‘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
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.
‘Almost hypnotic in its sense of place. Tidal and glistening with stories.’ – Jen Campbell
‘An already mature voice exploring with great precision our painstaking routines.’ – Daljit Nagra
with artwork by Christina Edlund-Plater.
The Nine Mothers of Heimdallr gives voice to powerful matriarchal figures of Norse mythology. Miriam’s Scandinavian ancestry started her on a quest to ‘find’ the nine mothers, Jötunn or ‘giants’, who ‘gave birth’ to the god Heimdallr. Although they are named in Norse literature, their stories remained untold. Here, they speak, telling their son the Norse creation story from their own perspective.
Miriam asked her mother, Christina Edlund-Plater, to create new fabric works, which experiment with the traditional craft of felting, to illustrate some of the key moments in the poem. This mother-daughter collaboration beautifully evokes the ideas of legacy and inheritance expressed in Miriam’s retelling of this ancient myth.
The book includes an introduction by medieval and Viking specialist Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir.
The poem was originally commission by the podcast Bedtime Stories for the End of the World.
An audio version of the poem is available approximately 30 minutes into Episode 4.
‘In this breathtaking excursion into Norse saga, Miriam Nash illuminates with visceral ‘snore-close’ clarity the creativity and violence at the heart of one of the world’s oldest creation myths which, under the technically assured and musically resonant guidance of Nash’s imagination sets off echoes across time just as the best stories always have. ‘ – Kayo Chingonyi
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.
‘Miriam writes with an assured elegance. She is a young poet whose work shows an emotional maturity far beyond her years.’ – Malika Booker