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Angela Readman




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Sugar and Spice and All things nice?

Is that what little girls are made of?

Magazines, lippy and a push-up bra?

Porn star, sex symbol, victim or whore? What does it mean to be a woman in the 21st century? Are we born girls? Or are we the products of what has gone before?

Strip reveals the lives of 50's pin-up Bettie Page, hardcore porn stars and the little girl left behind on the way with stunning beauty and poignancy. The poet is not afraid to go beyond the boundaries of taste, and ask what lies beneath images we both admire and demonise. The strong voice of these sensitive and powerful narratives manages to find a sad beauty within lives. These cinematic poems are political in the most subtle sense as they explore the intimacy of power relations, gender, and unpick notions of glamour to find the tale behind the glossy centrefold. The work is a tapestry of how femininity is created, culturally and individually, exposing how the girl on stage stitches together her personae, and then strips her down layer by layer.

Poems that refuse to shy away from the dark, the grotesque and the taboo, but lead us, through an interplay of beautifully crafted, sensuous language, striking visuals, voice and often devastating observation to bring us face to face with the 'other' in ourselves. The true shock in these haunting narratives is that these lives speak to all of us about family, sex, power and love.

Praise for this Book

‘These are teasing erotic poems with imagery brilliant as sequins on a gown, that persuade us of the wayward frisson of pin-up glamour and bravado of bleached hair. In Strip we undergo our own journey of vicarious pleasure, down to the bone of ourselves. Didn’t we always know those suggestive fairy stories could groom us for the porn movie? This is a coming of age collection of a poet truly blossoming: elegant, witty, provocative and subversive on ‘this short forever’ of sex and its appeal.’ —S.J. Litherland

Reviews of this Book

‘Genuine work from a genuine new voice – a voice which will be heard.’ —Joolz

‘Poetry is something of a no no for me usually as often it’s so damn obscure you have to be the actual poet to understand what the flipping thing is on about; not this book. Impressive, refreshing, honest and hilarious are just a few ways of describing Sex with Elvis ... This is a truly brilliant observant authentic painting with words. An unforgettable word mistress. More please.’ —The Crack

‘Angela Readman’s work is a carefully stitched embroidery of the familiar and the often overlooked or taken for granted- she makes pictures that stay in your mind long after the poem has been read. Sharply observant, dry, savage and wholly authentic. Genuine work from a genuine new voice, a voice that will be heard.’ —Joolz

‘Readman casts her eye over ordinary life with a sharp knife. This is witty, astute poetry of the inventive kind. Sex with Elvis feels important, as all good poetry should ... Poetry with an edge. Read it, taste it, it’s bloody wonderful!’ —Julia Darling

‘It must be obvious that I loved this collection of poetry. It is one of the most exciting collections I have read in recent years. Strip goes straight to the core, very little metaphor, just very stark images that explore society and the experience of girls and woman within it. The language and imagery is cutting, beautiful and sad. I felt as though I was breathing with these narrators, experiencing the small detail of their lives.’ —Annie Clarkson

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