I am terpsichoreana figure in burlesque.
Sometimes Miss Pepper stranded on the prairiesometimes Buffalo Bill’s navvysometimes a soubrette.
Imagine my surprise at the spectaculara bijou opera house.
An alien in melodramaAladdin-girl in melos.
In the cave of the fire of life,I am Ayesha of two thousand years
finding a silhouettewithin slimness.
Such methods of the divinebecomes a gal from Chicago.
by Nerys Williams
'Loie Fuller's Dancing School' is copyright © Nerys Williams, 2011. It is reprinted from Sound Archive, published by Seren Books in 2011.
Notes from Seren:
Originally from Pen-y-Bont, Carmarthen, Wales, Nerys Williams
has been a recipient of a Fulbright Scholar's Award at UC Berkeley and a
winner of the Ted McNulty Poetry Prize. She gained a DPhil at Sussex in
2002 through research focused on a reading of error and the lyric in
contemporary American poetics. Nerys has lectured in American Literature
at University College, Dublin since 2003. A native Welsh speaker, she
has also worked at BBC Wales and as a care assistant on psychiatric
wards. Nerys has published poems and critical essays widely and is the
author of A Guide to Contemporary Poetry (Edinburgh University Press, 2011) as well as a study of contemporary American poetry, Reading Error (Peter Lang, 2007). She recently published her first collection of poetry, Sound Archive
(Seren 2011), which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize's Felix
Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and the Michael Murphy Prize. Of
her first book Poetry Review wrote that 'a certain
other-worldliness combines well with a vigorous realism to tease the
reader into putting two and more than that together to perceive
something rare and beautiful.'
You can read more about the collection and watch Nerys Williams read from her book here, and follow her thoughts on her blog here. Nerys was interviewed on RTE 1 about her collection, and you can hear the discussion at this link. You can also follow the poet on Twitter; search for @archifsain.
You can find out more about Loie Fuller, the subject of the poem, at Susan Gillis Kruman's page about the dancer and (possibly?) watch her in action here.
Seren is based in Wales ('Seren' means 'star' in
Welsh) and recently celebrated its 30th birthday. Begun as an offshoot
of the magazine Poetry Wales by Cary Archard and Dannie Abse in the latter’s garage in Ogmore-by-Sea,
the press has now grown and employs a number of staff. It is known for
publishing prize-winning poetry, including collections by recent Forward
winners, Hilary Menos and Kathryn Simmonds, as well as books by Owen
Sheers, Pascale Petit, Deryn Rees-Jones, and many others. The fiction
list features a new title by Patrick McGuinness, The Last Hundred Days,
that was longlisted for the Booker Prize. The high-quality arts books
include the recent collaboration between the poet John Fuller and the
photographer David Hurn, Writing the Picture.
For more details about Seren, visit the publisher's new website, where there is a blog about Seren's news and events. You can also find Seren on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube, where there are videos of a number of poets reading from their work.
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