Kevin MacNeil was born and raised on the Isle of Lewis in a Gaelic-speaking environment. He was the British Council Writer in Residence at Uppsala University, Sweden, and prior to that was the inaugural Iain Crichton Smith Bilingual Writing Fellow. His poetry has been translated into ten languages. He has written for radio, television and film, and has collaborated with visual artists and musicians.
His poetry collections include Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate, 1998), which won the Tivoli Europa Giovani International Prize in 2000, and Be Wise Be Otherwise (Canongate, 2001). He has also published several novels, and in 2011 compiled the anthology These Islands We Sing (Polygon).