Miriam Nash spent her early years on the Isle of Erraid off the west coast of Scotland, where Robert Louis Stevenson’s family once worked as lighthouse engineers. Voices of the island echo through her first collection, All the Prayers in the House, which holds at its heart the rupture and re-imagining of a family.
Bold, honest, playful and inventive, the collection travels far from its coastal beginnings, crossing the Atlantic, visiting a women’s prison and a 17th-century ladies dictionary. Here are poems of ritual and transgression, safety and danger. They take the form of songs, letters, fragments, formal verse – many kinds of prayer perhaps, for many kinds of storm.
‘Miriam Nash’s work is thematically satisfying, energetic and dynamic. These anarchic poems are the product of an original and febrile mind. A blast.’ – Jackie Kay, Edwin Morgan Poetry Award 2016
‘An already mature voice exploring with great precision our painstaking routines.’ – Daljit Nagra
Miriam Nash’s début is a document of transition, taking in geographical shifts from farmland to metropolis, the changing shape of family, the seeping of global into personal, and a hunger for self-definition. In writing that is at once rural, urban, shocking and gentle, Miriam weaves a world that is instantly recognisable but refreshingly complex, evoking celebration, sorrow and redemption with the same clear voice.