The Sleep Road by Stewart Sanderson


The debut full-length collection by award-winning poet Stewart Sanderson.

SKU: 978-1-9162148-5-9 Category:


The poems in The Sleep Road explore the journeys we undertake without expecting, the paths we’re not quite aware of following till we find we’ve arrived: the road from one end of a day, or life, to another; the tracks we trace, half-consciously, into the future. Rooted in the ecology and history of his native Scotland, Sanderson’s eagerly awaited first full-length collection forms around sleep, literal and metaphorical, as well as the consolations language, lyric and landscape offer in the face of contemporary crisis.

“Stewart Sanderson is a poet who can read the silence. Landscapes, lichens, stones and all manner of histories are subject to his extraordinary gift for language and adeptness at listening to the world, its sorrows and surprises. These poems are written out of a keen sense of deep time and a fluency in deciphering what the past might tell us about where we are now – they confirm Sanderson to be one of the most remarkable poets of his generation.”
– Rachael Boast

Stewart Sanderson is a poet from Scotland. Three times shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award (2014, 2016, 2020), he has also received an Eric Gregory Award (2015), as well as Robert Louis Stevenson (2016) and Jessie Kesson Fellowships (2019). Widely published in magazines and anthologies, he has performed internationally and participated in translation exchange projects involving writers from Friesland, North Africa and Russia. || @stewartasanders

Praise for previous pamphlets by Stewart Sanderson:

“At times the mythic scope of this collection took my breath away.” – Daljit Nagra

“This is sharply attentive writing which stays highly attuned to its own habit of close listening.” – Denise Riley

“An impressive debut […] quietly and cleverly demonstrates a deep concern with the meanings of words.” – James Robertson

“Stewart Sanderson’s sensational debut pamphlet “Fios” […] not only offers the promise of a major new Scottish voice, but one that, although rooted in his devotion to the Scots language and landscape, has something to say we all might want to hear.” – Chrys Salt


That red kite I saw two days ago
from the cottage window
feeling its way over a furrow
in the wind: I know
what it sought in the ebb and flow
of air, in every undertow
and updraft – ready to throw
the rough pasture below
where a mouse might burrow
towards its talons. Let me show
you something else: a cloud’s slow
progress, swaddling the snow
capped Cairngorms, which grow
as the rain falls back. Rimbaud
would have found both E and O
in such a prospect – the stark glow
of the peaks, wrapped in their indigo
grey shawls – and A in a crow
as it swithers to and fro
before setting down, with no
less grace than a noh
artiste, on a fencepost. So
the hand, finding a radio
station, lets the dial go.

By Stewart Sanderson
First published in Anthropocene


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