Sunday 11 December 2022

James Davies : part one

James Davies’ writing includes the poetry collections stack, published by Carcanet, which is a book-length, minimalist poem, that explores and documents experimental walking practice, as well as Plants from Reality Street, a set of conceptual poems. He is also the author of two novels: The Wood Pigeons from Dostoevsky Wannabe, which is a tale of a night-in, where chapters are slenderised page by page, and When Two Are in Love or As I Came To Behind Frank's Transporter (from Crater Press, written in collaboration with Philip Terry), an Oulipian psychedelic romantic comedy. His latest prose is the short story The Ten Superstrata of Stockport J. Middleton from Ma Bibliotheque, ten rewrites of the first page of Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Find out more at

How did you first engage with poetry?

Although retrospectively I can remember reading poetry as a young child, a standout moment as a writer was reading Salvador Dali’s poem Dandled Brochure and other poems by surrealists in the Surrealist Manifesto when I was about 16. e.e. cummings books were around the house also, amongst a small selection – they were important too. These poems confirmed for me that poetry (writing) could be stretched, and then I wrote and wrote in a multitude of styles and forms, many of which were my own experiments. Around the same time that I read the Surrealist Manifesto I studied Keats at school and enjoyed it, although not as much as the surrealist writing – joy over moodiness most days for me. I’d cite these things as initially turning me on to the ethereal power of poetry.

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