Lesley Harrison

Lesley Harrison lives and works on the Angus coastline, her stepping stone for journeys to the North Isles and beyond, to Iceland, Svalbard and Greenland. Through poems and collaborations, she explores and inhabits these northern landscapes, which come alive through an intimacy of language and an inherent, uneasy sense of place grown out of weather, history, local myth and custom, and childhood fairy tales. Dogs on the shale, eels in the current, a ship strains as it’s pulled by a compass needle, a whaler unwinding the skin—Harrison’s poems voyage forth with visible breath, ‘as snow falls as light is in paper’.

lesleyharrisonpoetry.wordpress.com

Photo: Nina Subin

Events

Found In Translation »

Join us for the first outing of work created at our Scottish/Norwegian translation showcase

Sat 7 March | 15:30 - 16:30 | £5.50/£4.50 | Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Studio Theatre

Coastal writing »

A poetry workshop led by Lesley Harrison

Thu 5 March | 10:30 - 12:30 | £7.00 | Public Library, Church Square, Meeting Room

Poem

From Middle Ice
from The Voyage of the ‘Fox’ in the Arctic Seas by Captain Francis L. McClintock. London: John Murray, 1859.

 

*
All birds are scarce
the few retreating southward.

A raven was shot today    two eagles
at Bellot, a brace of willow grouse

our little auks the only birds remaining   
in twos and ones   –   obscure, barely visible.

I was fortunate to shoot a snowy owl;
the flesh is tender white, but tasteless.

*
Our harmonium is on the lower deck.
The men enjoy its pleasing tones.

While Christian turns its handle,
stellar crystals fall:

they have six points
and in the sun or moonlight

glisten brilliantly;
our masts and rigging

a lace crust, brittle as glass
gorgeous, with no disruption.

*
And there, at the sudden run
from glassy blue to mud

the white whales hide
obscured, like lumps in milk.

*
a ship
a brother in our trade
a joy in these barren regions.

Lesley Harrison

From Disappearance (Shearsman, 2020)