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Backalong | Bloodaxe Books

Nia Broomhall


Nia Broomhall

Publication Date : 19 Sep 2024

ISBN: 9781780377162

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Winner of the Mslexia Women's Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2023

Backalong, a dialect word from Nia Broomhall’s native Somerset, describes any point in the past – it could be this March, last March, or 1979. True to its title, her impressive debut pamphlet observes the distant past and recent past with the same eyes: the distant past through poems of place and origin; the recent through poems that track the process of grieving for someone who was right there, not so long ago. Through its musicality of language, Backalong searches for joy, finding what persists – and finding the words to pick out what shines, despite everything.

'The collection ranges from beautifully restrained grief poems to musically rich sonnets. With a number of her poems, I found I wanted to read aloud to feel the full effect. Always a good sign, I think.'  – Imtiaz Dharker, Judge of the Mslexia Women's Poetry Pamphlet Competition, writing about Backalong in Mslexia

'Fresh as greenness in spring, alive with emotional force, dexterity of form and the surprise of language ("It is a step forward of a word"), Nia Broomhall’s first collection of poems reminds us of what words can do in skilful hands. Grief stalks these poems, but also ‘bright kindnesses/like teaspoons’. Herein is a way of looking at the world anew and full of wonder; these are poems at once moving and perceptive, and bursting with delight, each one original and shockingly alive, as if "orcas had arrived in the room".' – Sarah Corbett

'Backalong is so pleasurable: it shines with hope and light, with "bright kindnesses" and reluctant grief. Nia Broomhall is a poet, a real one, whose poems will be loved.' – Conor O'Callaghan

'Nia Broomhall’s work is such a lovely discovery – a clear lyricism alive to time’s stings and balms.' – Paul Farley


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Related News & Publicity

News & Publicity

Nia Broomhall wins the Mslexia Women's Poetry Pamphlet 2023

Nia Broomhall wins the Mslexia Women's Poetry Pamphlet 2023

Nia Broomhall wins the 2023 Mslexia Women's Poetry Pamphlet Competition for Backalong, to be published by Bloodaxe Books in September 2024.

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