SOPHIE McKEAND

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Sophie is a writer of water and earth, of migration and roots. These threads of poetry are woven throughout Sophie’s life in celebration of the kaleidoscopic forces that make up the unnameable essence of being.

After selling/donating/gifting 95% of her belongings in 2017, Sophie now permanently slow-travels across Europe in a self-converted van with her partner and two rescue-hounds. This continual pilgrimage to the land invites a more nomadic, minimalist way of being into life and art, encouraging the exploration of issues such as land ownership, borders, nationalism, consumerism, environmentalism, belonging, transience, technology, the language of the land, and the poetic imagination.

Sophie writes about these experiences through fiction in The MthR Trilogy, as well as through non-fiction and poetry on the OUTSIDER blog.

 

“Politics and nature, individuality and community, are all fused in McKeand’s grand and capacious vision. It is what makes this book so charismatic and endearing.”
Poetry Wales

“… a serious, as well as a seriously playful, poet.”
New Welsh Review

Sophie McKeand joined us on stage at The Good Life Experience … where she captivated the audience with her profound, mythological, musical poems that not only crossed borders but seemed to dismantle them entirely, collapsing time and space and merging visions of the past with narratives of the personal.
Caught By The River

Sophie McKeand's Rebel Sun is no dying star, but a fiery tour de force, full of surreal and ingenious imagery. [...] a passionate and heartfelt book, a collection of modern agitprop poetry in which Marxism and landscape rub easy shoulders, and the Rebel Sun acts as an agitator, its manifesto calling for a reconnection with the natural world [...] Accomplished and vibrant, this is a collection to cherish.
Kathy Miles, Planet Magazine

Sophie writes poems in which strange, old, true things are forced into contact with the present. They twist and turn and you never get quite what you expect from them, which is what gives them their power… some of the most interesting poems I've read in a long while. Genuinely original.
Paul Kingsnorth

An allusive, restless sensibility turned outwards to the world; her words have heft, they grasp their way out of poetry into landscape.
Jay Griffiths

 

Publications:
The Madness of Sara Mansfield, first novel in The MthR Trilogy, May 2021.
The Slow-Time Traveller, hand-stitched poetry pamphlet, Aug 2019.
Rebel Sun, hard-back full length poetry collection, Parthian Books, 2017.
Hanes, hand-stitched poetry pamphlet, 2016.
Coflyfr: experimentations with time, online time/poetry project, 2013.
Metaforestry: storiau o’r Gogs, poetry/album/art, 2013.
DRKMTR, an experiment with spoken word, noise and art, 2012.
Prophecy: conversations with my Self, hand-stitched poetry pamphlet, 2010.
Visit the shop for more details on these and other works.

Awards:
Arts Council Wales Creative Wales Award 2018.
Literature Wales Young People's Laureate Wales April 2016 - March 2018.
Literature Wales Writers Bursary Award 2017.
Winner of the OutSpoken award for Innovation in Poetry 2015.
Longlisted for the National Poetry Competition 2014.

Residencies:
Poet in Residence – Chirk Castle, January 2019.
Poet in Residence - Bute Park, Cardiff, 2017/2018.
Writer in Residence - Wales Arts Review magazine. January 2017.
Associate Artist - Poet in Residence, Oriel Davies, Newtown. 1st November - 20th December 2016.
Poet in Residence - Focus Wales Festival, 12th - 14th May 2016.
Poet in Residence - Ymuno Festival, 4th - 6th July 2014.
Poet in Residence - Llangollen Pavilion, May 2010 - May 2011.

Commissions:
The Grange University Hospital: poem on display celebrating Aneurin Bevan’s legacy.
Woodland Trust: poem carved onto one of 10, 15ft legacy poles across the UK. Bute Park, Cardiff.
Ecorus: poem to celebrate 30 years of Erasmus+.
Wales Millennium Centre for the Aberfan Memorial Concert: Cymro - poem performed by Michael Sheen OBE.
Dydd Llun Pawb: poem written and performed in spring ‘17 for the opening of the new Oriel Wrecsam in 2018.
Culture Action Llandudno: poem written and performed at the Tabernacle Sunday Service. Nov 2016.
BBC Radio Wales for National Poetry Day’s FREE The Word (2017).

Featured:
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio Wales
S4C
Caught by the River
If Women Rose Rooted (by Sharon Blackie)
Kolkata Literature Festival
Hay Festival
Dark Mountain
Wales Arts Review
Institute for Welsh Affairs

Poetry/fiction/creative non-fiction published in:
Poetry Wales
Earthlines
Adbusters
Tears in the Fence
Dark Mountain
The Lonely Crowd
Bare Fiction
New Welsh Review
Caught by the River – An Antidote to Indifference.
Planet Magazine