NIGHT OWLING by Peter Roberts
Peter Roberts lives in southwest Scotland. He started writing poetry in 2016 and won the Fresh Voice Award at the Wigtown Poetry Competition in 2020. This is his first collection of poems. It is an insomniac’s exploration of the emotional archaeology of family and early experience, the characters who peopled his childhood, a life shaped in its values and hopes by the hill country of the north. His poems also address ways of seeing, the evoking power of decaying human landscapes, loss and redemption, traits of masculinity… and, weaving in and out of the poems, birds, carrying the spiritual baggage with which we endow them.
Peter’s poems have been published in print and online. He is an active participant in the vibrant poetry scene in southern Scotland and reads his work widely. He is part of the team that organises The Bakehouse poetry venue and Big Lit Festival in Gatehouse of Fleet. From 2015 to 2018 he led the project that won a Creative Place Award from Creative Scotland for his home community of Moniaive and Glencairn, and co-ordinated the three-year arts programme funded by the award. He is currently working on his next poetry project, Archipelago of Silences, exploring the making of masculinity.
"Peter Roberts is a terrific addition to Dempsey and Windle’s catalogue. Intelligent, honest and perceptive, the poems in Night Owling offer beautifully observed character sketches and landscapes, exploring territories of loss, guilt and memory with a keen, compassionate, sometimes humorous eye. A highly recommended first collection from a deserving winner of the prestigious Dumfries and Galloway Fresh Voice Award at the Wigtown Poetry Prize 2020. "
—Chrys Salt MBE
"I think Peter Robert’s’ gift is one we all aspire to, revealing the very ordinary, banal even, as a series of small and developing miracles. His dad, adjusting the TV was 'making pictures of futures for us all to walk into'. A kite 'weaves a lucent roof over sanctified space.' Turning mere words into a kind of transformative magic is a masterful accomplishment and there is a wealth of it here."
"Overall, of the many pleasures in reading Roberts’ poetry the major one for me is that here we have a poet who is not afraid to let go of the rein at times. That he does this without losing control is even more to his credit. He avoids becoming stilted in his rhetorical flights because he is so careful in his choice of words and arranges them with lapidary precision. Roberts strikes me as a writer, like Hopkins, who loves words, collects and curates them, then employs them for maximum effect [...] Roberts’ ability to paint pictures with words produces vivid results [...] Night Owling is an impressive debut that establishes Roberts as a force to be reckoned with on the poetry scene. It is a book to own and treasure."
— David Mark Williams, poet & short fiction writer, in The Lake.
paperback 150 x 210mm
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