Night Orders: Poems from the Arctic and Antarctic
In 2005-6 Jean McNeil spent three months in the Antarctic as the recipient of the British Antarctic Survey/Arts Council of England International Fellowships to write a contemporary literary novel set in the Antarctic, published as The Ice Lovers (2009). This collection of poems and photographs also comes from her visit.
Vivid, immediate, these poem-sequences are ‘verbal photographs of essentially mysterious places’, where the ‘polar night teaches that to know light you must also know darkness’. In Night Orders the novelist’s eye for telling detail marries with a keen ear for patterns of sound. McNeil’s often daring imagery and willingness to trust the music of poetry is perfectly suited to her task of mapping in language these extraordinary worlds.