Kingdomland is the debut poetry collection of Rachael Allen – a writer of rare vision and flair. The world she creates is suffused with surreal images and uncanny incidents. Unexplained violences and strange metamorphoses take shape in the ‘glowering dusk’. And yet, all too clearly, we recognise life here on earth, its everyday griefs, dysfunctions and injustices. Where distinctions between murder and bloodletting, corruption and consumption are blurred. Where a pet tarantula or mimic octopus might find itself beside glands and processed meats. Landscapes shift and identities dissolve: ‘the red bricks of the day’ exist ‘in a woman’s chest’, a human presence is ‘embedded in the walls’. All appears changed, but familiar. Intercut with oblique verse fragments and a series of linked sequences, Allen blends elements of fiction and ekphrasis to create a haunting and unforgettable debut.
Rachael Allen was born in Cornwall and studied at Goldsmiths College. She is the co-author of Jolene, a book of poems and photographs with Guy Gormley, and Nights of Poor Sleep, a book of poems and paintings with Marie Jacotey. She has received a Northern Writers' Award and an Eric Gregory Award, and was made a Faber New Poet in 2014. She is poetry editor at Granta and co-founder of the poetry press clinic and online journal tender.
PBS members can order copies of her book with 25% discount or read an exclusive interview with Rachael in the Spring Bulletin.