June-Marion McCready


I was wowed by Marion and her poetry when we met on a week’s residency last year. She would go out into the dark in her ballet flats to find inspiration in the village churchyard. Her poem about iris petals would bleed before our eyes and some of her readings brought us to tears. At the launch of Tree Language this year, the heartbreak ‘Ben’ poem she read to us one evening in Ventenac so impressed Don Share that she was invited to record three poems for POETRY.

I was so pleased and not altogether surprised to hear that Marion had won the Melita Hume Poetry Prize. Her dedication to poetry and the energy it must take to think, write and raise two small children leaves me in awe. And she keeps a great blog. Above all, it is her way with words and images, the way she surprises and delights in the sensuous and sensual. I am always looking to see what poets do with the moon. Marion’s moon breaks all the rules…


Marion McCready lives in Argyll, Scotland. Her poetry pamphlet collection, Vintage Sea, was published by Calder Wood Press (2011). She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013 and won the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2013). Her first full-length collection, Tree Language, was published by Eyewear Publishing (2014). Her website can be found here – http://sorlil.wix.com/mmccready and she blogs here – http://sorlily.blogspot.co.uk/.

Drovers’ Loch

Munro and Corbett
climb into each other’s pockets,

birthmarked by tree patch
and sun-tattooed.

The sheer blue of the laundered sky.

The brute cry
of the drovers’ oxen

as they ferry the cattle
across the loch.

Thick skins blackening
and glistening;

cloven hooves swimming
through plankton, fossil coral,

peacock worms.
When the darkness comes

it brings with it
an oxen moon.

Which is the memory bank
of the land.

(published in Poetry Salzburg Review)

The Black Art

The black art of the shore
strokes the gills behind my ears

The black art of the shore
rises around us.
Mussels crackle-comb the air,
rocks jostle with sea drift,
our conversation takes place
in my hair.
I am a lampshade of a girl;
I light up the rocks
with the whirl of my skirt.
You may think I am a sort of fish, you may
stroke the gills behind my ears.

(published in Gutter Magazine)

Both poems in Tree Language

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