Published by Bloodaxe Books
Denise Levertov described Gillian Allnutt’s poems as ‘at once hard and delicate, like wrought iron’. Both serious and light in touch, humane and profound, this new collection explores the manifestations of the Spirit, tracing it back through the familiar world of Christianity to its roots in the shamanic. This journey goes 'about and roundabout': living in past and present simultaneously; seeking to marry masculine and feminine – in the figure of Mary Magdalene, say, or those of the almost ghostly mother and son in ‘Steppe’ or ‘In Armenia’. The language of these poems inhabits the state, the indwelling, of meditation – that nest of thin air – berthing what, a moment ago, was neither here nor there.
indwelling is Gillian Allnutt's first new collection since Wolflight (2007), included in her Bloodaxe retrospective How the Bicycle Shone: New & Selected Poems.
'What is most attractive about her work is that she is never solemn about the spiritual life which fascinates her’ – Helen Dunmore, Observer.
'Hers are original poems, scrupulous, unflashy, meditative, pushing at the ineffable, peculiarly inside language, earning their hard-won spiritual insights and flaring with sudden illuminations that are sustaining for all of us’ – Michael Laskey, Aldeburgh Poetry Festival.
‘She’s an original, though, ascetic and startling’ – Sean O’Brien, Sunday Times.
‘[Her] reticence has increased with each book of poetry and forms the clearest line of development in her work’ – Stephen Matterson, Metre.
‘Gillian Allnutt is a quietly original poet who has followed an uncompromising path. In its inwardness, its emblematic use of nature and its intense spiritual quest, her poetry is in the line of Hopkins and Geoffrey Hill. Her tone and verbal music is quite her own’ – Peter Forbes, Contemporary Writers.