Publication Date : 25 Apr 2019
A noctuary is a diary for the late hours. In Niall Campbell’s poems, this is a time for reflection, discovering what it means to be a young father, anxious, caring and protective, deeply connected to the new, precious life of another human being. The deftly lyrical poems in his second collection illuminate a night world of disturbed sleep and half dream, midnight feeds, the quiet of snowfall through the hours of dark. At the same time the grown man now living in the city reconnects with his own childhood on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, the territory of his highly praised first collection, Moontide. Hearing his father’s voice in how he calls to his son, other images of the island’s seascapes, myths and wildlife return to him in Noctuary.
'Full of striking moments, the poems of Moontide are illuminated by powerful lyric impulses.' – David Wheatley, Guardian, on Moontide
'In his understated debut collection, Campbell, who spent his childhood on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, draws on an intimately known landscape as witness to solitude and shared lives.' – Maria Crawford, Financial Times, Summer books 2014, on Moontide
'With precise language, musicality and insight, Campbell’s first collection explores solitude, companionship and memory against a backdrop of closely observed nature. His intimate poems draw on the seascapes and myths of his native Eriskay, in the Outer Hebrides, but take the same sharp-focused eye to other places, too... Meditative and haunting – my favourite poetry book of 2014 so far' – Juanita Coulson, The Lady, on Moontide