DURA's StAnza 2021 reviews: My Darling from the Lions

Friday 19 February 2021

... Rachel Long is the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour, and although my electronic copy was without a cover that shows a young woman of colour, themes of race, religion, gender, sexuality and family relationships are evident from the outset.

Arranged in three sections, ‘Open’, ‘A Lineage of Wigs’ and ‘Dolls’, the collection uses a wide range of forms and structures, all in free verse. The first section begins with a deceptively simple quintet of the same name:

This morning he told me
I sleep with my mouth open
and my hands in my hair.
I say, What, like screaming?
He says, No, like abandon.

Providing us with an intimate glimpse into the speaker’s private life, Long evokes the twisted texture of emotions that come with a relationship behind closed doors. Here, she has opened that door to us with dialogue.... 

This is an excerpt of a review by Thomasin Collins of Rachel Long's Forward Prize winning My Darling from the LionsFor more information on Long at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.