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This report is taken from PN Review 225, Volume 42 Number 1, September - October 2015.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
At the recent 2015 Wales Book of the Year presentations, Tiffany Atkinson was awarded the Roland Mathias Prize for the outstanding book of poems published in 2014. I was not surprised, for she missed the same award in 2012, with Catulla et al (Bloodaxe), by a hairsbreadth. Then, in the person of ‘Catulla’ she took her cue from the Latin poet and added a layer of classical reference to her witty, often acerbic, observations on life and love. This latest, So Many Moving Parts, also from Bloodaxe, continues her examination of self, human motives and contemporary mores directly, while allowing us to eavesdrop aspects of her daily work, travel and relationships, and guess more about her background – parents, siblings, a Catholic education. ‘Nightrunning’, which begins the book (and a theme passed like a baton to later poems) contains a hint of gratitude for divine grace: ‘It’s all such a blessing, this body, / this job, this love’, and something akin to confession about the animal self within that is ‘neither kind nor unkind, just restless’. The problem of the irrepressible ego is revisited later in one of the book’s longer poems, ‘Mantra’: ‘The ego’s a mistake / with a finely tuned appreciation / of nicotine and Sancerre … // a mistake / that runs on good days twenty / hot miles on its own grease // … that writes into the night / and puts in overtime / and talks if need be to the bloody document / and god deserves promotion’. The flow of meanings, almost always unhampered by end-stopped lines and usually by punctuation, rewards careful reading, ...


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