June 27, 2010

David Kinloch

David Kinloch [Scotland]

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, David Kinloch grew up in the city and took a degree in French and English at the University of Glasgow. Subsequently he studied at the University of Oxford and then worked as a teacher of French at various colleges and universities, including the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm, Paris), University College, Swansea (Wales) and the University of Salford (England) before returning to Glasgow in 1990 to take up a post in French at the University of Strathclyde where he is now Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing.

     At the University, Kinloch helped to establish The Edwin Morgan Trust in the memory of the later Scottish author, Edwin Morgan. Money through the Trust is disbursed among Scottish poets under the age of thirty every two years.
     While a student in Oxford, he co-founded the poetry magazine Verse with Robert Crawford and Henry Hart, and he has also been editor of Southfields.

     His academic publications include a monograph on the French thinker Joseph Joubert, studies of Mallarmé and work in the field of Translation Studies as well as essays on the “auld alliance” between France and Scotland. He is the author of four books of poetry: Dustie-Fute, Faris-Forfar, Un Tour d’Ecosse and In My Father’s House. In 2004, he was a recipient of a Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award.

     A feature of his work to date has been the attempt to create relatively large-scale sequences which allow different kinds of poetry (in both English and Scots) to counterpoint each other. What happens when “traditional” lyrics cohabit with more experimental prose-poems and fables? Un Tour d’Ecosse, for example, takes the reader on a manic Tour de France type cycle tour of Scotland with Lorca and Whitman as the feverishly pedaling cyclists. This is poetry that is alternately elegiac and humorous and tries to interrogate the links between sexual and national identities.


Dustie-Fute (London: Vennel Press, 1992), Paris-Forfar (Edinburgh: Polygon, 1994); Un Tour d’Ecosse (Manchester, England: Carcanet, 2001); In My Father’s House (Manchester, England: Carcanet, 2005); Finger of a Frenchman (Manchester, England: Carcanet, 2013)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English

Lazarus (eftir the Latin o Prudentius)

Lazarus, tell us o the rackle-haundit
voice o Christ at rapped the lairstane
whaur ye ligg slumpt in pit-mirk
lik a craw in mist. Tell us o the lip
o Charybdis, the kyle at curls around
the Earl o Hell’s big hoose,
yon unkent burn aye trinlin fire.
At the lair’s threshwart,
-haipit wi muckle stanes -
stauns the Lord an ca’s his frien’s name:
‘Lazarus, come furth!’
Staughtway the stanes rowe back
an the ugsome grave ootpits
a livin corp, a diedman straughlin.
Oh, guid-sisters, lowse the linens lichtsomely!
Only the scent o strinkled spice is in the lyft:
camovine an corrydander, clow an nitmug.
Nae guff o bodily decay pirls up.
The een, aince weezin wi atter, blink,
sheen an skime lik keekin gless,
chowks are lit wi cramasie
at aince were pock yarred,
skin harlin aff an quick wi hotterel.
Noo the smashin man staps furth,
the slot o his briest lik a burn i munelicht.
Wha hae slaiked the thrapple o yon decrippit corp?
Only the man at gied him body,
wha sowfft thru the bree an glaur He mooldit,
wha smit the slumpy yird wi life.
O Daith, douce an doon-hadden noo,
Daith, aince stanedeif, sing smaa
an hearken tae the laa.
Wha hauds sic pooer? Confess:
Oor Faither alane protecks me frae yer hauns
an He is Jesus.

Rackle-handed – having powerful hands; lairstane –
tombstone; ligg – lie; pit-mirk – intense darkness; kyle –
a strait, a sound; unkent – unknown; trinlin – wheel,
trundle; threshwart – threshold; haipit – heaped; muckle
– big; rowe – roll; ugsome – frightful, horrible;
straughlin – struggling; lowse – loosen, set free;
lichtsomely – joyously; strinkled – sprinkled; lyft – air,
sky; camovine – camomile; corrydander – coriander;
clow – clove; nitmug – nutmeg; guff – stink; pirl –
spiral; weezin – oozing; atter – poison, purulent matter;
sheen – shine; skime – gleam with reflected light; keekin
gless – mirror; chowk – cheek; cramasie – crimson;
aince – once; yarred – marked; harl – peel; hotterel –
festering sores; smashing – vigorous, strapping; slot –
the hollow depression running down the middle of the
chest; slaik – quench; thrapple – throat; sowfft – blow,
whistle softly; bree – liquid, broth; glaur – mud, term of
contempt for a person or thing; mooldit – moulded;
slumpy – marshy, muddy; doon-hadden – kept in
subjection; sing smaa – adopt a deferential or
submissive tone; laa – law; pooer – power.

Reprinted from Painted, spoken, no. 8 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by David Kinloch.

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