How might poetry help us articulate the body in illness, in work, and in love? Tiffany Atkinson’s fourth collection includes the prize-winning sequence ‘Dolorimeter’, which takes fragments of speech and found text from a hospital residency to pay homage to the inventiveness and humour of patients and staff in a series of meditations on the notion that pain resists language. Away from the wards, other poems consider the strangeness of the workplace and the embarrassing incursions of desire into everyday life, celebrating the ability of poetic language to lay awkwardness and uncertainty alongside unexpected openings and glimpses of revelation.
A lumen is a unit of light, but also a channel or an opening inside the body; perhaps, in this collection, it may also serve as a metaphor for the work of the poem itself.
'A fresh, moving and brilliantly inventive book... some of the most striking, and touching, moments in the book come from its dry sense of humour... Atkinson sees the absurdity in everyday scenarios, but also their poetic potential.' – Sarah Howe, Poetry Wales, on So Many Moving Parts
'The unexpected imagery always packs a punch... Visceral, and at times unsettling, this darkly iridescent verse is hardly comfort poetry – but that's the point.' – Juanita Coulson, The Lady, on So Many Moving Parts
'I mouthed a silent "wow" at much of her imagery, including "sexuality is mostly a crystal / like the grit of sugar at the elbow / on a wipe-dry table" and "like mirrors in a changing room / that whack you back and forth between yourself".' – Katrina Naomi, Mslexia, on So Many Moving Parts
'A startling book, full of outstanding poems to be returned to again and again... Atkinson's technique can take poetry, incredibly successfully, to places it is difficult to remember it having been before.' – Jonathan Edwards, New Welsh Review, on So Many Moving Parts
'This is poetry of acute aliveness... These new poems have the dynamic quality of robust, heightened speech... With these revelatory, refreshing poems, Atkinson conveys a many-faceted self, and frees up possibilities for the voice in poetry.' – Deryn Rees-Jones & Moniza Alvi, Poetry Book Society Bulletin, on So Many Moving Parts