Advance review of ‘The Anthropocene Hymnal’

Poet and fellow earthweal contributor, Lindi-Ann Hewitt-Coleman, has kindly previewed The Anthropocene Hymnal and written a beautiful review. Here’s what readers can expect from the forthcoming poetry anthology:

Review of The Antrhopocene Hymnal by Lindi-Ann Hewitt-Coleman

The Anthropocene Hymnal is a collection of 63 poems from 34 poets from across the world. Beautifully illustrated by Valdis Stakle and with cover art by Kerfe Roig, the anthology is the brainchild of Ingrid Wilson, and in her own words is “a unique response to an unprecedented crisis.”

A timely deepening and illumination of the conversation around the global climate crisis – the collection explores relationships between humans and other living beings on the planet and the impact we have on the health of our planet.

The book is divided into two parts – the first a lament and tally of what we have lost, it takes a hard and honest look at where we are now and what it is that has brought us to this point. It is rich with a longing for reconnection with the wild world and the ghosts of what is lost. Poems like Whale Petroglyph by David Cohea sum up this moment with: “Nights of such silence throng with ghost whales, / smashing and loving and feeding on grief” and later “How profound the echoing distance of song / hallowed and deepened by knowing it’s gone.” Kim Whysall-Hammond’s Waving Goodbye similarly captures this image with “Waves swishing over / the black volcanic beach / erasing my footprints / we are all ghosts now.”

The second part of the book looks at what hope means in difficult times – what we still have to hold on to – what can still be done. Taking the form of invocation and prayer, these poems cast a thread to find a way through and call on that in us which is bigger than our current crisis.  RedCat’s Mother of Creation gives new names to hope, while Kerfe Roig’s Mercy 1 and 2(after ML Smoker)  speaks of  finding a way back from despair with “You leave a candle burning, / place it in the window.”

The anthology closes on a hopeful note with Ingrid Wilson urging us to “Leave a light footprint: / one day / your children / will follow in the steps you leave behind / leave them a clear path / and a safe route / to a bright future.” The Anthropocene Hymnal is both a voice of our time beautifully sung and a call to action. All royalties received by Ingrid from the sale of the books will go to WWF.

30 thoughts on “Advance review of ‘The Anthropocene Hymnal’

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  1. What a moving review! I am more eager than ever to read the Hymnal now with such lovely words quoted in excerpt, and delighted the book is both a reflection of what we have lost as well as invocations of hope.

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