by Alice Oswald
Archipelago is one of the most important and influential literary magazines of the last twenty years. Running to twelve editions, it was edited by scholar-poet Andrew McNeillie, with the assistance later of James McDonald Lockhart, and began as an attempt to reimagine the relationships between the islands of Ireland and Britain. Archipelago has brought together established and emerging artists in creative conversations that have transformed the study of islands, coasts and waterways. It journeys from the Shetlands to Cornwall, from the Aran Islands to the coast of Yorkshire, tracing the cultures of diverse zones through some of the best in contemporary writing about place and people. This collection gathers poetry, prose and visual art in clusters grouped around the Irish and British archipelago, with contributions from an array of significant artists. With fifty contributors, Archipelago: A Reader includes: Moya Cannon is an Irish poet with seven published collections, the most recent being Collected Poems (2021). Deirdre Ni Chonghaile is a graduate of the University of Oxford and University College Cork. She is associated with NUI, Galway, and the University of Notre Dame, and is known for her work in music studies. Tim Dee is a naturalist, BBC radio producer and author of The Running Sky (2018). Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) was born in Northern Ireland. His career included teaching at Harvard and Oxford. He received many awards including the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1995. Kathleen Jamie is a Scottish writer whose work has appeared internationally. She has taught poetry at the University of Stirling since 2010. Michael Longley is a Northern Irish poet, and winner of the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, and the PEN Pinter Prize in 2017. Robert Macfarlane is a Writing Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He has won the EM Forster Award for Literature. Derek Mahon (1941-2020) was a Northern Irish poet. He won the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the Poetry Now Award. Andrew McNeillie is a Welsh poet and current Literature Editor at Oxford University Press. His memoir An Aran Keening was published by The Lilliput Press, and he is founder of the Clutag Press and publisher of the Archipelago series. Sinead Morrisey is a Northern Irish winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Poetry Prize. She has taught in Belfast and Newcastle. 'Archipelago met and extended my own strong sense that there was a need to turn the compass-rose of some storytelling and art in Britain and Ireland away from the south and east and towards the north and west; away from the metropolis and towards the margins.' -Robert Macfarlane
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Date of Publication: 09/09/2021