Poet and performance artist MacGillivray will be launching her third collection, The Gaelic Garden of the Dead (Bloodaxe Books) at this free event (further line-up TBC). The collection, described as ‘songs of fierce tenderness and subtle cruelty’ by Iain Sinclair, is three Books of the Dead bound as one; a trilogy comprises an alphabet of trees spoken as witness to a Highland hanging, ten pattern poetry dream diagrams and thirty-five death sonnets deconstructed to Mary Queen of Scots.
‘What vivid strangeness, for instance, to hear again the unsung recusant poet, Mary Queen of Scots, in our secular millennium? The chromatic lines balance splendidly on the razor-edge between imaginary and real time, making her a high modernist in the tradition of her great voice-walkers and forebears Burns, Scott, and MacDiarmid. You are holding in your hands a spell of sibylline leaves.’ – Ishion Hutchinson
Kirsten Norrie writes poetry under her matrilineal name, MacGillivray. She is the author of two previous poetry collections; The Nine of Diamonds: Surroial Mordantless, 2016 and The Last Wolf of Scotland published by Red Hen in the US, 2013/2016. Her writing has appeared in Test Centre, Magma, The Scotsman, the New River Press, the Poetry Review and many other publications. In 2019 she is a writer in residence at the Fondation Jan Michalski, Switzerland working on her fourth collection A History of Optics: The History of Ghost and researching the world’s oldest lunar map at Crathes, Aberdeenshire, for poetry titled Nightless. Her poetry will be translated into Spanish for 50 British Poets Since 1950, published by Circulo de Poesia, Mexico City and in Modern Poetry in Translation. Strange Attractor Press/MIT will publish her non-fiction book ‘Scottish Lost Boys’ in Spring 2019, which is based on her AHRC funded doctoral research in Scottish poetry and performance at Oxford University.
Edinburgh, EH8 8DT