Niall Campbell narrates new poem on Radio 4 Feature

Niall Campbell narrates new poem on Radio 4 Feature

‘Addicts, parents of addicts and recovering addicts in Dundee told of their harrowing ordeals to poet Niall Campbell, who in turn weaved an uncomfortable, yet compelling oral testimony.’ – Stewart Henderson, choosing The Ballad of the Fix for Radio 4’s Pick of the Week


Pick of the Week, BBC Radio 4, 6.15pm, Sunday 1 October 2019

The 'soundscape and verse documentary' The Ballad of the Fix, featuring a new poem by Niall Campbell, was chosen by Stewart Henderson for his Pick of the Week on 1 October.
The clip played featured extracts from the testimony, Niall’s poem and the beautiful sound-score by Jon Nicholls.

Available until 29 October 2019.  Forward to 16.40 to hear the clip.

The Ballad of the Fix, BBC Radio 4, 8pm, Monday 24 September 2019, repeated Wednesday 25 September, 11pm

A very moving Radio 4 feature with Scottish poet Niall Campbell. Testimony from addiction victims is intercut with Niall’s specially written poem, which he reads himself and music composed by Jon Nicholls.

‘The story of Scotland's deadly drug crisis narrated by the voice of the narcotic itself. Scotland has the highest rate of reported drug deaths in the European Union. There has been a rapid rise of cheap, imported synthetic drugs - especially Etizolam, an illegal tablet similar to Valium but with an unpredictable potency often many times higher. But why do so many people, especially young men, feel drawn towards this dangerous self-medication? Scottish poet Niall Campbell explores the lives and deaths of a small number of drug users and of their families in Dundee. Using original music by Jon Nicholls and found sound, Niall’s poem weaves through first-hand accounts of the addictive process to create an elegy to the lost and those they leave behind.’

Available via BBC Sounds, as is the 2018 companion piece The Ballad of the Blade with Momtaza Mehri.

Click here to listen to this half-hour feature.


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 in April 2019.  It is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection 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.

[03 October 2019]

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