“These poems are controlled, beautiful and strange, always with a woman’s way of seeing; ‘a hungry vixen barked and waltzed/ with shadows’. Here is music and witchcraft and sometimes things moving backwards. Here is the marvellous musical relationship of one word to another, as Adkins’ gaze shines a light into dark corners, noticing the small, the left behind and the lovely.”
“These musical poems bristle with tenderness and beauty. Folklore and myth mysteriously evoked in the sumptuous sweep of language, domestic spaces inhabited by vivid characters leap out at you alive with a kind of gentle danger. Beneath this vivid tapestry of poems there is an echo of poignancy, threaded and pure, delivering a wonderful and haunting debut collection.”
“In Mingled Space, Margaret Adkins articulates the concerns of intimacy and how relationships are played out in set spaces, both interior and exterior, and the negotiations people make in those spaces. There is always a keen focus on the capacity to be creative in everyday places; Adkins gives attention to tender details others might miss.” V. Press Guest Editor Ruth Stacey
Mingled Space is very redolent and very melodic.
A sample poem can be found below.
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It Watches for My Return
The lamp waits at my widow’s window
all chubby. The light rounds where flowers
used to be vased for me by the man I loved.
Where cards for Christmas, Easter,
my birthday used to be stood up for me
by my children – who now live lives
with their children – who make them cards
with glitter and crayon and pasta. It
reminds me of plumpness; chewed flannels
in bath-light; the passing of evenings.
Its waiting reminds me of knowing.
No other will ever know my knowing.
“Margaret Adkins’ debut poetry pamphlet, Mingled Space, celebrates myth, folklore and witchcraft with impressive care and control. The poet commands a highly evocative use of language, which occasionally forages into formal playfulness…
“There’s a strange charm to these poems, caught in the captivating throes of violence [...] Despite the danger and harm that lurks behind these bizarrely vivid poems, there’s a great deal of gentleness at work, tending to the shadows and silence of the world.”
Jade Cuttle, Versopolis Poetry, full review here.
Margaret Adkins on 'Memories, Moments & Mingled Space': how French philosopher Gaston Bachelard influenced her poetry pamphlet Mingled Space.