SHORTLISTED FOR THE FORWARD PRIZE (BEST FIRST COLLECTION) 2011
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MICHAEL MURPHY PRIZE 2011
WINNER OF THE DLR STRONG AWARD (IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SHINE) AT POETRY NOW / MOUNTAINS TO SEA
"Sound Archive is an innovative volume..." -- Irish Times 2011
"...a certain other-worldiness combines well with a vigorous realism to tease the reader into putting two and more than that together to perceive something rare and beautiful." -- Poetry Review
"Williams has a talent for assembling compellingly strange and haunting linguistic collages, making Sound Archive an enjoyable debut" -- Poetry London
"...fresh and original." - Planet
Sound Archive is the strikingly original first collection of poems from Nerys Williams. Using formal strategies similar to modernist painting: abstraction, dislocation, surrealist juxtaposition, the poet conjures a complex music, intriguing narratives, and poems full of atmosphere that query identity, gender, and the dream of art as a vehicle for emotion and meaning. There is a playful lightness of touch and tone and for every serious inquisition like ‘An Anatomy of Arguments’ or ‘Conversations with Cocteau’, there is a poem that will muse on ‘Canter’s Starstruck Diner, L.A.’ or on the ‘artifacts’ left by Marilyn Monroe, in ‘Marilyn’s Auction House’. Williams confronts our preconceptions about what it might mean to be a woman writing against the background of two formidable traditions: that of Welsh-speaking Wales and of English literature. A thoughtful, subtle and fascinating first collection.
I've long admired the poetry of Nerys Williams, which is both playful and sharply perceptive, drawing on a wide range of often unexpected influences. She was one of the first people I contacted to contribute poems to my first issue as editor because I think she brings a unique set of interests to bear not just on poetry in Wales, but on poetry generally.
– Zoe Skoulding, Editor of Poetry Wales
"Here's a fine writer who is completely unique in Wales. Nerys Williams would make a tremendous addition to the Seren poetry list".
– Robert Minhinnick
Listen to Nerys Williams read her poem, ‘Kinetic Meoldies’: