Polly Atkin on the Places of Her Poetry


Polly Atkin published her first full length poetry collection, Basic Nest Architecture, in 2017. Like her two pamphlets before it – bone song (2008) and Shadow Dispatches (2013) – Basic Nest Architecture won critical acclaim, including New Writing North’s Andrew Waterhouse Prize. Suzannah V. Evans chatted with Polly about the roots of her poetic life in places like Cumbria, where she now lives, as well as within the StAnza poetry festival, where this interview was recorded.

They discussed the process of building poems and the aural and visual qualities of poetic language. They also delved into Polly’s sources of inspiration, whether the ongoing influence of the Romantic poets, or how as a poet Polly thrives within a community, both amid the bustle of a poetry festival and through the chatter of social media (where she tweets as @pollyrowena).

Photo credit: Suzannah V. Evans

Polly reads two of her poems at the end, ‘The Glorious Fellowship of Migraineurs’, and ‘When I lived Alone’, from her collection Basic Nest Architecture, published by Seren Books.

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