Poet Of The Week: Kenneth Steven

Poet Kenneth Steven

We chat to poet and author, Kennerth Steven. His lovely poem “Donald” is in our current issue.


Tell us about your poem ‘Donald’.

The poem was inspired by an old farmer who lived on the edge of Glenlyon in Highland Perthshire. He wasn’t a fluent Gaelic speaker, but he knew a fair amount of Gaelic. The first novel I wrote, called Dan, was inspired by Donald. He was just a thoroughly good man.


What other writing do you do?

I’m also a writer of fiction and a writer of essays. My most recent book is called “Atoms of Delight” and it’s about pilgrimages I make each and every year in Highland and Island Scotland. About going to hill lochs to find nature, going to St Columba’s Bay on Iona to find serpentine, swimming in a river pool.


Who are some of your favourite poets and authors?

I love many writers, both from Scotland and beyond. Neil Gunn is one of my favourite (which is why I chose the title “Atoms of Delight”), but I love the writing of CS Lewis, Tolkein, and many others. My favourite poet was Seamus Heaney from Ireland. I would love to have met and talked with him.


How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. I grew up with elderly parents and I lived in my own inner world. I loved imagining things: being in a dwam! I was badly bullied at school, and that made me even more buried in the world of my imagination. That was my favourite place!


What are your future writing plans?

I don’t know what I will write next. I try always to work on new ideas, never to repeat what I’ve just done. That makes the writing life incredibly exciting. I just think I’m so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world, and to have the privilege of writing about it.


Thank you, Kenneth!

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!