reviewing jackdaw’s songs of the north

Here is a wonderful review of my book, Heading North, written by the great poet Nat Hall from her Shetland perch. My gratitude to her.


img_8071Out of darkness, the bleakest point from the island, came cobbled thoughts, a flash of ink blended with salt – now nights have cleared, here comes my humble impressions of jackdaw’s blend of geopoetics inside his début collection, Heading North.

“Heading North”, by Andrew James Murray, is the second volume from Nordland Publishing’s Song of the North Series. Its author defines himself as a northern guy with a northern accent and attitude, yet attracted to even more northern latitudes, landscapes and who follows in the tradition of both geographical and inner landscapes – bleaker in places, mysterious and remote. His journey takes us from the comfort of his familiar Manchester world to the Ring of Brodgar on a far away archipelago bathed by both a sea and an ocean, via a myriad of known & unknown places – Berlin, Prague to the cobbled streets of Stromness. But it also…

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The Jungle Has A New Queen

Have you ever seen I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here?

At the end of each series, the winner from the previous year comes on to hand the crown over to the new King or Queen of the Jungle. Well that’s how I feel right now. In December I was the latest poet to be published under the Songs of the North umbrella.


My book Heading North was the second collection brought out by Nordland Publishing in the series, and now a third collection has been published: Compass Head by Shetland-based poet Nat Hall.

It is another quality book by Nordland, rich both visually and lyrically. Here is an excerpt of the review I gave on Amazon:

‘Sometimes the imagery is elegant and sensual:

‘My fingers felt that final wave/flirting with your skin/in wet sand/smooth as a shell/or golden grain-/a silky sea/lace on our land/like petticoats/loose on your legs/plundering’
from From Shell To Sand

and other times simple and sharp:

‘February/sky like a shooting/Kalashnikov/fires hail stones on my/car roof just like bullets/on a tin can’
from Hit Sky

both styles equally effective.’


Compass Head  is a good collection of contemporary verse, and can be purchased here:

Nat’s WordPress blog can be found here:

From the Jackdaw to the Blackbird: the crown and baton has been passed on. Enjoy your reign.

nor, north, northern

My book and a glimpse of a poem, along with two other books, feature in this post by Nat Hall, the next and soon-to-be crowned Songs Of The North poet. I will let you guys know when her book is out. In the meanwhile, check out her post on the link below.

Source: nor, north, northern