Rachel Long’s much-anticipated debut collection of poems, My Darling from the Lions, announces the arrival of a thrilling new presence in poetry.
Each poem has a vivid story to tell – of family quirks, the perils of dating, the grip of religion or sexual awakening – stories that are, by turn, emotionally insightful, politically conscious, wise, funny and outrageous.
Long reveals herself as a razor-sharp and original voice on the issues of sexual politics and cultural inheritance that polarize our current moment. But it's her refreshing commitment to the power of the individual poem that will leave the reader turning each page in eager anticipation: here is an immediate,wide-awake poetry that entertains royally, without sacrificing a note of its urgency or remarkable skill.
|Publication date:||6th August 2020|
|Publisher:||Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan|
Rachel Long's first collection of poems sings with a sharp, sensual energy, grappling with subjects as cosmic as salvation and as quotidian as playground fights and Zoopla wish lists. The intimacy of her poetic voice enhances its power to disarm; the stabs she takes at the evils of society are precise, and alive with demotic sound patterning and loose rhythms. - TLS
These are smart witty poems on race, religion, sexuality with a striking hair-themed central section but it's their grasp of the precarious unknown that makes them powerful, fresh and new. - Irish Times
Night Vigil made me sob; Sandwiches made me sob and laugh then call all of my friend to thank them for being my friends - many of the poems did that; Danielle's Dad is a unrelenting piece of genius. I've not read a poem where so many individual lines made me want to congratulate the author for her craft. There's so much in this book that had me laughing and shuddering and standing up waving my arms in breathless recognition. Beautiful. I'm so glad it was written. -- Hollie McNish, author of Nobody Told Me [A] fresh, exciting voice . . . She writes of family, race and sexuality . . . The exhilarating work of these two young women reminds me that though we age like autumn leaves, the greenness is always there, waiting for spring. - Daily Mail
The pages of Rachel Long's gorgeous debut collection My Darling From the Lions crackle with the nostalgia of growing up and the hum of desire . . . [one] of the most exciting new poets to start reading today - Evening Standard
Rachel Long's poems have a sculpted quality, voluptuous and sharp, as if carved in velvet and ice, not one word wasted. My Darling from the Lions is daring yet tactful, explosive yet reined in, as irrepressible as a lion squeezed into a matchbox - an extraordinary debut. -- Pascale Petit, author of Mama Amazonica In My Darling From the Lions, Long embodies through verse at once sensual and breathless the tempo of desire. Here is life as sacred and profane, rendered by a voice so clear it cuts through everything and rings like a bell. -- Mary Jean Chan, author of Fleche A delight. It takes melancholic, surprising turns every couple of pages, with poems centred around combating body shame, sex and faith. -- Roger Robinson, The Week I loved reading these poems. They are immediate, accessible and necessary, but also joyful, witty and elegant. They tell stories we so much need to hear. -- Kate Clanchy Rachel Long is an enchanting and heartwarming new voice in poetry. -- Bernardine Evaristo, Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other -
Rachel Long is a Costa Prize shortlisted poet and founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour, which is housed at Southbank Centre, in London. Rachel's poetry and prose have been published widely, most recently in Filigree, Mal and the White Review. She is Assistant Tutor to Jacob Sam-La Rose on the Barbican Young Poets programme, 2015-present.More About Rachel Long