Sunday, February 16, 2014

Poetry: Nightrunning by Tiffany Atkinson


Tiffany Atkinson
So much cold
even the moon can't swallow it
or the harbour in its fishy dark. You
balance your breath like a bowl of dry
ice. It's all a mistake, this body,
this job, this love. Somewhere inside
where the heart spins hard on its string
is an animal watching. It scratches
at night, perhaps a beak or a tusk,
is neither kind nor unkind, just restless.
So much rain
even the deepest hill can't filter it
or the river with its open gills. You
carry your heart like a full dish of blood.
It's all such a blessing, this body,
this job, this love. Somewhere inside
where the lungs stretch their intricate wings
is an animal watching. It wriggles
at night and shows its belly or its tender scales,
is neither kind nor unkind, just restless.

From "So Many Moving Parts" 

Tiffany Atkinson was born in 1972 in Berlin to an army family and has lived in Wales since 1993, when she moved to Cardiff to take an MA and PhD in Critical Theory, researching Contemporary Writing and Theories of the Body. She is now a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University. Atkinson has toured widely in Eastern Europe for the British Council, leading both writers’ workshops and academic seminars.

In 2000 Atkinson won the Ottakar’s and Faber National Poetry Competition, and in 2001, the Cardiff Academi International Poetry Competition. Her poems have been published widely in journals and anthologies, and her first collection, Kink and Particle (Seren, 2006), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, shortlisted for the Glen Dimplex New Writer’s Award 2007 and winner of the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize (2007).

The publication of her award-winning debut collection  introduced one of the most promising of the crop of younger UK poets. Certainly, like many of her generation, she is commendably various in her concerns, adept at recording the experiences of childhood, family, ageing, love and, of course, the ubiquitous detritus of twenty-first century life. But what sets her apart from the crowd is her unstinting and penetrating gaze, a take-no-prisoners scepticism that somehow never loses its quite particular purpose, and a warm accessibility married with a cool intelligence. Whether writing about difficulties in love or liberty, Tiffany Atkinson is smart, sexy and often very, very funny.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...