“why don’t you write about yourself ever
people used to ask / and I didn’t know why / either
in Chinese one word can lead you out of the dark / then back into it / in a single breath”
Magnolia is the debut poetry collection by poet, essayist and non-fiction writer Nina Mingya Powles, one of contemporary poetry’s most exciting new international voices and the winner of the inaugural Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing. These vivid, luscious poems move between journal and biography, place and belonging, all the time exploring the multitudinous facets of language and culture that make up our identity, from the sense of longing that a delicious bowl of food conjures up to the inviting glow of paper lanterns that illuminate memory and travel. Formally rich, these unique poems skilfully broaden the perspective of all a poem can hold can contain through their daring, joyful and expansive approach.