Backalong: Winner of the Mslexia Women's Poetry Pamphlet Competition

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Bloodaxe Books
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About the Author
Nia Broomhall won the 2023 Mslexia Women's Poetry Pamphlet Competition judged by Imtiaz Dharker for her debut collection Backalong (Bloodaxe Books/Mslexia, 2024). She received an MA with distinction in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in 2023, and is Poet in Residence at Painshill Park in Surrey for 2024, funded by an Arts Council DYCP grant. She won the Poetry Society's Hamish Canham Prize for 2023/2024, and was Highly Commended in the Winchester Poetry Prize in 2022 and 2023. Her poems have been published in Magma, Bad Lilies, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Alchemy Spoon, The Interpreter's House and The Friday Poem, and anthologised by Sidhe Press and Black Bough Poetry. Currently co-Head of English at a comprehensive school in Surrey, the best hour of her week is Poetry Club on a Friday afternoon. Originally from rural Somerset, she comes from a long line of West Country women who talk to strangers and embarrass their children.
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