Planet Online

Sarah Coles reviews
Hallelujah for 50 Foot Women
by the Raving Beauties

Hallelujah for 50 Foot Women

Bloodaxe, £9.95

I was born in the early ’70s, when pink was a colour (usually seen clashing gorgeously with orange) rather than a weighty concept tied to gender and sexuality. My first ten years were spent in brown corduroy and if I hadn’t gone home filthy at the end of the day, with at least one minor injury, it had been a very dull day indeed. My body was a piece of transport that got me up trees, through neighbours’ hedges, into building sites and, most importantly, to the sweet shop. It wasn’t until secondary school that I learned that the body was something to be looked at, judged ‒ something to inspire shame.

I wish I could go back and give my spotty, bean-pole, infinitely embarrassable adolescent self a copy of this book. Hallelujah for 50ft Women is the third anthology of women’s poetry edited by Raving Beauties ‒ the women’s theatre company born in the early 1980s ‒ and looks set to be as popular as their first, In the Pink (The Women’s Press, 1983).

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