All fours: Nia Davies, Bloodaxe

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Nia Davies’s first collection is fizzing with ideas, high spirits and personality. Rather than surreal, it’s a pell-mell stream of consciousness - adult nonsense verse almost - full of delightful non sequiturs and bizarreries.

“‘Personality-wise, I wanted to be a mismatched underwear-set./ Certainly I was keen to become a burden.’ she writes in ‘Mossy Coat’, one of several poems of self-invention. Or perhaps what she is doing is a juggling of possible selves: “Fox + fur + pussy are names I covet for future selves + pets + babes.”

If many of the selves have to do with sex, and, at 18, “none of us are sure if that went well”, sex remains a puzzle “being as separate as money/is to mildew”.

The latter is one striking image among many in a constantly entertaining collection by Davies, who edits Poetry Wales. “I want to do everything” is the title of the last poem in the book and one feels Nia Davies just might.


Nia Davies, All fours, Bloodaxe, £9.95



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