Hardcover with dust jacket
6.5 in. x 8.75 in.
16.51 cm. x 22.225
Hat & Beard Editions
Holy Doors, Mandy Kahn’s third collection of poems, is a lyrical, luminous, and highly spiritual journey exploring meditation, prayer, the afterlife, the poet’s love of peace, and the ever-accessibility of grace. It is also a record of what life is like as our spiritual nature begins to live more fully in the body. Each of Kahn’s poems begins with earnest inquiry and ends with an ecstatic moment of communion with the part of the self that is connected to all things.
A poet working within the traditions of the form, Kahn calls upon formal devices, such as iambic pentameter, slant rhyme, and end rhyme, but in so soft and deft a manner that one almost doesn’t notice the musicality so prevalent in the work. Kahn’s technical skill makes tradition feel suddenly fresh, soft, casual, and alive.
With Holy Doors, we’re watching a poet both seeking—and finding—the holy in the everyday. The poems in the collection suggest then that the holy need not be pursued—it need only be noticed. Doors to ecstatic experience, as Kahn reminds us, are everywhere.
Praise for Mandy Kahn’s poetry:
“In using the word ‘remarkable,’ I do mean that the collection is so extraordinary or exceptional as to invite comment. Or perhaps I should have called it striking, because it certainly impresses itself powerfully and deeply upon the observer’s mind or vision. From the moment I was first introduced to Mandy Kahn and her debut collection, I knew I had encountered a voice beyond the common realm… Of the influences she names, Thoreau seems to have left his transcendental nature print most prominently. There’s also a sense of Yeats’s splendor and, at times, the concision of Dickinson, but as with all true visionaries, her alchemy creates a completely new sound—a melopoeia that is both familiar and otherworldly.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books
“I swore I would only read a few poems from Math, Heaven, Time each day, not to finish too fast, but this morning I couldn’t stop and ate the whole thing up. What a glorious encounter with a truly exceptional writer. She has the true gift of being able to see things clearly, and see them new, and open up small moments into large thoughts.”
“A rising star of West Coast poetry.”
—World Literature Today
“Kahn elevates her medium from centuries of intellectual baggage, dusting it off and handing it over to you—the reader—to discover a new voice and a new style. Kahn’s work disallows you from shrugging if off, sending it away to textbooks and fusty journals. You’ll want to pass it around, sharing the experience.”
Mandy Kahn is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Glenn Gould’s Chair (2017) and Math, Heaven, Time (2014). Her poems have been included in the Best American Poetry anthology series, read on BBC Radio, and featured in former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s newspaper column American Life in Poetry. She has given readings at Cambridge University, the Getty Museum, the New School, and the Barrick Museum, and been profiled in Flaunt, Issue, and Malibu magazines, as well as been interviewed by The Los Angeles Review of Books. She’s also the subject of Courtney Sell’s feature-length documentary Peace Piece: The Immersive Poems of Mandy Kahn.
Kahn holds a degree in English from UC Berkeley. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches a class on peace.