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Eleanor Among the Saints
Categories: 21st Century, British, Christianity, LGBTQ+, Second Collections, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. Jan 2024)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Jan 2024)
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A Poetry Book Society Spring Recommendation 2024
In her second collection, Mann wrestles with the questions and possibilities raised when trans identity, faith and the limits of myth and language intersect and are tested. Eleanor Among the Saints is a study in the queer joy found in counter-factuals and fantasy, shaped through the prism of the disputed story of Eleanor Rykener, a medieval trans woman, seamstress and sex worker.
Awards won by Rachel Mann Commended, 2024 A Poetry Book Society Spring Recommendation
(Eleanor Among the Saints)
'I heartily recommend this rich collection to anyone, not only for its fabulous wrangling of character, medieval history and lived experience, but as a reminder of how we too should step up to the plate with the same courage as the poet.'
Rennie Parker, Everybody's Reviewing
'Mann moves from Eleanor's dramatic monologues to personal mythologies, one poem a movingly restrained outcry meditating on the body and biblical instruction... Using transgressive linguistic play to expand the prosody of faith-based poetics, Mann's language energises without compromising the soul's inclination towards the afterlife.'
Oluwaseun Olayiwola, The Guardian
'All poetry has something to do with bodies being transformed â 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 Praise for Rachel Mann '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
'These are poems of hard-working faith: tense and taut, perceptive, and humbly vulnerable.'
Martyn Halsall, Church Times
'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.'
'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'
'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
The Carcanet Blog Sleepers Awake: Oli Hazzard read more The Miraculous Season: V.R. 'Bunny' Lang, edited by Rosa Campbell read more Egg/Shell: Victoria Kennefick read more The Devil Prefers Mozart: Anthony Burgess read more Eleanor Among the Saints: Rachel Mann read more Sea-Fever: John Masefield read more
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