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Kingdomland Reviews

Kingdomland by Rachael Allen (Granta Online Editor)


Rachael Allen (Granta Online Editor)

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 17 Jan 2019
ISBN: 9780571341115

Kingdomland is the debut poetry collection of Rachael Allen - a writer of rare vision and flair. 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.

5 stars out of 5
17 Mar 2019

"The surreal and fiery debut from a striking new voice"

I want to quote dozens of Allen’s lines for the joy of their precise surprise. Here is my current ear-worm from this wonderfully musical debut: “I jumped I lit the noose / on fire, a great lemon / in place of my heart, a start” (Monstrous Horses). What a start to a poem, and what a start to a poetic career.


4 stars out of 5
8 Mar 2019

"Disturbing, unnerving and aware"

Hurt and harm surface throughout Allen’s writing, intent on uncovering the grotesque beneath the everyday, even as it remains oddly distant and indistinct: “a stark bright woman” who “holds something small, ungrippable”. Disturbing, unnerving and aware, these poems linger through effective image-making, where a girl watches “a haunted old body, the one she’ll inhabit / that drags up and down the coast”.