'Broad in scope, generous in spirit and wittily accompanied by Risbridger's commentary'
Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent
Set Me On Fire is an anthology for a new moment in poetry: a collection of fresh, vibrant voices from poets all over the globe, both living and dead. With an intuitive, accessible, feelings-first format, these are poems for the moments when you really need to know that someone else has been there too.
These are poems about eating and kissing and having too many feelings, about being outside and inside and loving someone so much you think you might die. They are about break-ups and getting back together and oh-god-it's-complicated-don't-ask-me moments. They are about wanting and waiting and having, about grieving and life after death and the end of the world.
They are, in other words, about being alive.
I credit Ella Risbridger with curing me of a deep and lasting suspicion of poetry in general, and contemporary poetry in particular. Readers of a similar disposition should be warned that this collection – broad in scope, generous in spirit and wittily accompanied by Risbridger's commentary – will likely offer a similar cure, while those already in love with the form have new and startling pleasures in store.
A new anthology with fortifying intentions . . . offered as an antidote to those who recoil from poetry. To my relief, it is only loosely organised by feelings and brims with familiar and unfamiliar voices: a lucky dip of the best sort.
I found her enthusiastic explanations and recommendations as fun and refreshing as party-popped fizz. If I wanted to introduce young people to poetry I'd give them this book, which reinforced my conviction that helpful notes offer poetry as a generous gift rather than leaving it on a chilly pedestal.
A gorgeous anthology, cleverly curated to convert the cynics, delight the poetically inclined and soothe everyone in between.
Whatever your mood – be it hunger, anger or an end of the world kind of despair, Ella has a poem to soothe you. From the greats like Philip Larkin and Sylvia Plath to obscure poets, new poets and all shades of poets in between, to poems about peanut butter and mix-tape, this anthology is as satisfying as a box of Quality Street