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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
I'm Rising: Determined. Confident. Powerful by Michelle G. Stradford is the author's second book of poetry in the Rising series, following its well-received, bestselling predecessor, When Love Rises. Digging deep into a past and leveraging the pain and growth she's experienced, Stradford fills the pages of this compilation within three separate sections. Challenges, which heads the trio, with freestyle verses that lay bare some excruciating moments of pain; Life is Forward being the most poignant in my own mind. Evolving is the title of section two, fleshing out the former in poems like Gut Check, an acknowledgment of the stunting side effects of holding emotion in. Lastly, Rising brings the metamorphosis to its climax with work such as Free Your Swagger—a timely and progressive poem that encourages pride and ownership of feminine power.
Michelle G. Stradford has written a book that is exactly the type of poetry a woman who has been there wants her daughter, her sister, her niece—and all the females in her life—to read. I'm Rising is a testament not just to the author, but to women everywhere, particularly in a day and age where the power we've claimed for ourselves, through pain and struggle and self-sacrifice, is once again being chipped away. I'd give this a whole bucket of stars if I could, but since I'm limited to five I'll instead make sure that my sixteen-year-old daughter takes a journey in this with me as well. Highly, highly recommended.