Advance Review of ‘All Grown Up Now’

With three weeks to go until the release of Kim M. Russell’s poetry pamphlet, All Grown Up Now, I bring you an advance review from Freya Pickard, author of The Kaerling.

“A landscape of scents”

“Kim M Russell has a distinctive voice in this auto-biographical collection of poems. What struck me most were the olfactory descriptions in her verses that triggered similar remembrances of my own. I too remember tea towels boiling in a soapy pan at my grandmother’s house. And how about I inhale the scent of fresh linen and hypnotised by the perfume of exhaust. And these lines made me chuckle we dodge the acridity of dog / turds and the putrid decay of rubbish in this alley.

“Another striking thing about these poems is the detail in each piece, that makes it so personal and accessible for the reader. In describing her grandad; picking tiny nuggets / of copper from boot soles like thorns from paws, and the metallic tang of blood and sweat. Her words used to portray a beetle a jet flash in the May sun and the first glimpse of the sea, like the blue stroke / of a fountain pen.

“As well as fond childhood memories, there are also several sinister poems that really stood out to me. The Widow Aunts Those wizened women, drenched in mothballs and The Landing at the Top of the Stairs, There’s a closed door at the end of the twilight. Becoming a She-Wolf is both hair-raising and amusing, tainted / with the tang of menses moon, / invokes a howl of hair. Poetic Voice contains a chilling image Among shadows loiter nightmares.

“The poet’s wonderful sense of humour clearly comes across in A South London Childhood. This piece contains iconic phrases such as beery piss in broken lifts and in the alley, shadows fall / where the friendly flasher waits.

“Themes of innocence, love, betrayal, expectation and death flow throughout this collection. How life and death or inextricably entwined is made very clear in Newgrange. A monument older than Stonehenge / you were brand new and a nursery rhyme of kerbstones / guarding ancient bones.

“Russell manages to combine memories and real life without being sentimental or trite. Each poem belongs in the collection, there is nothing that pads the volume out. Each word is carefully selected and used to convey the poet’s thoughts. Poignant and inspiring, this collection is well balanced with reflections on all aspects of womanhood.”

— Freya Pickard

I look forward to bringing you further details about the book as the release date approaches!


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