Winner of the Melita Hume Poetry Prize
Tree Language is told in shard-like poems of supreme richness and finely balanced darkness - variously shaped, whittled to a point, almost sharp enough to draw blood. And although this is a book spiked with brambles and skeletal branches, shot through with frost and fossilled with plant-bones, blood is the slick thread that sews together its themes and landscapes:
war and personal tragedy, daffodils and poppies, Jerusalem, Scotland, colour and desolation.
Marion McCready was born in 1977 on the Isle of Lewis and brought up in Dunoon, a small town in the west coast of Scotland by the Firth of Clyde where she currently lives with her husband and two small children. Marion studied for a Joint Honours degree (1st Class) in Politics and Classical Civilisations at Glasgow University followed by an MLitt in Philosophy also at Glasgow University. Whilst at university she won the RSAMD Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize. She has performed her poetry at events in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Callander. Marion’s poems have been published or are due to be published in a variety of literary journals and magazines including Shearsman Magazine, Gutter, Envoi, Edinburgh Review, The Glasgow Herald, Northwords Now, Poetry Scotland, Anon, The Red Wheelbarrow, Poetry Salzburg Review and online at Shadowtrain, Horizon Review, The Ofi Press (Mexico), New Linear Perspectives, From Glasgow to Saturn and Ink, Sweat & Tears. Her poems have also been anthologised in Glimmer (Cinnamon Press 2010) and Bird Book I, (Sidekick Books 2011). Her debut pamphlet collection, Vintage Sea, was published by Calder Wood Press (2011). She recently won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award (2012/13).
And how do you survive? Your long-throat,
your red-rag-to-a-bull head?
You rise heavy in the night, stars drinking
from your poppy neck.
Your henna silks serenade me
under the breadth of the Pyrenees.
You move like an opera,
open like sea anemones.
You are earth’s first blood.
How the birds love you,
I envy your lipstick dress.
You are urgent as airmail, animal-red,
Ash Wednesday crosses tattooed on your head.
Your butterfly breath
releases your scents, your secrets,
bees blackening your mouth
as your dirty red laundry
all hangs out.