LONG LIST REVIEW: Rising Stars New Young Voices in Poetry

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This collection of work from five new voices in poetry offers a fantastic range of very individual, distinctive styles. 

The first poet is Ruth Awolola whose writing is warm and inviting. My favourite in this section is 'A Love Letter to the Stars'. It is beautifully composed, evocative of nights spent star gazing. There is so much to discuss and enjoy contained in these lines- such to inspire children to share their own thoughts and perhaps to compose their own 'love letters' to something they feel strongly about. There are many gems to enjoy in this section which has been illustrated by Joe Manners.

Victoria Adukwei Bulley's poems form the next section, illustrated by Riya Chowdhury. Here a range of poetic styles are explored. I love 'Afro Hair Haiku'- a real celebration of personal style and individuality. These poems are full of personal experience and her words linger long after you have finished reading.

Also illustrated by Riya Chowdhury, poems by Abigail Cook come next. Powerfully personal and full of strong images, this is another lovely selection. 'Night-time in the Garden' is my favourite here- beautiful words create such vivid images. 

The fourth poet is Jay Hulme and his work is illustrated by Joe Manners. Here my favourite has to be 'Sunset at Brean Down' as this is somewhere I know very well. The poem captures the power of making small observations- of noticing things and appreciating them. It could easily be enjoyed as a performance piece or to encourage children to observe carefully and use these ideas to build poems of their own.

The final section is of work by Amina Jama, illustrated by Elanor Chuah. There is plenty of food for thought here. 'Pray' is fascinating- ripe for discussing and enjoying, its images are captivating. 

This is such a stunning collection. I have only mentioned one poem from each section, but could easily have commented on many more. These are indeed the rising stars of poetry.

Rising Stars: New Young Voices in Poetry

Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme and Amina Jama

illustrated by Riya Chowdhury, Elanor Chuah and Joe Manners

Otter-Barry    ISBN: 978-1910959374