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WOMXN: Sticks and Stones: Acrostics and Poems to Reclaim the Words that Have Hurt Us

Lexy Wren-Sillevis

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Poetry

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words need never hurt you. A book of feminist poetry that challenges the patriarchy and is a tool for transformation and resilience.

"There are so many words, insults, labels and boxes for women to be packaged and packed off in. Often, but not always, they're words coined by men."

Why that is, is a bigger conversation that is starting to be had by women everywhere. We're slowly, but oh-so-surely, making it clear that there is no man in womxn. We're writing him out and writing us back in, and we deserve a suffix all of our own that is free from patriarchal roots. So from here on in, we are WOMXN.

Sticks and Stones is a powerful reclamation of the slurs and insults thrown at women for centuries. It's a righting of wrongs - a rewriting of sexist, belittling and shaming language. It's a tool for breaking free from the stereotypes and impossible standards used to confine women, transforming them into messages of resilience and resolve. And, most importantly, it's a rallying call for change, healing and empowerment.

It takes the words, slurs, insults and labels that are used to diminish women every day and breaks them down and tears them apart. It transmutes and rewrites these words - sometimes with all of the pain they trigger, sometimes in the form of positive affirmations, mantras and poems - all told in acrostics.

With their underlying meditative rhythms, these acrostics are also a remedy for healing wounds and empowering women to have the confidence to be their true selves. You can dip in and out, or read it cover to cover. You can come back to, and work through, any words that resonate with you. Lexy also offers clearing meditations at the back of the book to help you tackle the words that hurt you most, helping to remove them from your past, present and future.

This title is illustrated by the hugely talented illustrator and print maker Margaux Carpentier. Margaux creates pictures using a symbolic language, so each piece has its own unique message for every individual. Her work is inspired by all the incredible colours of the world. She adapts her illustrations in 3D and large-scale murals, the most recent of which is currently on display in Brown Hart Gardens in Mayfair, London.

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