noticed some people buying more than one copy, which is always nice.) Wish I could have been there!
There are a handful of copies left in store so anyone in Amsterdam who missed it Tim will be very pleased to sell you a copy.
Also available at all bookshops that stock poetry, and can be ordered by any that don’t, and of course direct from us.
There will be more readings soon, in the UK. watch this space!
In the meantime here’s the first review, from London Grip
and the title poem
A GIFT OF RIVERS
Flying into Amsterdam
I see how a giant comb has pulled the hairs of the fields
into straight, wet lines, how the occasional hedge
runs on wiry feet away from the open,
how as the plane tilts
the edge of the water-land-water seems ghostly as the meniscus
an empty glass has left behind,
how the many transparent
voices of water thicken in canals
and the old windows in the city
are so like rolled water you wait for fish
to swim through their bubbles.
When I left the branches across our yard
were empty. Now small green fists
punch out space.