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Poems that make Grown Women Cry

Following the success of their anthology Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, father-and-son team Anthony and Ben Holden, working with Amnesty International, have asked the same revealing question of 100 remarkable women: 

What poem has moved you to tears?

From Yoko Ono to Judi Dench, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Elena Ferrante, Carol Ann Duffy to Kaui Hart Hemmings, and Joan Baez to Nikki Giovanni, this unique collection delivers private insights into the minds of women whose writing, acting, and thinking are admired around the world.

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Poems that make Grown Women Cry is emblematic not just of the human struggle to make a difference, but of women’s ongoing efforts for equality. It is a celebration of poetry's age-old power as a means of sharing feelings, thoughts and hope, sparking inspiration and aspiration to truth, justice and freedom.

The poems chosen range from the eighth century to today, from Rumi and Shakespeare to Sylvia Plath, W. H. Auden to Carol Ann Duffy, Pablo Neruda and Derek Walcott to Imtiaz Dharker and Warsan Shire. Their themes range from love and loss, through mortality and mystery, war and peace, to the beauty and variety of nature.

Natascha McElhone reads 'Donal Og'

Launch event at the National Theatre, London

We brought together a host of eminent women to read poems from our new book at a launch event at the National Theatre.

You can watch each of the contributors individually on YouTube via the links below:


‘The best entries are the ones where the contributor reveals something of themselves…This is a deep and valuable collection that you could rely upon in your time of need’

Fiona Wilson, The Times

‘The new book has turned stereotypes on their heads’

Richard Brooks, The Sunday Times

‘Few readers will fail to be struck by how stark many of the poems in this collection are…The art of poetry, as exemplified in this collection, transcends all gender issues, real or disputed’

Sebastian Faulks, The Guardian