Monday, July 19, 2021

Kenneth Steven

Kenneth Steven is a Scottish writer and broadcaster, known particularly for his poetry. He has also written novels, and books for children.

The Scottish landscape features prominently in his work, especially the rocky western islands. He has said, “I just know that faith and poetry have a kinship within my life.” The island of Iona, which he calls his “spiritual home,” looms large within his poetry; so much so that Paraclete Press has just released a collection that draws all of his related poems together ― Iona: New and Selected Poems (2021).

Together with his wife, photographer Kristina Howard, he leads retreats to Iona each October, exploring the Celtic Christian path.

Of Steven’s book Coracle, John F. Deane said, “Here is poetry of rare honesty, touching on the vital needs of the spirit in our age and manifesting a profound awareness of ― and concern for ― the world about us…”

Kenneth Steven’s BBC Radio 4 documentary on the island of St Kilda won a 2006 Sony Award. He has recently been commissioned to write and present a new series of programs on Scottish islands for BBC Radio 3’s The Essay.


Silence still lives in the spaces they have not paved;
out of reach of the traffic of an age
that does not sleep, that has forgotten God.
It is somewhere down back roads
where swallows ripple-curve the held air
among blossomings of trees,
where the wind does not need to be.
These are the places to which
one puts one’s ear like a child,
for listening is to be a child again ―
small enough to understand
what silence means.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock.