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This is a beautiful collection, in which some thirty-one poets share their work

‘to celebrate elephants in the hope that people will find a way to safeguard those that manage to remain.’

Elephants are a multitude of things to many. In here they are muse; inspirational beings to be treasured, protected, respected, admired. But on these pages, there is also grief, fear and anger over the destruction of their habitat and the poaching of their ivory. I will never forget an image I saw of an elephant whose face had literally been sliced off for its tusks. How anyone can commit such an atrocity is beyond human capacity, and yet not it seems.

The proceeds from this anthology help orphan elephants via The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which runs the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world.  And I will leave you with a poem by Valerie Morton, who is also the publisher, as well as one of the many fine poets featured.

 

The Elephant on my Mantlepiece

(after Salvador Dali)

 

floats on spidery, footless legs

of desire, its body

carrying

 

a heavy burden, tottering as if

the world could fall

into the sand

 

or float away into the thin air

of temptation

tight-tailed,

 

straining to carry the world’s sin,

shackled only by gravity –

a reminder

 

that without the uncertain nature

of survival, man’s lust

and greed

 

will end its very existence.

 

I received my copies recently, and I’m thrilled to be sharing the pages with so many amazing poets and their poems!

Edited by Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright, this anthology is one of many exquisitely produced books from The Emma Press.  Founded by Emma and based in Birmingham, UK, this is an award-winning press, scooping the Publishers’ Awards at the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets in 2016.  What I particularly love about The Emma Press are their themed submission calls on a variety of topics to inspire and create those all-important words. Their motto is “small press, big dreams”, which they make true and then some.

Contributors to this anthology include Carole Bromley, Angela Kirby, Gill McEvoy and Anna Woodford, alongside brilliant new voices, sharing poems about all types of aunties:

the trail-blazing, advice-giving, feast-cooking, fast-chatting, music-loving, gift-giving, high-kicking

so eloquently summed up by Rachel in the introduction. It’s a collection to make you smile.

And a copy is winging its way across the miles to my beautiful nephew as we speak, so he can read the poem about him penned by his auntie 😊