Niall Campbell Reviews & Features
‘Noctuary is a homage to night-time, to “that midnight thrill of being alive”, to the small, stray moments that make up a life. It is also a passionately tender examination of what it means to have and care for a small child.’ – Suzannah V. Evans, Times Literary Supplement
Leeds-based Scottish poet Niall Campbell, whose debut Moontide won both the Saltire First Book of the Year Award and the inaugural £20,000 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, published his second collection Noctuary with Bloodaxe in April 2019.
Noctuary is a lyrical collection poems about young fatherhood and the small hours. Written from Niall Campbell’s new home in Leeds, the poems nevertheless draw on the seascapes, myths and wildlife of South Uist, where he grew up. In this noctuary, a diary for the late hours, poems record moments of beauty and tenderness to be found in those broken nights when caring for a young son.
Listen to Niall Campbell narrate a poem he wrote especially for the Radio 4 feature Ballad of the Fix, about Scotland's drug problem, here. This was a BBC Radio 4 Pick of the Week.
On 10 April 2020 Niall Campbell made audio recordings of himself reading and introducing six poems from each of his two collections. Available via his website here.
Times Literary Supplement, Friday 17 April 2020
‘Following on from the inky darkness of Niall Campbell’s first collection Moontide (2014), set by the shores of the Outer Hebrides, Noctuary is a homage to night-time, to “that midnight thrill of being alive”, to the small, stray moments that make up a life. It is also a passionately tender examination of what it means to have and care for a small child.’ – Suzannah V. Evans, Times Literary Supplement
Available in full by subscription via the TLS website here.
Scotland on Sunday, Sunday 5 May 2019
An in-depth review of Niall Campbell’s second collection Noctuary ran in Scotland on Sunday. Roger Cox praises Niall Campbell’s ‘careful, crafted, lyrical’ poems.
‘A noctuary is a night journal and many of the poems here feel as if they have been written in the strange, dreamlike state between sleeping and waking… rich, ambiguous allusions only heighten the sense of the poet’s confused, half-conscious state, his mind ping-ponging from one idea to the next.’ – Roger Cox, Scotland on Sunday
Click here to read the full review.
The Yorkshire Times, online Wednesday 1 May 2019
An in-depth review of Leeds-based Scottish poet Niall Campbell’s second collection Noctuary was featured in the regional online newspaper The Yorkshire Times on 1 May.
‘Many of Campbell’s fine poems are ruminations on the difficulties and rewards of new fatherhood. And, to shamelessly plunder a much-overused critical conceit, they are irresistibly luminous, which is to say that they give off a steady light in introspection. A city-dweller originally from the remote Hebridean island of South Uist, Campbell perceives relationships through the kaleidoscopic glass of landscapes current and remembered...In truth, there is so much of enduring value in Noctuary that the reader struggles to climb out of the amniotic water.’ – Steve Whitaker, The Yorkshire Times
Read the full review here.
The Island Review, online Friday 26 April 2019
Two poems from Niall Campbell’s second collection Noctuary were featured on The Island Review to mark publication. The poems featured are ‘Crusoe, One Year on the Island’ and ‘February Morning’.
‘Written from his new home in Leeds, Campbell records with lyrical beauty and tenderness the experience of young fatherhood. He draws on the seascapes, myths and wildlife of South Uist, the island where he grew up which featured heavily in Moontide, his debut collection and recipient of the Saltire First Book of the Year Award and the inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award.’ – The Island Review
Click here to see the feature.
[22 April 2020]