For our Saturday evening reading we bring you two poets whose work chimes with bright images and delicately-wrought details. Niall Campbell’s Noctuary is a night-lit diary of fatherhood that occupies all the rooms of the house at odd hours of the night; Mona Arshi’s Dear Big Gods is a formally brilliant collection of poems that feel at once both mythical and grounded, finely tuned to all the voices of our world.
Niall Campbell was born in 1984 on the island of South Uist, one of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 2011 and his first book-length collection, Moontide (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, the Saltire First Book of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. It is also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His second book-length collection, Noctuary (Bloodaxe Books, 2019), was shortlisted for the 2019 Forward Prize for Best Collection.
Mona Arshi trained as a lawyer and worked for Liberty, the UK human rights organisation, for several years. She began writing poetry in 2008 and received a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She has been a prize-winner in the Magma, Troubadour and Manchester Creative Writing Competitions. Mona’s debut collection Small Hands won the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection at the Forward Prizes for Poetry in 2015.