Being a health professional gives a writer a very particular insight into the human condition, an intimate understanding that is necessarily detached, if also sensitive and sympathetic.  Being a mother, too, and a Christian, brings further layers of experience and appreciation that loads Alison Stedman’s writing with a power to both shock and disarm the reader.  We are (sometimes darkly) amused by it, too, and intrigued, inspired, uplifted by the work this wryly observant poet has produced – her collection gives us all life: from the fine focus on a melting snowflake to the broad brushstrokes of history, and a new take on Scripture.  Stedman is no stranger to pain, whether it be that of childbirth, or the loss of a loved one, or the imagined suffering of Christ on the cross; equally, however, there is deep joy and faith, in relationships, events and in the natural world.  In sparse and economical lines, packed with appeal to the senses and the imagination, Stedman evokes places and people, tells stories, and gives voice to a whole gallery of characters.  This is a satisfying book from a poet whose next work will be welcomed.

 

 

Geoff Daniel

Poetry Advisor, Association of Christian Writers