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This interview is taken from PN Review 262, Volume 48 Number 2, November - December 2021.

Rachael Allen & Rory Waterman
The Editors: in conversation’
Rachael Allen in conversation
Rory Waterman
RW: How important is being Cornish to you, and is it important to your poetry? I’ve read somewhere (though I’d never heard it before) that Kingdomland is an apellation for Cornwall, and the title poem has a Cornish setting, at least implicitly: ‘The village is slanted, full of tragedies with slate’. But there doesn’t seem to be all that much in the book that is specifically about Cornwall.

RA: This is an interesting question to start! One that I am pleased to answer, as I think somewhere along the line (when writing about my book) a few people got the idea that the word ‘Kingdomland’ is an alternative name for Cornwall, which it isn’t, or at least not to my knowledge. I think someone must have misquoted me at a reading, and I quite like the (very minor) myth-making mistake in its story. Kingdomland is actually a word I found on a very dead forum about Cornwall, where someone had inadvertently created the word ‘Kingdomland’ by saying something like, ‘this is our Kingdomland!’, obviously meaning to either say this is our kingdom, or this is our land.

Cornish-ness is important to me in as much as my formative years were there, and my father’s side is Cornish as far back as we’re able to reach. I didn’t realise how special its rurality was, of course, until I’d left. I mean both its sublime beauty and the incredibly unique communities there. They are pirate-y to me in their anarchism. There is something renegade about Cornish people and life that ...


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