Ana Sampson is the author of many bestselling anthologies including I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud and Other Poems You Half-Remember from School, Tyger Tyger Burning Bright: Much Loved Poems you Half-Remember, Poems to Learn by Heart, Green and Pleasant Land: Best-Loved Poems of the British Countryside and Best-Loved Poems: A Treasury of Verse. Ana grew up in Kent and studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield. After achieving both a BA and an MA, she began a career in publishing PR and has appeared multiple times on radio and television discussing books and poetry. Ana lives in Surrey with her husband, two daughters and two demanding cats. She is Fierce was her first poetry collection for Macmillan.
We know that reading 'gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are' and never has that been more true than in these unusual covid-times. Fortunately for all of us, the brilliant people at Pan Macmillan have published this timely, themed anthology of 130 bright, brave poems about wanderlust, escape and freedom, all penned by women writers and superbly compiled by Ana Sampson. These are themes which took on a strange relevance earlier this year as the future suddenly looked more uncertain and the idea of escape impossible. Many people found that, though their need for distraction was great when lockdown hit, their powers of concentration became limited and poetry provides the perfect antidote. Ana's passionate belief in 'poetry as a magic carpet that can take you anywhere, to places past, present and future, and realms both possible and impossible' shines through this collection. This notion of freedom and escape has been hugely important for women writers throughout history; denied education, ridiculed for even picking up a pen, cloistered in the home, enslaved by their domestic duties, chaperoned in public and forced to use a pseudonym or gender neutral name to be published. In this stunning collection there are poems by established and classic women poets, from up and coming talent and from well-loved contemporary writers more usually known for their YA verse novels. There are poems by housewives, servants and suffragettes, activists and freedom fighters, who all remind us just how important dreams are and just how big they can be. Treat this stunningly packaged book like a box of chocolates: head straight for your favorite poets such as Christina Rossetti, Kate Tempest and Carol Ann Duffy, Stevie Smith and Sarah Crossan, Grace Nicholls and Nikita Gill. You could use the imaginatively organized contents pages like a chocolate box selector list to choose something to suit your mood. There's everything from 'dreams of freedom' to 'flights of fancy' and 'voyages by verse', each section enticingly introduced by Ana. Or you could just dip in randomly and you'll find that, whichever poem you choose, you won't be able to resist picking just one more - just like your favorite box of chocolates! It's no surprise that She Will Soar featured in the YA selection of Great New Recommended Reads for National Poetry Day this year. https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/poems/poetry-recommendations/ As well as copies for the school library, there should be copies of this essential and inclusive collection in every English and History department, too. Those responsible for creating inspirational school assemblies should also make extensive use of it for outstanding models of courage, resilience, hope and determination * ReadingZone * on She is Fierce: this is a collection to stir the blood and resonate in the bones. * Guardian * this glorious, exhilarating anthology makes the perfect choice for any woman you know, of any age * Daily Mail *