& Othered Poems
About the Book
The female body is a political space.
C+nto enters the private lives of women from the butch counterculture, telling the inside story of the protests they led in the ‘90s to reclaim their bodies as their own – their difficult balance between survival and self-expression. History, magic, rebellion, party and sermon vibrate through Joelle Taylor’s cantos to uncover these underground communities forged by women.
Part-memoir and part-conjecture, Taylor explores sexuality and gender in poetry that is lyrical, expansive, imagistic, epic and intimate. C+nto is a love poem, a riot, a late night and an honouring.
About the Author
Joelle Taylor is an award-winning poet, playwright and author. A former UK slam champion, she founded SLAMbassadors, the UK’s youth slam championships, in 2001 and was its Artistic Director and National Coach until 2018. Taylor is a fellow of the RSA and the host and co-curator of Out-Spoken, the UK’s premier poetry and music club, currently resident at the Southbank Centre. Taylor is widely anthologised, and is the author of three poetry collections, three plays and a collection of short stories, The Night Alphabet (forthcoming). Her documentary Butch was recently featured on BBC Radio 4.
‘This writing is visionary ... I loved it.’ Hollie McNish
‘A real treat … in the vivid bar-set poems, Taylor brings a close-knit community to life … inventive, powerfully moving work.’ The Telegraph ★★★★
‘Absolutely incredible … A celebration and a tribute to the dyke bars and the butches who left their mark, this book reminds the reader that to exist as we do is a form of protest. This is work that should not be missed.’ Diva Magazine, Book of the Month
‘C+nto is the best of hybrids. A reclamation and a proclamation. A book and a performance. A roll call and a remembrance. A tribute and a critique, not just for the Lesbian community, but for anyone who has had to struggle to establish their life and identity. A powerful celebration of an important culture.’ Roger Robinson
‘C+nto is an altar of a book. These halting and haunting stories of loss, battle, love and survival offer an ebullient doorway into a fragile world. Joelle Taylor has an unmatched gift as a poet, memoirist and chronicler.' Inua Ellams
‘C+nto is a work of fearsome imaginative and creative reach; it is also a work of patient and dedicated historicity … that it reaches us as sonorous and soaring poetry is a testament to the alchemy of [Joelle Taylor’s] craft.’ Fran Lock, Culture Matters