Revelation Freshly Erupting by Nelly Sachs, translated by Andrew Shanks: Carcanet Book Launch

  • DATE

    11 October 2023

  • TIME

    7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



Please join us to celebrate the launch of Revelation Freshly Erupting: Collected Poetry by Nelly Sachs, translated by Andrew Shanks. Hosting the launch is poet and priest Rachel Mann. The event will feature readings and discussion, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will show the text during readings so that you can read along.

The Jewish poet Nelly Sachs (1891-1970) writes in direct response to the Holocaust. She is uniquely a ‘prophetic’ poet, one of the greatest of that species in the twentieth century.

Her first book appeared in the immediate wake of the Second World War, in 1946. Since that time, Hans Magnus Enzensberger declared, ‘she has been writing fundamentally a single book’. That book is represented in this volume which reveals her whole progression rendered into English. Unlike earlier translators, Andrew Shanks calls his versions ‘translations/imitations’, moving away from the doggedly literal to render more faithfully the sense and intention of the originals.

Sachs escaped Berlin in May 1940. She found refuge in Sweden. Her major work is an evolving response to the trauma of the Holocaust. In 1966 she received the Nobel Prize for Literature. This book includes all the lyric poetry Sachs published in her lifetime and adds the posthumous collection Teile dich Nacht, an introductory essay, and notes.

Her poetry begins as a monumental lament for the victims of the Holocaust. Other themes develop: biblical, Kabbalist and religious allusions, personal bereavement, mental breakdown. And there are reflections on poetic vocation in the darkness of recent history.

Registration for this online event will cost £2, redeemable against the cost of the book. You will receive the discount code and instructions for how to purchase the book in your confirmation email as well as during and after the event.
About the speakers:

Andrew Shanks is a now retired Church of England priest; for ten years Canon Theologian at Manchester Cathedral. He has published numerous works of philosophical theology; including for instance “What Is Truth?” Towards a Theological Poetics (2001), and most recently Sublime Virtue: “Sainthood”, as Rendered Problematic by a Dozen Novelists (2023). Having first discovered the poetry of Nelly Sachs forty years ago, in a bookshop in Marburg, he has been steadily at work on his translations/imitations pretty much ever since.

Rachel Mann is an Anglican parish priest and writer. She was Poet-in-Residence at Manchester Cathedral between 2009 and 2017 and is the author of seven books, including Fierce Imaginings: The Great War, Ritual, Memory and God (DLT, 2017). She is Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing and English at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her first collection of poetry, A Kingdom of Love, was published by Carcanet in 2019.