The MeToo movement started as a hashtag in October last year to demonstrate the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault, empowering women to speak and be heard. Poetry gives voice, gathered and shared in this astonishing anthology.

Published by Fair Acre Press and edited by Deborah Alma, it’s a rollercoaster of emotion in print, leaving you with fistfuls of tears and nothing to hide. Split into seven parts, each bear witness to different states:

  • ‘silly lasses’
  • ‘my ordinary walk home’
  • ‘I see myself lie quiet as snow on rail tracks’
  • ‘Domestic’
  • ‘They can’t help it’
  • ‘I said I was the proof’
  • ‘make for the light’

akin to the grieving process, because here too there is loss, shock, denial and anger, with closure in a realm of its own.

From banter to rape, these are powerful poems from brave women – Emma Lee, Helen Ivory, Kim Moore, Katrina Naomi, Zelda Chappel, Pascale Petit and Holly Magill to name a few – who had the courage to revisit a place they’d rather not go. And I’ll leave you with a particularly poignant one by one of my favourite poets, because I believe this speaks to many.

 

The Library of Broken People

 

is catalogued by injury: the fractured;

the ruined from hunger; the raped;

 

the hammered shut. Some are clumped

together as “lost souls”; only the librarian

 

can retrieve those. There’s no ABC to damage,

they litter the alphabet ad hoc. If you browse

 

the catalogue they gift their injuries, lay

themselves flat. Last week two girls displayed

 

their abdomens to a first-year student,

bickered over abuse, spoke of neglect,

 

said life’s an unworkable toy. Other victims

are quieter, don’t talk so much, even when

 

the library’s shut. They drop to the back

of an index, all seal pup eyed, bones skittering

 

at the slightest flex. I survive amongst them,

wear a long jumper, drag sleeves down wrists.

 

Copyright @ Abegail Morley 2018