For some, the title Transparencies will recall family photos of the 1960s and 70s, and many of the poems in this collection are indeed nostalgic. But the book is mostly about the transparency of existence, as veils of meaning dissolve and reform, both in the physical world and in those areas of language, memory and love that most define us.
The content of her work is often extremely personal, yet her voice is neither individualistic nor offputtingly subjective. There is a humanity and humility here that means readers find themselves listening to songs that are timeless and universal. – James Reid Baxter
‘It is as impressive as anything I’ve read in years. There is a bravery about it – the way it confronts or looks calmly at the passage of time – but a relish in the surface and deep beauties of the world. And “Gift” is my poem of 2013!’
review by Clare Best
Meg Bateman was born in Edinburgh in 1959 and teaches at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in the Isle of Skye, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands which recently made her a professor. She learned Gaelic in South Uist and Aberdeen University where she later taught for many years. Her poetry collections are Òrain Ghaoil / Amhráin Grá (1989), Aotromachd / Lightness (1997), Soirbheas / Fair Wind (2007) and Transparencies (2013), two of which were short-listed for the Scottish Book of the Year awards. She has co-edited and translated four anthologies of historical Gaelic verse.