**LAST POST FOR CHRISTMAS - 17th DECEMBER**

PBS RECOMMENDATION: POLLY ATKIN

Posted on October 22 2021

Our Winter Recommendation, Much With Body is the startlingly original second collection by poet Polly Atkin. The beauty of the Lake District is both balm and mirror, refracting pain and also soothing it with distraction: unusual descriptions of frogs, birds, a great stag that "you will not see". Much of the landscape is lakescape, giving the book a watery feel, the author’s wild swimming being just one kind of immersion. There is also a distinct link with the past in a central section of found poems taken from transcripts of the journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, from a period late in her life when she was often ill. In common with the works of the Wordsworths, these poems share a quality of the metaphysical sublime. Their reverence for the natural world is an uneasy awe, contingent upon knowledge of our fragility and mortality.

Polly Atkin lives in Cumbria and is the author of Basic Nest Architecture (Seren, 2017) and a biography Recovering Dorothy: The Hidden Life of Dorothy Wordsworth (Saraband, 2021). She is working on a memoir exploring place, belonging and disability. She has taught English and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Cumbria. With Kate Davis and Anita Sethi she co-founded the Open Mountain initiative at Kendal Mountain Festival, which seeks to centre voices that are currently at the margins of outdoor, mountain and nature writing. 

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