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

Tag: all fours

Dirty, tender, ludic: All fours

Earlier in the spring, my collection of poems All fours was shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Award for poetry, part of Wales Book of the Year. Kathryn Gray from the judging panel had this to say about the book

From its opening pages, All fours reveals itself as a strange, magnetically attractive book. The deployment of language is glorious. The sound effects present, but unexpected. Attempting my first draft of this, I wrote down the key descriptors that occurred to me when I reflected on this book and its authorial voice, thinking it might simplify a swift reasoning of our verdict. That caused me some problems. Dizzying, heady, gorgeous, dirty, funny, tender, intimate, estranging, political, disturbing, international, local, ludic, vulnerable, in your face, surreal… It is a book for which the high-concept, elevator pitch is impossible to formulate. It defies any simple figure, and that is very much the point. All fours is very much of our discombobulating era. It is indeed a wild ride, but behind this lie great discipline and skill. It insisted on its inclusion, because it simply wouldn’t let us go. The hallmark of an exceptional book, in any genre.

All fours is out from Bloodaxe Books. Buy it here! 

And congratulations to the Wales Book of the Year winner in English, Robert Minhinnick for his book Diary of the Last Man.

All fours cover by Nia Davies

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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

 

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