Winner of the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award
Shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, the Saltire First Book of the Year Award, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize
Poetry Book Society Recommendation
Niall Campbell grew up on South Uist in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, and his first collection, Moontide, is filled with images of the island's seascapes, its myths, its wildlife, and the long dark of its winters. Quietly reflective and deftly musical, these thoughtful poems resonate with silence and song, mystery and wonder, exploring ideas of companionship and withdrawal, love and the stillness of solitude.
After winning an Eric Gregory Award in 2011, Niall Campbell published a widely praised pamphlet, After the Creel Fleet, in 2012, and won the Poetry London Competition in 2013. Now this highly assured debut collection will establish him as one of the most distinctive lyric voices to emerge from Scotland in recent years.
'Full of striking moments, the poems of Moontide are illuminated by powerful lyric impulses...' – David Wheatley, Guardian
'In his understated debut collection, Campbell, who spent his childhood on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, draws on an intimately known landscape as witness to solitude and shared lives' – Maria Crawford, Financial Times, Summer books 2014
'With precise language, musicality and insight, Campbell’s first collection explores solitude, companionship and memory against a backdrop of closely observed nature. His intimate poems draw on the seascapes and myths of his native Eriskay, in the Outer Hebrides, but take the same sharp-focused eye to other places, too... Meditative and haunting – my favourite poetry book of 2014 so far' – Juanita Coulson, The Lady.
'Niall Campbell’s ruggedly beautiful poems have a three-dimensional quality, as if sculpted from their images of grit, rope and sand: others seem to come from the sea itself, distilled down to their essence – short, intimate poems with a long finish. They welcome you into their world with a quiet assurance, in the voice of a seasoned poet. A stunning debut' – Patience Agbabi.
'The persisting metaphor of the sea moves continually through this remarkable first collection. These are beautifully crafted poems which grow in impact with reading - from ghost dogs to beached whales, from Eriskay to Grez sur Loing, from Dostoevsky to Zola, the strength of this collection lies in its scope as much as its skill and originality. Though they are poems of islands and margins, they are neither insular nor marginal – their true value lies is their relevance - they talk to us of concerns that are our own; the forces and desires they describe, also drive us. Through poems which are in turn darkly lyrical, atmospheric, humorous and moving, Campbell proves himself an important new voice and a genuine talent to be reckoned with' – John Glenday.