They’re cutting down the trees.

And all I can hear
above the machines
is a voice
Hurt not the trees!

Hard to believe the girl up there,
held high by branches,
is real.
Her hair flies in bunches and
she’s waving a flag
that she’s made of her clothes.
Half-naked she stands
astride the world,
in her bra and ripped jeans,
in the rain,
certain she’ll stop the bulldozers,
the saws,
that grate and grind,
salivating, mechanical wolves,
teeth bared
and tearing at air.

I dream of doing
something incredible.
I dream of daring to do the impossible
before it’s too late.

from Activist by Louisa Reid (Guppy Books, 2022)

© Louisa Reid
With kind permission of the poet and Guppy Books

Activist by Louisa Reid
(Guppy Books, 2022)

Louisa Reid

Louisa Reid

Louisa Reid has spent most of her life reading. And when she’s not doing that she’s writing stories, or imagining writing them at least. An English teacher, her favourite part of the job is sharing her love of reading and writing with her pupils. Louisa lives with her family in the north-west of England and is proud to call a place near Manchester home.

Gloves Off is her first novel in verse, and she’s fallen in love with the exhilarating and exciting challenges  and opportunities that writing in this form brings.  Reading and loving the work of writers such as Jason Reynolds, David Levithan and Sarah Crossan inspired her to rise to the challenge.

Louisa writes about things that she thinks are important to young people, and all people generally, really.  Drawn to write about themes of female empowerment and personal freedom, Gloves Off is about bullying and body image, with some boxing thrown in too. Louisa hopes the novel will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever had to fight for self-confidence and self-belief  – things which are, for many, very hard won.