Ian Crockatt has published 10 collections of poetry. His poems have been commended or prize winners in a number of national competitions. He has twice been awarded writers' grants by the Scottish Arts Council.
ORIGINAL MYTHS, with etchings by Paul Fleming, was short listed for the Saltire Society’s Scottish Book of the Year Award in 2001.
His chapbook SKALD (2009, re-printed 2011), is a 30 poem series based on a tightly-wrought form developed by Viking court poets of the 9th – 13th centuries.
PURE CONTRADICTION, his selection of translations from the work of Rainer Maria Rilke, was published by ARC Publications on February 15 2012. It was awarded the Society of Authors' Schlegel-Tieck prize for translation in February 2014.
'CRIMSONING THE EAGLE'S CLAW: The Viking Poetry of Rognvaldr Kali Kolsson, earl of Orkney'
was published, also by ARC Publications, in September 2014. It is a Poetry Book Society recommended translation for Autumn 2014, and includes a Preface by Kevin Crossley-Holland, a comprehensive Introduction by the translator, and illustrations by Wenna crockatt.
'THE SONG WEIGHER: Complete Poems of Egill Skallagrimsson, Tenth century Viking and Skald' was published by ARC Publications in 2017
For a flavour of his poetry click on each book’s image for an extract, and/0r see below.
To order' CRIMSONING THE EAGLE'S CLAW' - Rognvaldr Kali Kolsson, 'THE SONG WEIGHER' - Egill Skallagrimsson or 'PURE CONTRADICTION' - Rainer Maria Rilk' go to
An e-book 'Borderlands, a child' (translations from contemporary French artist and writer Dan Lay), published in 2016, is available from Ian Crockatt's Amazon page.
For any of the others check the Amazon page or e mail
To contact Ian directly about his work e-mail
The Bridge Over The Atlantic
They took our birlinn, stem and stern-posts
High as a Venetian gondola’s, and up-turned it.
Every tide in the bladder-wracked sea-tongue its keel
Bridged, swam the eel-current
Races that tracked South and North
Into and out of the Atlantic. And they
Docked our tongues, every man’s that dared
Give out a taste of his father’s banter,
Effortless sound-shapes an islander’s born to.
One soul this end of the keel-bridge, one the other;
Veritable shape-shifters we were, minds gone
Evasive as mist with keeping speech-thoughts in curb,
Raking the past for the fuelling of anger.
Those that got out, the salmon-stubborn, ran
Hard-headed on a spring ebb out to sea;
Everything given up but nothing given over.
And from Mull and Seil, Caithness and Ireland,
Sweden and Italy
The disinherited massed in a marvellous Sargasso;
Language, labour, dance of the old worlds gathered
And ransacked the past for ways of living
New. New? For our first night we took a skin canoe,
Tipped its fur-clad family into Scajaquada Creek, then
Inverted it. We wound their heathen souls in a keening
Calliach’s plaid of consonants and vowels .
[The 18th century bridge over tidal Clachan Sound, 12 miles south west of Oban, links Seil island to the mainland. It has long been known as The Bridge Over the Atlantic. After Culloden, when the English outlawed the wearing of tartan and speaking in the Gaelic language, those living on Seil island did both at home, but, legend has it, changed out of their kilts into trews in the inn by the bridge before crossing over to the mainland.
Scajaquada Creek is one of New York's many rivers.]
JOY (from DAWN WALK)
I stood listening. Larks
were stringing together earth’s poles and meridians,
the bedrock and the breathable gases,
Unseen. I thought
the atmosphere pulsed with invisible hearts.
Old crows flapping out of dumped cow-straw
were new ideas.
as ploughing aircraft-carriers, ice
gouged these dark groins and threw this skyline up
as it ground towards the sea.
I stopped listening,
blocked thinking – I saw the gannet-impaler
stun a wave. And I was there
in the rocketing stream-fall of his feathers,
in the kaleidoscopic dazzle of mackerel-scales
he coveted, buoyed up
by the tonnage of green sea. Larks
were reaching their zenith
behind my breast-bone and I opened my mouth
and I sang them. Thought-shoals
poured out of me.
Since then I haven’t risked the grip
of that upwelling current,
the way it twisted the rudder
and thrummed the centreboard
of the deep-sheered dinghy
I built, when we sailed
the western limb
of that island, through the over-falls,
thinking the tide would change tack
and sweep us
in a liquid curve round
its southern extremity.
was singing her drowning-song
between Scarba and Jura,
planets were spinning themselves
into dark exhaustion.
Six hours to cut
a course through those grasping
water-holes, their shoals of hooking
fingers that stalled the bow
and bent the fin, their black lips
that pursed to raised whorls
and spouted sour spray
till I thought we were soaked in hag-
spittle. Bruised by cold,
we watched night fall. Water-crazed mares
reared on the un-buoyed shore.
Pure Contradiction - Rilke
( ARC Publications, 2012)
(Koo Press, 2009)
Blizzards of the Inner Eye
(Peterloo Poets, 2003)
(Cruachan Publications, 2000)
The Lyrical Beast
(Salix Publications, 2004)
The Crucifixion Bird
(Northwords Folio, 2002)
(Chapman Publishing, 1996)