As in all her books, the luminous poems of her eighth collection Tiger Facing the Mist are minimal but highly charged; with presences and hauntings, sensing the spirit incarnate in every part of the living world. Pauline Stainer is a poet ‘working at the margins of the sacred’, conveying sensations ‘with an economy of means that is breathtaking… her poems are not merely artefacts, they have an organic life of their own’ (John Burnside).
‘Over the past 20 years, Pauline Stainer has all but perfected the art of illumination without demystification, in search of what she calls “the divining shiver”, a phrase that can only gesture towards the combination of physical immediacy and numinous wonder that her marvellous poems possess… Stroke by stroke, apprehension by apprehension, Stainer is building a unique and extraordinary body of work’ – Frances Leviston, Guardian
‘Pauline Stainer writes sacred poetry for the scientific twenty-first century. Her poetry preserves a surety of vision, insisting that belief can only increase with knowledge, and that wisdom and faith are still provinces of careful, crystalline language. She is deeply English and draws from a wealth of sources: medieval lyrics, Eastern as well as Western art, Christian liturgy, and an impressive familiarity with chemistry and optics’ – Anne Stevenson
‘She sites her poetry smack on the veering demarcation between metaphysics and science… [recognising] that perceptual precision and intelligent enquiry can live alongside passion, compassion and fascination with language’ – David Morley, Guardian.
Pauline Stainer is a freelance writer and tutor. She has lived in Essex, the Orkney island of Roussay and now at Hadleigh in Suffolk. She has published five previous poetry collections; The Honeycomb, Sighting the Slave Ship and The Ice-Pilot Speaks were all Poetry Book Society Recommendations.Her fourth collection The Wound-dresser’s Dream was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award in 1996. Pauline Stainer received a 2009 Cholmondeley award for her poetry.