Then spree

poetry & diary by Nia Davies

Poem from new collection ‘All fours’

 

18

 

Remembered suddenly my noswaith dda attire
my trying taxonomies of sing song

my motionless carriage &/ my empathy carriage

and that I tried to strike the note of clasp-breast horror slasher maxed-out body resurrection.

At least tried my best, then.

I can’t but pity Exonymic countries
or cobbled together lucky folk, steamy flashes

and celtic music makes me tired.

I can try and declare myself friendly, but I am
terrible and to be noted,     wind-slapped,

aching pussy, not sure what to want.

In the apples the pips burned.

Stood in the coachyard teleologic,
had a personal jesus on a pin.

That was something that was passable as sex, at least.

I suppose technicalities made this regrettable.
I have a synthetic lemon feeling about it
the way murderers like it, clean.

Maudlin is not the same as macabre.

Do whatever you like, he says,

and, I, sandalwood,

dream of the threaded lip,
the pursuit of needlework,
bicarbonate of soda citric,

hurt me hurt me
now

hold me hold me
now.

I shouldn’t have to explain.

Look at my flaws
all around my life like chickenpox.

Wondered whether I’d die like
this with a cock in my mouth, that’s

a flashback, that’s why everything has a trigger
warning now, that’s when the idea

full throttle

becomes hundreds of droplets, panic.

We weren’t sure if that went well or not,
none of us are sure whether that went well,


when I was 18,
when I was 18 oh god

 

This poem  is from All fours, my debut collection. Out on 23rd June with Bloodaxe. More information here.

all fours cover small

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All fours: New Collection out June 2017

all fours cover small

http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/all-fours-1151

Bodies. Rhythms. Motion. Sounds. All fours is a debut collection of poetry from Nia Davies, a book of rituals in language that stalk the space between what is uttered and what is meant. These poems are haunted by the strange traces of the longest words in the world and folk-mythic figures such as Sinbad, Eurydice, Mossy Coat, Pan and Baba Yaga. They pose riddles with multiple or mysterious answers.

A swerving sweary jump into a terrain that is both comically musical and perplexedly political, All fours speaks of the (mis)adventures of sex and human communication, a life full-to-bursting with burning questions.

‘Nia Davies’s poems are sharply attentive to the realm of the ‘inner ear’, a meeting point of external and internal environments. The lines have their own intense music, but instead of approaching song’s recognition and resolution they push towards the unfamiliar. Archaeologies and soundscapes are carefully excavated in language that sparks at every turn, while multiple directions open for the reader and ‘choice is a parallelogram / best made on the slant”.’ —Zoë Skoulding

‘Bemused, amused, angry, frustrated, erudite, discursive, and always fresh (fresh is one of the words that might define Nia’s poetry) she comes at them from every angle.’ – Mark Waldron

‘Nia Davies quietly dismembers the world around her with a gleeful irreverence and quirky humour. This is poetry full of unexpected twists and turns which both delights and disturbs in equal measures. What a treat to have this substantial collection from one of the most enigmatic new voices in poetry today.’ – Geraldine Monk

‘Nia Davies writes rich and adventurous poems. Her work feels borderless… In the event that an “I” surfaces in her work, it is defiantly plastic and multivalent.’ – Dai George

Readings, Discussions, Mumbai

For the Sesquipedalians: Long Words

Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmısınız or Long Words, my new chapbook, is now available to buy from this site. It contains a series of poems expanding on some impossibly strange long words from various different languages. Postage is free and proceeds go to Swansea Bay Asylum Seekers Support Group. There’s an afterword from the marvellous Mark Waldron.

On Sunday the 19th of June the book will be discussed as part of the BBC Radio Three programme ‘An Explosion of Geraniums’ on the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition where Dylan Thomas served cups of boiled string. My chapbook, alongside others published in the ‘Boiled String’ series, will be featured.

Long Words is also reviewed in Zarf zine by Julia Rose Lewis, where she says ‘With bull excrement, sorrels, and vaginas, Davies’ poems bring the long words alive and will turn many readers into sesquipedalians.’

