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Anne Boleyn’s Sleeve: Poems by Juliana Gray

Posted By Claire on July 21, 2015

Anne Boleyns SleeveI have loved poetry since I can remember. I can’t write it for toffee, unfortunately,but I do love getting lost in it. I was, therefore, over the moon to be sent two poetry books to review recently – Ruth Stacey’s Queen, Jewel, Mistress, and Juliana Gray’s chapbook Anne Boleyn’s Sleeve.

Juliana Gray’s chabook tells Anne Boleyn’s story through verse. It begins with “The End”, a poem about Anne Boleyn’s remains being buried in the arrow chest, and then goes on to tell of Anne’s rise and fall, from Henry VIII noticing her at court right up to her execution.

Being a chapbook, it’s short (31 pages) and easily digestible. One reviewer described it as a “page-turner and bodice ripper”, which completely bemused me, as I didn’t read it like that at all. It does tell of Henry and Anne’s love and passion, but certainly not in a bodice-ripping way!

It is a very different and fresh way of learning Anne’s story and it offers insight into what she may have felt at different points in her life. It’s well worth a read if you enjoy poetry and you’re interested in Anne Boleyn’s story.

Anne Boleyn’s Sleeve won the 2013 Winged City Chapbook Press Poetry Prize and is available to order from


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