Please Hear What I'm Not Saying - Isabelle Kenyon; Karan Haveliwala; | Foyles Bookstore
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Please Hear What I'm Not Saying
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Please Hear What I'm Not Saying (Paperback)

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'These poems crackle with the electricity of experience and sing with the effort of rendering that experience in language. This is work that stands a few inches away from your face and tells you tales that shudder with a terrible beauty; these voices must be listened to because what they are saying is something that all of us, whoever we are, need to know.' Ian McMillan

'Please Hear What I Am Not Saying takes the sense of anxiety, the fear, the feeling of self hatred and punishment and delivers it in the best way possible, for if you cannot hear what someone is trying to tell you about how they are suffering underneath, then at least you can read their words and hold them close, you can learn to read what is written between the words.

In poems such as Neil Elder's Invisible, Angela Topping's Loneliness, Jinny Fisher's Ana's Therapy, Andrew Barnes' Black Rot, Peter Adair's Demolition, Alison Down's The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Stephen Watt's Mark and the Maltese poet Miriam Calleja's chilling I Once Loved Something Dark, is written should be discussed, there is nothing in this world it seems that cannot be aired and have a view, compassion and consideration attached.

Please Hear What I Am Not Saying is the passion in the voices, those that struggle in the dark and those that hear the whisper of being in a different place occupied seemingly by the rest of humanity; little realising that we are all, deep down inside, asking to be heard in between the words we are not saying.' Ian D. Hall (Liverpool Sound and Vision)

Fiction & PoetryPoetryPoetry anthologies by various poets Publisher: Fly on the Wall Press Publication Date: 05/05/2018 ISBN-13: 9781999598600  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Editor Isabelle Kenyon is northern poet and the author of This is not a Spectacle, Micro chapbook, The Trees Whispered (Origami Poetry Press) and Digging Holes To Another Continent (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York). Her poems have been published in poetry anthologies by Indigo Dreams Publishing, Verve Poetry Press, and Hedgehog Poetry Press. She has had poems published in literary journals such as Wordsmith HQ, Eunoia Review, FoxTrott Uniform, Mojave Heart Review, The Blue Nib, Breath and Shadow, The Pangolin Review, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Eskimo Pie, Scrittura, Anti - Heroin Chic and more. She has headlined at Cafe Del Nino's spoken word night, Cannock, and has opened Coventry Cathedral's Plum Line Festival. You can read more about Isabelle and see her work at

More books by Isabelle Kenyon

More books by Karan Haveliwala

Customer Reviews

This is a unique collection containing such a wide selection of poetry from various styles and forms. The poems explore different aspects of mental health from all different perspectives. It is raw, honest, creative and diverse. Starting off dark and growing in positivity throughout, this book is brilliantly edited as one unified work, even though it is made up of poetry from over 100 writers! it It is a wonderful and important anthology both in terms of its literary content and the themes that it explores.

- 30/11/2018
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A wonderful collection of poems from some very talented poets. Honest, raw and some uplifting poems in this anthology. Some will move you to tears and some will make you smile and give you hope. A must read.

- 28/11/2018
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Review of Please Hear What I’m Not Saying, a poetry collection compiled and edited by Isabelle Kenyon. All profits go to MIND. Runner up for Best Anthology (Saboteur Awards 2018) Words are powerful and these words are more powerful than most. They burst through the gaps and silences surrounding mental health with brutal and searing honesty. It is sometimes said that creativity comes from a dark place, forged from an intense sensitivity to the highs and lows of what it is to be human. It is certainly true of these poets, who write from direct experience of their own or loved ones’ mental illness. Images are surprising, sometimes shocking. Grief is a ‘cruel handbag - /its catch snaps shut like jaws’ burying ‘an old compact,/hankie embroidered with an M.’ Clothes are ‘a pile of ugly cocoons’ provoking unwelcome memories of childhood. When ‘Baby Blues’ /were cover for the hopeless days,’ a baby boy is strapped to his mother’s chest, hidden under a blue raincoat as his mother contemplates suicide. Another baby is ‘kicking out sweet baby legs -/his fat oaf of a mother crawling, hands and knees, walrusing the floor /in search of filth. Dementia is ‘a sleeping sickness/that makes a drought/of memory. Anxiety is to ‘walk on the needles /of all my worries,/nettling and biting.’ In ‘My Father’s Paranoia’ Jonathan Taylor writes movingly about how he once said he would cut the hedge when he was ‘less busy’ and then seeing his father, ‘ a sweat, trembling,/falling over, fitting, minor-stroking...and all I know now/is how un-busy I actually was /that hot Sunday.’ In my own poem I try to convey the visceral jolt of a sudden descent into depression, the ‘hangman’s drop to Hades.’ But there is also hope, that ‘streaks of sunlight /will diminish the dark.’ There are moments of beauty, of appreciation of small moments, of survival in these poems which are accessible and engaging but also profound. Those who have felt isolated by mental illness may respond with a sense of recognition, and for others there are opportunities for new insights and understanding. Crass comments about ‘having an OCD day ‘ or patronising ‘jokes’ about ‘schizophrenia’ are challenged here in a way that is courageous and empowering.

- 28/11/2018
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