Here’s some pink Haeckel trilobites for the ‘fossil inside’ you:

Long Words - back cover

 

Poetry in the age of new media

New media and digital forms offer poets and artists many original ways to answer the question: what is poetry? Over on the Literature Across Frontiers website I report from a festival that explores this enquiry into contemporary poetry and art – Oslo Poesifilm Festival 2016.

Still from Tord Torpe's festival teaser

Still from Tord Torpe’s festival teaser

One of my favourites: To Thy Heart by Ewa Borycewicz:

New publication: Long Words

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 15.19.47

Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmısınız or Long Words by Nia Davies is out now from Hafan Press’s Boiled String Chapbook series.

To get a copy for £9.50 (and free postage!) visit this page to use PayPal.  Or send your terrestrial address to t.cheesman@swansea.ac.uk AND £9.50 by cheque to SWANSEA BAY ASSG.

Inspired by the Turkish tongue-twister Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmısınız (Are you one of those we tried to make to be originating from Czechoslovakia?), the poems in this chapbook take their titles from the English translations of long words in various languages. These are words that can (barely) be translated as: ‘For those who were repeatedly unable to pick enough of small wood-sorrels in the past’, ‘To the least able to be making less understandable’, ‘For your [plural] continued behaviour as if you could not be desecrated’.

In the gaps between what we say and what we mean, between one language and another, Nia Davies finds such figures and motifs as contemptible palaeontologists, collective farms, the murdered women in Bolaño’s 2666, the never-ending suffix, dusty chickens, Estonian palindromes, ‘splitters gurning on white cream’, lies, drunkenness and the tortured question ‘what is poetry?’:

communication is not the aim of poetry
poetry is not the aim of communication
it gets in the way though somehow doesn’t it?

These are poems written in the shadow of the untranslatable/unconscious ‘fossil inside’.

Long Words - back cover

Mariam Alatar in translation

Two poems by Mariam Alatar I translated on the Reel Iraq translation workshop in 2014 have been published in MPT magazine.  ‘Fucking Obsessed’ is published online alongside a blog on the translation process. Here we are with Dina Mousawi translating away…

translating

 

 

New-s

A round up of news from the last twelve months…

In 2014 I started editing Poetry Wales. You can take a look at the six issues I’ve edited so far here. Focuses have included the visualviolence, Patagonia and an issue on desire is forthcoming. You can read my editorials on the Poetry Wales website: http://poetrywales.co.uk.

In Spring 2015 I co-curated the Welsh Enemies project – Gelynion – with Steven J Fowler. Over 60 poets collaborated in pairs at events across Wales and London with a core of six touring poets, including myself and Steven, performing rolling collaborations along the way. All the filmed collaborations and further information can be found on the Enemies site.

In October 2015 it was a joy to take part in the fourth North Wales International Poetry Festival. At the festival Literature Across Frontiers launched the new project Literary Europe Live (LEuL). LEuL brings together festivals from around Europe to encourage and foster programming that reflects the richness and diversity of the European literary landscape. I am working on this project currently with Literature Across Frontiers.

I have a chapbook coming out imminently with Hafan/Boiled String – Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmısınız or Long Words. More news on this to come.

More: @niapolly

Happy New Year:

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 15.11.00

Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmısınız or Long Words

My new sequence of poems Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmısınız or Long Words features poems with titles taken from the English translations of long words in various languages. Extracts have been published so far in the following online magazines:

In 3am Magazine

– for your [plural] continued behaviour as if you could not be desecrated (Hungarian)
– also for those who have turned like counterrevolutionaries  (Georgian)
– for those who were repeatedly unable to pick enough of small wood-sorrels in the past (Lithuanian)
– to the least able to be making less understandable (Czech)

 http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/cekoslovakyalilastiramadiklarimizdanmisiniz/


In Wales Arts Review

– a dusty place where chickens usually groom themselves (Tagalog)
– [two] people trying to scatter pretended lies with each other (Tagalog)
– when our resentments will have (Hebrew)
– are you one of those people whom we couldn’t make to be originating from Czechoslovakia? (Turkish)

http://www.walesartsreview.org/poetry-from-cekoslovakyalilastiramadiklarimizdanmisiniz-or-long-words-by-nia-davies/

– ‘the most emotionally disturbing (or upsetting) thing (Tagalog)’ will be appearing in Ploughshares in spring 2015. 

Camaradefest II 2014