Then spree

poetry & diary by Nia Davies

Tag: Then Spree

en castellano

I’m thrilled that  two of my poems have been translated into Spanish recently.

Following (mind-expanding) travels to Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Chile as part of the Forgetting Chatwin journey Argentinian poet Marina C Kohon has translated my poem ‘Tiny Nudist Colony’.  You can read ‘Pequeña Colonia Nudista’ in translation and the original on her blog. There you can also find translations of some of the  Welsh poets who travelled to Patagonia with me: Karen Owen, Mererid Hopwood, Tiffany Atkinson and Richard Gwyn.

In 2012 one of my poems was among thousands dropped – or bombed rather – out of a helicopter above London’s South Bank.  Casagrande, the Chilean collective, showered the crowds at the Poetry Parnassus festival with little strips of paper, each printed with a poem in English and Spanish. The way they fluttered down in the light was quite mesmerising, as was the sight of people running, jumping and clambering over each other to catch a poem. The bombed poems have now been published in a book which, alongside poetry from young UK poets, a poet from each Olympic country and several fantastic Chilean poets, contains my poem ‘I want to do everything’ in English and also translated into Spanish by Chilean poet Kurt Folch.

Then Spree – reviewed

A review by Donald Gardner of my pamphlet Then Spree was posted on Sabotage review this week.  And expanding on the idea of ‘wearing experience lightly’, poet Daniel Barrow has written this remarkable piece here on his blog: A Scarlett Tracery .

Then spree - by Nia Davies - cover

The Next Big Thing

I’ve been invited by the poet Amy Key to take part in this blog series where writers answer the same set of questions then pass them on to four other writers. You can read Amy’s interview here and find your way back along the trail of writers.


Where did the idea come from for the book?

Many of the poems in the new pamphlet Then Spree were written without a book in mind, but some of the origins of some of the ideas and impulses include:  things seen from night-bus windows, the glitches, fissures and blooms of language and the world as experienced by a diver. As well as… things my friends say, unusual auditory environments, off-record histories,  folk song and story, watery places and the up hill struggle to learn a foreign language (Turkish!).

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

There is perhaps one distinct character (other than myself) in Then Spree – the man (or creature) in ‘Periphylla Periphylla’ who is trapped in a submerged world which is part deep sea, part London street.

I had already written this drunk lonely character’s voyage on the number 38 bus and was half way through writing the second part of his walk through Canonbury when the man himself staggered up to me. On seeing me he stopped, looked me in the eyes, (I was sitting on a garden wall writing by street-light), then he stumbled on. I would like this man to play the Jelly man, but it’s most likely I will never see him again.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Song’s outer reaches

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I’ve been writing poetry seriously since I was a teenager and the poems in this pamphlet date back to around five years ago. The manuscript took around 4 months to bring together and edit.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I am incredibly lucky in that I have been able to travel and meet people who have opened up the world for me.

The poetry of Lutz Seiler, Sarah Gridley, DA Powell, Denise Riley and others have been vital to me – especially in the last few years of writing the poems in this pamphlet.

A book of Manley Hopkins poems given to me at secondary school by my teacher Mr Martin seems to have had long-range impact and so have nursery rhymes sung to me in Welsh and English, recordings of Michael Rosen’s poems for children and perhaps most importantly for all my writing – folktales from all over the world, told by my grandmother Liza Watts who is a professional storyteller.

From early on the poet and editor Roddy Lumsden encouraged me, challenged my writing approach and provided me with an ever-evolving and inspirational reading list.

And I recently read this which I love: “It’s necessary to maintain a state of disobedience against . . . everything. One must remain somehow, though how, open to any subject or form in principle, open to the possibility of liking, open to the possibility of using.” Alice Notely in the Poetics of Disobedience.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

In Then Spree there are secret staircases, vengeful saviours, a man with a jellyfish heart, nudism, white noise, stray ballerinas, singing bowls and obsolete instruments.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The pamphlet is published by Salt in the Salt Modern Voices series.

You can order a copy of the pamphlet on the Salt website

Then Spree – out now

My first poetry publication has just been published. Then spree is in the Salt Modern Voices pamphlet series. You can buy a copy through the Salt website.

Then spree - by Nia Davies - cover

Broadcast reading in London 27th November 2012 and other events

Following on from the launch of my debut pamphlet Then Spree, I will be doing several readings in the UK. The first is with Broadcast – the poetry event series organised by Emily Hasler and Roddy Lumsden. The line-up also includes Matthew Caley, Oli Hazzard and Luke Kennard and takes place on Tuesday the 27th of November at the Betsey Trotwood pub in Farringdon, London. More details on the event are available on the Broadcast website. Also on the Broadcast website you will find a new poem by me – 4 rooms, which is inspired by the sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard’s 4 rooms – recorded at Chernobyl.

Other upcoming readings include: a new Penning Perfumes at Clerkenwell Tales Bookshop, London on the 28th of Novembera reading alongside the fantastic Aurelia Lassaque, Amy Key, SJ Fowler, Jessica Pujol and others at Housman’s radical bookshop in Kings Cross, London on Thursday the 13th of December and  a music/poetry night at the Full Stop in Brick Lane London on the 16th of December. Events in Sheffield, Bristol and Wales to be announced soon.

You can find out more about Then Spree, and place an order for the pamphlet  on the Salt website.