Truthtellers on Goodreads

Truthtellers (our best of 2022 anthology) is now on Goodreads for you to add. Please consider leaving a rating and a review if you’ve read it!

Below are two reviews if you are yet to pick up a copy.

Review by Emma Cottam

Truthtellers – a beautiful read full of insightful, interesting and thought provoking poetry, alongside imagery and illustrations, some also created into poems. I particularly liked the illustrations by Nina Nazir, the colours and highlighted words from the book pages, to create beautiful poems. This was a gorgeous infusion of words and illustrations. The poems each sharing depictions of a different story, a different life, a different time. 

Unbecoming by Aparna Venkatesan particularly grabbed my attention; “I have always been too much. I have never been enough. I am something more” – these words, beautifully written, unsettled and yet settled something within me.

Truthtellers is simplistic, yet beautiful and the poetry and illustrations speak for themselves from the pages, with the words being the main focus on each of the pages

Review by Rebecca Gutteridge

‘Breathing in the feminine tense makes this your responsibility,’ says Emily Perkovich in ‘Lambs’, a dark comedic tale of Catholic guilt and sluts ‘dripping with /sticky sarcasm,’. 

It is incredible to see so many stories about women, by women in the latest anthology by Free Verse Revolution, Truthtellers; stories of erased voices, violation, religious rebellion and connection, Oedipal mothers and absent fathers, fallen Greek heroines and fallable figures of our own history. Highlights include the imperfect, but punchy ‘Over the Winds’ by Jai-Michelle: ‘I vomit dead gardenias and family portraits / lose a tongue somewhere’. ‘Them’s Fighting Words’ by Robin Harvey: ‘And you kiss me, hard. / As we tumble bullet-free through fevered musk.’ ‘Old Soul Isn’t a Compliment’ Sarah Bellum Mental:

Old soul is repeated like a compliment but

I am a sapling body and you cut into my trunk

like it has treasures inside the center

try to find my rings and add your years

to my youth [.]

‘The Day I Stopped Believing in God’ by Faith Anna Morey: ‘belly full of rice and rotting dreams’. ‘Thrifting’ by Lisa Perkins: ‘A factory of folklore, for the taking […]

I fold relics

of a dream

in a pre –

loved bed [.]

‘It is becoming. I am becoming.’ beats the refrain of ‘unbecoming’ by Aparna Venkatesan. ‘Nobody Listens Anyway’, ‘Melusine’ by Kate MacAlister, ‘Post Traumatic Growth (Or Magpies from the Ashes)’ by Jennifer Cox, amongst many more invited me into a female community I had forgotten I needed. Beautiful poetic artwork by Lottie Anderson, Irina Novikova, Nick Reeves and Nina Nazir reminded me how diverse form is. 

Many poems in this collection however, are overguilded, ‘tinselled’ as one poem puts it, with glib similes and lines over-jammed with imagery. Read with care as this collection often details sexual violence and is not content noted – is a content note too much to ask in 2023? This oversight excludes the very readers the collection seeks to empower.

It is brilliant to see women being loud, but some tonally over the top poems in this collection detract from what remains a much needed message about female visibility. Nevertheless, search and you will be rewarded with some real gems in Truthtellers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: