According to the popular Easter hymn, "Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, / Kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay". For Marilyn Longstaff, the cerements in the vacant tomb are a symbol of spiritual mystery and an image of religious emptiness. She is a pilgrim, a stranger in a strange land, tempted by the guilty pleasures of the flesh and beset by a Puritan’s consciousness of sin and injustice. These are poems about the flesh and the spirit, cheerfully balancing desire and loss, hope and failure and finding satisfaction in small pleasures, in a world that contains no angels in bright raiment.
Marilyn Longstaff’s previous books are Puritan Games (2001) and Sitting Among the Hoppers (2004). In 2003 she received a New Writing North Promise Award, and in 2005 completed her MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. She is published in a range of magazines and anthologies. She is a member of the Vane Women collective, and has recently been part of the group Stemistry, working with the poet Lisa Matthews to write in response to stem cell research. She lives in Darlington.