Drawing on subjects as varied as Roman legionaries and a worn-out shirt, modern air travel and the imagined life of a lugworm, A Sense of North searches for purpose and order in the human condition. A sense of wonder finds itself kindled in the small and familiar as much as the large and emotive. Whether pondering the fickleness of memory or the meaning of love and loss, this is poetry that asks what it means to be alive.
These are unflashy, firmly grounded poems that journey naturally from intimate, family close-ups—making 'a halo round the ordinary' — to wider perspectives, longer views of what it can mean to be human.
Though Mancunian by birth and English by descent, David Underdown has spent most of his adult life in the West of Scotland. For the past twenty years this has meant the village of Corrie on the Isle of Arran although currently he is in the process of moving from Scotland to Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.
His poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals as well as publications associated with arts events on Arran. His first full collection, Time Lines, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2011 and in 2016 a pamphlet, Nasturtium, appeared as part of the Arran Open Studios project. His second full collection, A Sense of North, is now available.
For the past seven years he has been an organiser of the McLellan Poetry Competition.