Poetry International Poetry International

Rachel Long

Rachel Long

Rachel Long

(United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 1988)

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. 


British poet Rachel Long's poems are so razor-sharp and witty that they stand out from the first line. Long is also founder of the Octavia Collective for Womxn of Colour (a 'community-minded' collective where women of color can safely (learn to) write poetry, a response to the lack of inclusivity within literature and the academy). She debuted two years ago with the impressive collection My darling from the lions. This collection was nominated for five different poetry awards and was named one of the 100 must-read books of 2021 by TIME. There is a vibrancy to her narrative poems that is extraordinary to find in a text; with dizzying precision, Long describes humorous, sensual and surreal scenes. Sometimes, as a reader, you recognize yourself in the candid, uncomfortable moments Long shares; sometimes, on the contrary, the scenes are alienating. However, Long has a talent for making that alienation come across naturally nonetheless. The collection can be described as a coming-of-age story, in which the speaker survives a tumultuous childhood and adolescence only to find himself in the confusing maze called adulthood. Long creates relatable, human work that is sure to leave an impression long after she has once again traded the Rotterdam stage for her native London. 


Friday 9 June
19:30-20:30 Opening: There’s a poem for that (LV 1) 
Saturday 10 June
13:30-14:30 Poetry reading (with Farhad Showghi LV 5)
14:45-14:55 Signing session (bookstand LV foyer) 
21:45-23:00 Only Poems Can save Us Now -
Poetry X Mooie Woorden (LV 1) 

Poems of Rachel Long
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Lira fonds
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère