The richness and variety of topics and styles is impressive. Many of the stories in the poems tell us about the strength of women and their struggle to survive in a male dominated world. Reading page by page we go through women’s lives, from the quotidian to the extraordinary, from the intimate to the distant, from the general to the particular.
All of the pieces are powerful, richly depicted, allowing the reader access to the very core of transition. Kofman has a well-tuned sense of what works together and the pieces flow together perfectly, each essay informing the work that surrounds it, so that the overall book feels interlinked. It makes for engaging reading that is emotionally powerful throughout.
Editor Cherry Potts created a masterful work of art with this anthology, intricately combining poetry, short stories and flash fiction that spans a variety of themes. In all of the works, the writing is accessible, yet beautiful. The otherworldliness of spiders brings about bewitching language in almost all of the entries.
There is so much to explore in this wonderful collection: work that stretches the imagination, plays with language, time, and space in order to explore human endeavour, both scientific and artistic – and in many cases the distinction becomes blurred. Strange and Munden have done an exceptional job choosing and structuring poems.
The stories, poems and essays of this book’s authors are courageous, refreshing and from the heart. We identify and are not strangers to their pain, love, joy, and their uncompromising outcries for justice. They address immigration, brokenness and the turbulent political and social climate we live under today. There are attempts by authors to fill wells of understanding.
At the end of “Turtle Island Turtle Rattle”, author Sarah Xerar Murphy writes, “If we cannot find a way to welcome and treat fairly with the stranger, how will we ever find our own way home?”It would be a good thing if there were more books like Three Nations Anthology, to highlight things that human beings have in common
“Night Drive” by Rubem Fonseca of Brazil is a Stephen Kingish story that shows the Mr. Hyde side of a seemingly benign Dr. Jekyll. Another story that I admire, “The Snake” by Eric Rugara of Kenya, is, on the surface, a picture of family cooperation to band together promptly to rid their home of a snake. It may also be a metaphor for the power of united action against any creeping threat. With eighty-six stories to choose from it is easy for a reader to find something s/he likes in this collection.
According to the Introduction, I Let Go includes “some of the most experimental poems” that the editors have ever included in an anthology. In some, “the writers let go of more than just stars.” Poets Zev Torres “Jamnation” and Stephen Mead “Researching Plague” have created poems which do not lend themselves to being performed aloud; their cleverness is best appreciated on the printed page. Kit Kennedy’s “Fog Descends: I Walk into a Koan,” consisting of cryptic proverbs, and ending with “How many crows inhabit an imaginary tree?” provides food for meditation.
Somehow the Steampunk aesthetic, whether it be a fondness for clockwork devices or an interest in dressing up in cravats and corsets, has extended to other areas of culture too – and the authors cover these also. They even compare Steampunk to Surrealism at one point, which strikes me as absurd: Surrealism was much more radical, an hard-edged beast.
Scott-Norman’s book provides fifteen different nuggets of wisdom from some of Australia’s most popular, dynamic and confident stars. All of them were bullied, some so badly that you have to wonder how they managed to make it through at all, much less to rise to the heights of success that they did.