The waif-like figure peering from Bonnard's "The Breakfast Room" instils a sense of mystery and marginality in Stewart Conn's title-poem. Among other portents of transience in his latest collection are two briefly glimpsed duck shooters. Responses to music, tinged with warmth and humour, highlight the redeeming power of art. The book concludes with a group of love poems imbued with tenderness and a treasuring of the here and now.
Stewart Conn was born in Glasgow in 1936, grew up in Ayrshire, and has lived in Edinburgh for many years. He has published several poetry collections, and his plays have been widely performed. His books include Stolen Light: Selected Poems (1999), Ghosts at Cockcrow (2005) and The Breakfast Room (2010) from Bloodaxe, and his memoir Distances (2001) from Scottish Cultural Press. He has won awards from the Scottish Arts Council and the Society of Authors, among others, while An Ear to the Ground was a Poetry Book Society Choice. He formerly worked as a BBC drama producer, and was Edinburgh's first Makar or Poet Laureate in 2002-05.