"In Mortal Memory" is a collection of lyric poems, celebratory if often melancholy, both elegiac and ironic. Affirming that life is 'all becoming' McNeillie mourns what that means in terms of loss and sorrow at time passing. The sea is a powerful presence, its meaning drawn both from the northern landscapes in which McNeillie's work is rooted, and from the work of French poets, from Baudelaire and Hugo to Rimbaud and Corbiere. The poems pitch up and down across formalities, against the idea of purity, while sustaining a rhyming, singing line.
ANDREW McNEILLIE was born in North Wales in 1946 and read English at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is the Literature Editor at Oxford University Press; in 2002 he established the Clutag Press to publish poetry. His collection of poems Nevermore (2000), in Carcanet's Oxford Poets series, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. His collection Now, Then was published by OxfordPoets/Carcanet in 2002.