In this anthology rich depictions of island flora and fauna sit alongside sightings of croft dwellers and ferry-lowpers. Expressions of affection and accounts of imprisonment and bereavement sit cheek by jowl with evocations of drowned sailors, corporeal and ghostly. Praise poems alternate with diary entries and holiday postcards. Others cover stretches of water: Corrievreckan, say, or the Minch. And while there is a recurring sense of island heritage, and of belonging, the poet's feet need not be actively on island soil or on the deck of a fishing-boat.

In Other Worlds editor Stewart Conn has sought poems to set readers' hearts racing through a sharpening of memory or in opening new vistas and evoking new worlds and states of mind from the Orkneys and Shetland to the Hebrides, to Mull and Iona, Arran and Ailsa Craig; from St Kilda and Luing to Inchcape, the Torren rocks and the Isle of May.



Other Worlds front cover

from the Introduction

In a list of unclassified diseases in a friend’s notebook, Lawrence Durrell came across Islomania, defined as ‘a rare but by no means unknown affliction of the spirit’ affecting those who find islands somehow irresistible. For such islomanes, he observed, ‘the mere knowledge that they are on an island, a little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with an indescribable intoxication’. That this related purely to the Aegean would have had Hugh MacDiarmid fuming: ‘I know the Isles of Greece myself: they are not fit to be mentioned in the same breath as the Hebrides’.


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