This collection marks the arrival of a major new talent in Scottish poetry. Kevin MacNeil’s voice and vision, while rooted in the Hebridean islands, is open to a wide range of cultures, not only those of Scotland - from Gaeldom to urban Scotland - but to the wider European and American mind and, through his interest in Zen Buddhism, to Japanese and Chinese culture.
With astonishing freshness and versatility, MacNeil’s poetry creates powerful connections and new combinations -he has wit as well as feeling, a powerful sense of the past and the local while being resolutely turned towards the future and the cross-cultural.
“Not only talented and dedicated, he is also original … finding and making a literature in the clash and intersection of languages and cultures”
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“If you fancy a mixture of dancing logic, loving grace and cosmopoetic jazz, with a lot of Hebridean hootchie-kootchie, including Harris rain coming down in haikus and a skinkling of protogaelic Lewisian gneiss, not forgetting the ever-loving old calidoneein antisysithing, this guy’s got it. -“
“To meet one so in tune with his languages and with his subject-matter, so young, is a rare and special experience. At the beginning of his poetic career, Kevin MacNeil is already in the uplands of achievement.”
Kevin MacNeil/Caoimhin MacNèill was born on the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis (Scotland) and is a widely published writer of poetry, prose and drama (English and Gaelic). He was educated at the Nicolson Institute, University of Edinburgh and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. He is the first person from this country to win the prestigious Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize and is currently living on the Isle of Skye, where he is employed as the inaugural Iain Crichton Smith Writing Fellow (writer in residence for the Highlands area of Scotland). MacNeil has extensive experience in leading writing workshops and has read his work at a great many venues in a number of countries. He is a founding member of the trip-hop poetry band Tomorrowscope. His work has been translated into 10 languages. MacNeil is currently completing a novel.