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After the success of his first novel, the much-lauded A Book of Death & Fish, Ian Stephen returns to poetry and his passion for all things marine with a collection that evokes the dramatic waterscapes, rocky shores and wind-blasted textures of his native Hebrides. A natural-born son of the sea, Ian writes with an intensity, spareness and precision that echoes the turmoil, the beauty – the essential character – of the northern seas and their liminal coastlines.

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About the author

Ian Stephen

Ian Stephen is a poet, writer, storyteller, artist and sailor from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. His prose, poetry and drama have been published around the world and garnered several awards, including the Robert Louis Stevenson Award. He was the first artist-in-residence at StAnza, Scotland’s annual poetry festival. Ian’s novel, A Book of Death and Fish (Saraband, 2014) was named as best book of the year in several media polls.

“His poetry is distinguished by its precision. There is no surfeit to it. His poems are short and taut as well-set sails.” – Robert Macfarlane.

“His main subjects – seas, winds, tides, shorelines and horizons – are expressed in precisely observed details of shape, colour, texture and movement that capture the spirit of a place as well as the topography.” – James Aitchieson, Herald.

“Absorbing and riveting… dense, compelling and wildly idiosyncratic… splits the form open like a fresh catch, glistening and raw and singing with the sea.” – Kirsty Gunn, Guardian.

“A rugged landscape and stoic yet lyrical simplicity.” – Robert Morace, Professor of English at Daemen College, Amherst, NY.