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Striking a Match in a Storm by Andrew McNeillie

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Published 31st March 2022. 

The Welsh poet Andrew McNeillie brings together in this generous and timely volume his seven collections of poems – including his most recent, Making Ends Meet, and his Forward-Prize-shortlisted Carcanet collection Nevermore (2000). McNeillie’s poems possess the same precision and ear for other voices which have made him a noted nature writer and an influential editor of the handsomely designed eco-literature magazine Archipelago, and like it, take as their focus the ‘unnameable archipelago’ of Britain and Ireland, at its wilder margins, with close observation of place, community, and hands-on outdoor experience. His celebrated memoir An Aran Keening (2001) is about a year’s stay on one of the islands of that Archipelago. His publishing house Clutag Press produces beautiful limited editions of work by some of his favourite writers – Hill and Heaney among them.

He is a witty writer and  an ironist, but he is also a visionary in the sense that his poems sharpen vision of the environment and the crucial minutiae of the natural world we partly inhabit.

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