Read For Empathy 2019


I’m so happy to be able to tell you all that Rising Stars has been chosen by Empathy Lab to be part of their 2019 Read For Empathy book list!

I remember when we were writing Rising Stars, and everyone was still reeling from the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election, and all the negativity and abuse that was swirling in the air and becoming more and more accepted by the general public. At one point I was in a restaurant with Abi and Ruth and we had a chat that basically went:

“So, we’re just gonna use poetry to tell them to love and accept everyone, including themselves, right?”

“Yeah, basically.”

“That’s the plan.”

And then we got an uber to the gig I was doing that night because we were really late and it crashed and that made us even later and we had to run through a random part of London to get to the venue on time and I forgot half my poems because I’d just been in a car crash. Good times.

Anyway… The point here is: the book was, at least for Abi, Ruth, and I, a stand against the hatred and intolerance that has been growing across the world for the past few years. Our thinking was, if you can encourage young people to love and accept each other, then as they grow into adults, there will be so much less discrimination and cruelty in the world, and empathy is such a key component of that. The fact that Rising Stars’ ability to build empathy has been recognised means a lot… now, I’m off to read the rest of the books on the list! You should do the same!

Jay HulmeComment