Fallen Stock | John Bolland
John Bolland is originally from Paisley but has based himself in the North East of Scotland for most of the last four decades. His poetry and short fiction in Scots and English have been widely published in magazines and anthologies. His work is informed by the experience and language of these regions and by a long career in the North Sea oil industry. Examining themes of identity, social and personal resilience and inter-generational responsibility, his work explores the predicaments we share in day-to-day working life. His website is at www.aviewfromthelonggrass.com.
His debut collection explores a world of fierce, open hearted persistence in the face of the challenges, compromises and disappointments of daily life—in oil fields and sheep walks, on shooting estates and crofts, on ice floes and in drinking dens. The poems, like folk-tales, capture essential truths in a web of anecdote, wry-humour and dialect, relating experiences of the past and present in a voice that rejects easy nostalgia or pastoral fantasy.
‘Fallen Stock is a joy to read. Bolland is a witty story-teller with a penchant for mixing the absurd with the sublime. His poems are full of anecdotes, memories, and striking snippets of dialogue which are woven together with great effect.’
‘Urgent, sensual poems. Lost voices plucked from winter winds. In Fallen Stock John Bolland takes us from the bone crushing cold of North Sea Oilfields to Guatemalan drinking dens. He taps a well of lyric clarity and delivers from it essential truths. A vital and original collection.’
‘Deftly traversing various styles and dialects, Fallen Stock richly depicts working life in the north-east of Scotland. These pieces speak from the seams between nature and industry, present and past, with an unflinching commitment to portraying reality in all of its rough complexity.’
‘There is blue-collar muscularity and an urgency to get right the exact details of labour, landscape and memory in Bolland’s poetry. It is alert to the precise phenomenology of the natural world and the hard won almost-allegories to be gleaned from inside ‘this abattoir of working lives’; darkly humorous in its studies of character, the nature of time and the tough existence of the poetically disenfranchised.
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