Tapsalteerie Press have just published a new collection of poetry from the award-winning poet, Stewart Sanderson. An Offering explores the linguistic, natural and cultural heritage of this country, rich yet inquisitive in style. With titles such as Hamesucken, Iona and lastly, Leaving Europe, it’s a collection that delves into the history and brings us back to the modern day.
Glasgow born, Stewart Sanderson has a PhD in translation in poetry and his work has been recognised by a number of national prizes, notably an Eric Gregory Award and a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. He has been twice shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, as well as receiving commendations from the PN Review and Stephen Spender poetry prizes. He has contributed to a number of international collaborations, participating in translation exchanges with Frisian, North African and Russian writers. An Offering is his second collection of poetry. At the young age of 28 I am sure this won’t be his last collection either.
From the offset, in his first poem, he sets out the premise for the collection. Titled An Offering, he clearly states he wishes to provide, “certain changes which a human voice might ring upon the silence,” a commentary perhaps if you will. Setting Scotland’s context and connection to the wider world with poems Reality in Scotland and Hamesucken, it is evident that Sanderson wants to offer a universal perspective to our living, opening up the gates of closed minds. Shapinsay is a short poem, which through the use of alliteration and wordplay explores Scottish names for places, in this instance, the Orkney isle.
Sanderson’s interest with language, translation and Scottish culture is made clear in his poem, Holofernes, “I too have often caught the rich fumes rising from the feast of languages and like him tasted saffron words, syntax of frangipani – dialects of burnt sugar on a glass’s rim.” Not only a wonderful piece of imagery, this really hits home what this collection offers, a keen consideration of meaning and belonging in language. It’s a fantastic collection of poems, which really get you thinking about Scottish heritage and language and where it sits in the wider context. A varied collection of lengths, styles and structures, he threads them together through the themes and vivid imagery. I urge you to read it at least once. For a mere £5 from Tapsalteerie you cannot be losing out.
Stewart Sanderson’s An Offering is available now, published by Tapsalteerie.