Then spree

Website of Nia Davies, poet, editor, writer, performer

All fours shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year

All fours is on the shortlist for the Wales Book of the Year 2018 in the Poetry in English category!

The poems in All fours were recently described as ‘ludic, perplexing and roaming’ in a review in the TLS by Leaf Arbuthnot. ‘Profane, charismatic and at times infuriating, Nia Davies’s poetry glitters above all thanks to its energy’ she writes.

All fours is available from the Bloodaxe website. Wales Book of the Year will be announced on the 26th of June.

All fours cover by Nia Davies

 

Advertisements

Instant Triangle! New work in MAI Feminism

A hybrid poetry experiment in the world of Instagram, ‘Instant Triangle’, is included in the very first edition of MAI Feminism journal. This writing and collage explores the triangular gaze of desire on social media.

Check out the brilliant MAI Creative Response section here, first crop edited by the incandescent Amy McCauley.

Nia_Davies_Insta_Collage

Oceanik

Oceanik – poem by Nia Davies. Film by Lucia Sellers, music by Charlie Miles. A selection at the 2018 Film and Video Symposium.

Interversions

Interversions Cover thmbnail

Interversions is a multilingual poetic collaboration between Mamta Sagar and Nia Davies exploring the manifestation of poetry in multiple mediums such as performance, translation, film, sound, installation and friendship bringing together people and poetry from Wales and Karnataka. Events, workshops and activities took place across the UK and India in 2017 and 2018. Starting in Wales in May 2017 before moving into England then to Bengaluru in August 2017 the project involved poets, translators, musicians, dancers, performers and communities in a rolling set of ‘interversions’. Interversions is part of the Poetry Connections initiated by Literature Across Frontiers, part of India Wales from British Council Wales and Wales Arts International, a major season of artistic collaboration between the two countries to mark the UK-India Year of Culture.

Interversions is also a book from Poetrywala and three poetryfilms made with Shristifilms.

 

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

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