After You Were, I Am

Camille Ralphs


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Faber & Faber
14 March 2024
ISBN: 9780571384853
96 pages

From the publisher

This extraordinary debut heralds the arrival of a major new talent.

In After You Were, I Am, charged moments from history collide with our own godless modern world. The book’s three sections – ingenious rewritings of canonical prayers, dramatic monologues from the Pendle witch trials of 1612, and the divine tragedy of the Elizabethan magus John Dee – obsess over individual human characters and how our past informs (and informs on) our present. Ralphs’s style is utterly distinctive; she is a modern metaphysical, tapping into a haunting, era-spanning utterance enlivened by the electric pulse of wordplay and imaginative conceit. This is poetry that in comprehending the past manages to make of it something utterly original and contemporary.