NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
LOUISA ADJOA PARKER: SALT-SWEAT & TEARS
Cinnamon Press
Ty Meiron
Glan yr Afon
Tanygrisiau
Blaenau Ffestiniog
Gwynedd
LL41 3SU
UK
ISBN 978 1 905614 18 9
7.99

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This page last updated: 10th December 2007.
LOUISA ADJOA PARKER: SALT-SWEAT & TEARS

The pink and yellowing rose, rather like a pale wintry sun, on the book's cover is a maturing bruise. The red slash looks fresh. The poetry inside is fresh too. The cuts and bruises are real. The tears have flowed. It is, to coin a Dylan Thomas phrase, a work of words, but it is above all a work of insight and good honest courage.

This very strong collection addresses prejudice, violence and hypocrisy in multi-ethnic Britain today. It's about a woman's struggle for survival and acceptance. The poems are arranged chronologically in 3 chapters. There's the hard-hitting beginning, the even tougher middle and then there's the end with it's various possibilities and even something resembling a glimmer of hope.

In the first part JUST LIKE YOUR FATHER, set in the 1970s, we meet:

	three brown children 
	. . .
	with soft shells that didn't need 
	to be hit with a hammer to break
Moving on a decade the poetess finds herself facing the omnipresent green BRICK WALLS of an English institution. It's visiting time in prison where:
	Babies in pushchairs
	with pink plastic dummies cry;
	. . .
	and everybody smokes
This leads to the final part where there are some lengthier verses such as the insightful SOMETIMES WHEN I'M MAKING BEDS:
	Little has changed here, up at the big house
	with me, the servant girl, being treated jolly well,
	having praise heaped on me, like spoonfuls of sugar
Louisa Adjoa Parker is supported by poetic talent scout Jan Fortune-Wood and many other friends including Selima Hill and Julia Copus.

It was a privilege to read this collection.

reviewer: Gwylam Williams.