Poetry

A Song Among The Stones

Song_among_stonesIn the sixth century Celtic Christian monks are thought to have made dangerous and difficult journeys from the west coast of Scotland to seek solitude in Iceland.

This evocative sequence of poems, imaginary fragments of a lost manuscript, tells their forgotten story.

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Evensong

evensong-poems

Kenneth Steven’s poems are inspired first and foremost by wildscape, by the places and people of Highland Perthshire and of the Celtic west – Iona and the Hebrides. But they are inspired by faith too, by the struggle to see God in the complexities of this world’s turmoil and find light in the darkness.

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Island: Collected Poems

Island_selectedPoemsOver the past 20 years, Kenneth Steven has become one of the country’s most popular poets. Drawing on a quiet Celtic spirituality and a love of wild Scotland, his engaging poetry offers us something beautiful, evocative, moving and captivating.

In Island, Kenneth Steven has chosen over 100 poems, including some of his best and most loved poems along with a selection of new work.

 

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Making the Known World New

makingnew_copyThis book is a collection of essays and new poems, inspired by a tiny piece of ground in Dunkeld at the heart of Perthshire. It’s a book about how nature survives despite all we do to destroy, and it’s about finding God in the small things – the moments of everyday life that are little miracles of light and hope.

A book to inspire in a time of nihilism and despair.

 

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Salt and Light

bk_saltlightThis 2007 collection of poems from Saint Andrew Press is all about moments of transformation: the moment the first notes of a tune begin to be born in a fiddler’s fingers, the arrival of an unexpected gift, the day the geese begin their journey back to Iceland.

This is a collection built on faith and hope in the midst of despair and darkness.

 

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Iona

ionaThis collection was first published in the summer of 2000. Since that time it’s sold some 5000 copies, and the first edition sold in only eight weeks.

 

It also picked up great reviews, and continues to sell well both at home and abroad.

 

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Wild Horses

wildThese poems about the natural world have been illustrated by the internationally acclaimed wildlife artist John Busby. From otters to newborn kittens in Highland Perthshire, this is a celebration of the wonder of nature in all its raw finery. The collection won high praise from Magnus Magnusson in particular.

 

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The Birth Of The Foal

My eyes still fought with sleep. Out over the fields Mist lay in grey folds, from vague somewhere Curlews rose up with thin trails of crying. Our lanterns Rocked in soft globes of yellow, our feet Slushed through the early morning thickness of the grass.

She lay on her side, exhausted by her long night; The hot smell of flanks and head and breath Ghosted from her spread length. Sunlight cracked from the broken yolk of the skies, Ruptured the hills, spangled our eyes and blinded us, Flooded the pale glows of our lanterns.

There he lay in a pool of his own wetness: Four long spindles scrabbling, the bigness of his head, a bag of a body – All struggling to find one another, to join up, to glue Into the single flow of a birthright. He fought For the first air of his life, noised like a child.

His mother, still raw and torn from the scar of his birth, Turned, and her eyes held him, The great harsh softness of her tongue stilled his struggle.

We knelt in the wet grass, dumbed By a miracle, by something bigger than the sun.

Columba

columbaKenneth Steven takes us on Columba’s difficult journey from Ireland to the west coast of Scotland. He takes us on many other journeys too – both real and imagined, ancient and modern. Columba’s journey becomes a metaphor for embarking on journeys of many sorts and from many kinds of shores. Simple, Powerful, Spiritual.

 

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Coracle

Coracle takes its title from the tiny round hide-covered craft that were used once upon a time to navigate lakes and rivers. But here it’s being used as a metaphor for the journeys made by the early Celtic Christian monks of Ireland and Scotland. Coracles may have been tiny craft, but they completed extraordinary journeys. The correlation is clear: we may be small, but we have the power to do extraordinary things – if we have faith. Many of the poems in this collection are about journeys great and small.

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Letting in the Light

It’s when we are broken we let in the light. Many of the poems were written in response to the trauma of separation and divorce: the collection itself is dedicated to the author’s beloved little girl Willow, who was just one and a half when separation happened. Letting in the Light is about finding hope in the darkness, and faith beyond despair. These raw and deeply personal poems are intended for any struggling to keep going in the face of adversity, and particularly for those facing the pain of separation from a beloved child.

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Deirdre of the Sorrows

It is reckoned that the roots of this legend go back to the Iron Age, and it’s quite possible that a true story lies at its heart. Deirdre was a beautiful young Irish girl glimpsed by the high king. He has her imprisoned so that one day she may be his. But Naoise (pronounced almost ny-sha) spies her himself, falls in love with her, and whisks her away to the west coast of Scotland where they live together in happiness and safety. Messengers come from Ireland to tell them all is well, that they can return home without fear. Of course it’s a cruel trick and they are killed. Kenneth has attempted to re-create the timelessness of this epic love story shared by Ireland and Scotland.

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