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A book of poetry in English by Irene Howat
Irene Howat is a biographer and poet. Brought up in the land of Burns she learned to read and write before going to school and has never stopped learning. She writes in both Scots and English and has about sixty books in print, mostly biographies for both adults and children. Irene Howat is a past winner of the McCash Prize, the Robert McLellan Tassie and the Hugh MacDiarmid Tassie. Her recent publications include The Crackit Cup and The Gladness of Birds, published by Handsel Press in 2018 and 2020, and she is one of the three poets whose work makes up Modren Makars Yin, published by Tapsalteerie in 2022.
These poems reflect Irene Howat’s experience of life. A Scot through and through, she visits people and places, sights and sounds that mean something to her and introduces us to them. We watch a sunrise over Arran and relax on the beach at Machrihanish, admire a spider’s web and think about a cherry tree whose autumn leaves have been blown away by a gale. We see her sense of humour in several of her poems while some others give glimpses right into her heart.
Kenneth Steven writes: “I left the last page feeling I had been for a time in Irene Howat’s Ayrshire, both now in this present time and in her childhood and her days of growing up. And I came away from that Ayrshire the richer, though the riches were not as the world considers them: they were instead scents and sounds and sights. And such riches can’t be counted – not as the world considers counting – but rather carried away in the heart.”