Sancti Clandestini: Undercover Saints

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Sancti Clandestini: Undercover Saints by Maggie Butt
£14.99 £11.99 inc. UK pp
Release date: 1st November
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cover of Sancti Clandestini

Trade: Central Books

Sancti Clandestini: Undercover Saints

There are official Patron Saints of wax-melters, truss makers, lumberjacks, Florentine cheese merchants and disappointing children.

This book proposes some alternative, imaginary saints, including the Patron Saints of liars, looters, rank outsiders, compulsive hoarders, old dogs and infidel girls.

These undercover Patron Saints are sumptuously illustrated by the staff and students of Middlesex University’s Illustration course, from famous and established artists to emerging talents.


'If the proof of a poem is in the richness of response it provokes, the illustrations here are that response made visible - a testimony to the subtle layers in this tender but incisive poetry. They are also delights in themselves.'

Philip Gross

Reviews for other work

Ally Pally Prison Camp (Oversteps 2011)

'A sour pip in the bruised and often hidden core of London’s wartime history is the internment of civilians – so-called ‘enemy aliens’ – at Alexandra Palace during World War I. Through a sensitive choice of tone, detail and accompanying visuals, Maggie Butt generates from these little-known narratives a fresh and distinctive portion of skyline by which any interested reader might steer an initial path into the subject. But her project, ultimately, concerns itself intimately, almost forensically, with the human particulars of isolation and psychological suffering.'

Mario Petrucci

'This haunting mélange of words and pictures movingly conveys a forgotten story of hurt and injustice.' Juliet Gardiner, Historian and Writer.

Reviews for petite, (Hearing Eye, 2010):


'Maggie Butt’s miniatures are witty, wise, original and compassionate, with a vision which ranges from the mundane to the sublime, and a concern for the language and craft of poetry which is apparent on every page.'

James Aitchison

'Here are poems that are lyrical, highly-visual, and that dance off the page with delightful immediacy. In exquisitely-framed cameos, Maggie Butt explores relationships and events with an eye to the paradoxes and ironies.'

Katherine Gallagher

'These small poems are tender, hopeful and unreasonably delightful.'

Helena Nelson

'Maggie Butt is a poet with a supple intelligence which joins neatly with her sense of music. This makes her take on reality a pleasure to read.'

Sebastian Barker

Reviews for Lipstick (Greenwich Exchange 2007):

'..memorable.. chillingly perceptive'

Sean Elliott, The London Magazine June / July 2007

'powerful writing ... sharp insight here as well as moving, lyrical writing.'

Dilys Wood, Second Light Newsletter. July 2007

'Butt will appeal to a wide audience... The content is alert and contemporary.'

Acumen, September 2007

'Gems of imagery and quirky glimpses'... 'original formal crafting'...'You'll have a heightened sensitivity to the world around you afterwards.'

Orbis October 2007

'If these poems were wrapped around fish I'd peel them off and save them.' 'scrupulous...great range...breathtaking...playful...poignant'

Envoi, October 2007

'Maggie Butt needs only to be better known to be widely acclaimed. Her fantasy ‘On My 85th Birthday’ strikes me as the funniest thing of its kind since Jenny Joseph’s famous ‘Warning’.'

Robert Nye

'Why is poetry so rarely good-hearted? Maggie Butt's is a shining exception. Her generous work enfolds the hopes of a GI bride, the perfectionism of an anorexic girl and the cardboard of a child's crown. Her poems are sympathetic, skilful - and surprising. '

Alison Brackenbury

'A gift for empathy, a talent for fresh expression, a distinctive voice - three qualities that make a poet worth reading. Maggie Butt's work has these qualities, and, most importantly, a vigour of expression and gift for metaphor.'

William Oxley

Reviews for Quintana Roo (Acumen Publishing 2003):

'..these poems reveal the true Artisotelian gift of metaphor - the encapsulation of truth in a single image.'



Maggie Butt returned to her first love of poetry after a long absence caused by working as a journalist and then as a BBC TV documentary producer. Her poetry has appeared widely in magazines and has escaped the page onto the internet, BBC Radio 4, readings, festivals, schools and even been choreographed into dance. In her new book forthcoming from Ward Wood Sancti Clandestini – Undercover Saints, her work is illustrated in full colour.

Maggie’s first full collection Lipstick was published by Greenwich Exchange in 2007 following the pamphlet Quintana Roo published by Acumen in 2003. An e-book and MP3 I Am The Sphinx were published by Snakeskin online poetry journal in 2009. Her collection of short poems petite was published by Hearing Eye in 2010.

Ally Pally Prison Camp, published June 2011 by Oversteps Books, charts the use of Alexandra Palace in North London as a 'concentration camp' for civilian enemy aliens during the First World War. It tells the story of the internees through black and white photographs, the paintings of internee George Kenner, extracts from memoirs and letters, and Maggie Butt's own poems.

Her edited collection of essays Story - The Heart of the Matter was also published by Greenwich Exchange in October 2007.

She lives in north London where she is a Deputy Dean at Middlesex University and also Chair of the UK’s National Association of Writers in Education - NAWE. She is married with two daughters.

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