Anna Mendelssohn “What a Performance” | Extracts Edited and Introduced by Sara Crangle


An avant-garde author, artist, and activist, Anna Mendelssohn was born in Northern England in 1948. From the 1980s she studied and resided in Cambridge, publishing 15 poetry collections and contributing to landmark anthologies of the British Poetry Revival. When Mendelssohn died in 2009, she left behind a vast paper archive, most of which is held at Special Collections, University of Sussex, UK. Mendelssohn’s collected poems appeared in 2020, and an exhibition of her artwork ran from October 2023 to January 2024 at Whitechapel Gallery, London.

Sara Crangle is Professor of Modernism & the Avant-Garde at the University of Sussex. As editor, she has published I’m Working Here: The Collected Poems of Anna Mendelssohn (Shearsman 2020), On Bathos (with Peter Nicholls, Bloomsbury 2012), and Stories and Essays of Mina Loy (Dalkey Archive 2011). She has just completed a two-volume Anatomy of Mina Loy (Edinburgh UP 2024) and in 2023 co-curated Anna Mendelssohn: Speak Poetess, an exhibition of Mendelssohn’s art with Whitechapel Gallery. Her poetry chapbook, Press & Release, is forthcoming with Dancing Girl Press.