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Rachel Mann

  • About
  • Reviews
  • Awards
  • Rachel Mann is a priest, writer and broadcaster. She is the author of thirteen books, including her debut poetry collection, A Kingdom of Love (Carcanet, 2019), and the acclaimed non-fiction, Fierce Imaginings: The Great War, Ritual, Memory, and God (DLT, 2017). She is a Visiting Teaching Fellow at The Manchester Writing School, and broadcasts regularly, including as a contributor to Thought For The Day. Her second collection, Eleanor Among the Saints, is published by Carcanet in January 2024.

    Author photo by KTPhotography.

    'Mann writes into the gaps in Eleanor's history and record to come out with something more than the sum of its parts: gorgeous language, visceral, decadent and tender, full of Eleanor's imagined faces: saint and widow, lyric poet and wife; mercurial, shifting, but always defiant.... The body in Mann's work is as full of holiness as it is of queerness, of mess and filth and life, and it's this nuance, playful and inventive, grief-stricken and furious, that makes this collection one of the best of this year so far.'
    Kym Deyn, Magma
    'All poetry has something to do with bodies being transformed – whether in violence and grief, or in hope, in embrace, in miracle. Rachel Mann's brilliant collection is about these transformations, realised for us here with exhilarating verbal energy and emotional subtlety, a poetry that is solid and fluid at the same time, as bodies are.'
    Rowan Williams
     'Rachel Mann weaves an intricate web of language to examine the intimate relationship between the transforming, transformative body, between sexuality and spirituality, between religious ecstasy, fear and love. When Eleanor 'John' Rykener -€“€“ a trans person living in medieval England -€“€“ says 'I am not code for another's sins' she becomes utterly contemporary and timeless at the same time and we would all do well to listen.'
    Kim Moore
    'Nobody else could have written this: poems formed in the space where divinity, the body, trans identity and history fold together. A singular, sensational collection.'
    Andrew McMillan
    'A surprising talent alive and flourishing in our secular world.'
    William Bedford, Agenda
    'Mann's wrestling with ideas of language and religion is ambitious and richly complex... there's a wonderful energy and tangibility.'

    Patrick James Errington, Poetry London
      'A passionate examination in short lyrics, of some of life's big questions on death, faith, doubt and, of course, love.'
    Lizzie Husum, Dundee University Review of the Arts
    'A surprising talent alive and flourishing in our secular world.'
    William Bedford, Agenda
    'This book has a great deal to offer those who don't believe in a god; strength, connection, the time taken to slow down and reflect on how we relate to others, and how we can continue to move forward on both difficult days and joyous ones... These are poems to sit with, to linger over.'

    Dianne Mulholland

      'This collection by Anglican priest and poet Rachel Mann is richly lyrical and textured ... These poems are certainly food for thought, but they neither pontificate nor patronise ... wry and poignant and reflective by turns'

    Sarah Law, Stride magazine: 'Liturgy, Litany and Lyric'

    'A Kingdom of Love is a stirring set of poems, vibrant, gentle, yet at times has the ability to make the reader aware of their surroundings, a mild shaking of sorts'
    The Bobsphere
    'This is a beautiful, incantatory free verse that sparkles with alliteration and allusions'
    'A Kingdom of Love is a hard-won book of wonders. Poem after poem works at the edge of what language can describe or explore - the nature of belief, the presence and absence of God, the rituals and reality of death, suffering and above all, love. It is a mesmerising debut.'
    Michael Symmons Roberts
    Awards won by Rachel Mann Commended, 2024  A Poetry Book Society Spring Recommendation
    (Eleanor Among the Saints)
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