Miriam Nash

Miriam Nash spent her early years on the Isle of Erraid off the west coast of Scotland, where Robert Louis Stevenson’s family once worked as lighthouse engineers. Voices of the island echo through her first collection, All the Prayers in the House (Bloodaxe, 2017), which holds at its heart the rupture and re-imagining of a family. The collection was runner-up in the Edwin Morgan Awards 2016 and won an Eric Gregory Award in 2015. In 2012, Miriam was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study poetry at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York.


Photo: Naomi Woddis


Border Crossings »

Reading: Miriam Gamble, Miriam Nash

Fri 9 March | 14:15 - 15:15 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room

Past & Present »

Brother Anthony on Korean poetry, Miriam Nash on Gwendolyn Brooks

Sat 10 March | 11:30 - 12:30 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Council Chamber


The Mother Tells Her Daughter of a Storm

One night, when your Dad was out in the boat
in the worst gale I remember, I looked round
and there they were—all those fisherwomen
who’d waited for their men while the sea
spun up and slates crashed from the roofs.
The women sat, reasoning then pleading
with the sea to give the fathers back,
holding the babies up as human prayers.
The lighthouse women were there too,
wearing their white aprons, thinking if if if
and promising their hearts as solid faith
in exchange for the keepers—fourteen miles out,
tending the one light of the Torran rocks.
The women sat with me, as if they hadn’t done
enough of this when they were alive
and I held you up to calm them, under the lamp.

Miriam Nash

From All the Prayers in the House (Bloodaxe Books, 2017)

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